2005-10-18 : What I did on my summer vacation.
3rd time's the charm. This was definitely my best trip to Dublin yet ! Partially through going to a series of cool places and doing cool stuff, but mainly due to spending time with the amazing Morgs & Kris! Also, making it onto both my outbound and inbound flights cheered me up substantially.
Friday night I got in a bit late, so managed to check in to the hotel (was touch & go there for a second – I seemed to get some inept pecker of a concierge who wouldn't let me check in to our room for 3, because 2 other people had already checked in… no amount o convincing, or pointing out that the room was booked in my name seemed to shift him on this. Luckily, the manager came past and all was well again).
Thankfully, the Irish have a firm grip on the civilised practise of keeping pubs open until a sensible time of night, so I was able to head down to Arlington's and meet the girls. A few pints of Guinness and general soaking up of the craic there, and we moved on to a nightclub someplace, where we remained til about 3am. Getting a taxi home was a bit of a challenge, and the steady persistent light drizzle wasn't exactly what the doctor ordered, but overall a great night.
Saturday involved a full Irish breakfast at the hotel (as far as I could tell, the same as an English/Scottish/Welsh breakfast), then a wander down to get ourselves a Dublin Pass. Now, I don't typically dish out tourism advice on this thing, but let me tell you – a combination of getting up early, and getting a Dublin Pass is the most sensible touristy thing you can do. Our first cab off the rank was the Guinness Storehouse, which I went to last time, but it's about the closest thing to a religious site I've got, so hey. We got there after midday, and the queue was about 1000km long… however with DUBLIN PASSES we got to skip the queue and go straight in ! How popular do ya reckon WE were. Anyway, the girls seemed to enjoy it, and I reckon it's always good to have a pint in The Gravity Bar…
After leaving there, a quick trip on the open-top tour bus saw us at the Old Jameson Distillery. Our tour guide was a quice unusual space cadet bloke of uncertain nationality, but all good fun nonetheless. What was equally fun I thought was watching Kris work her way through a whiskey tasting tray (as a “volunteer”… hehehee…), when she, Morgs and whiskey had reached an agreement after a particularly unpleasant morning in Greece (or Italy. Or forget now. There was definitely a ferry involved). She finished like a trooper (a slightly pale green one perhaps), and then we legged it back to the hotel to get ready for Kris's birthday dinner.
As it was a special occasion and all, I had decided to take the ladies out to The Clarence, which is the pub that Bono & The Edge own, and which it turns out Bono was fined 3000 Euros for smoking in the restaurant of. No similarsuch goings on met us, and we dined on a fantastic meal of quail, venison, duck, all kinds of cool vegetably things, and some desserts which I'm loathe to spend too long thinking about for fear that I start hyperventilating. We accompanied that with a delicious 2001 Coriole Redstone – what a night!
Following dinner, we popped out to the Temple Bar in Temple Bar for a pint (couldn't very well let the girls get away with not going somewhere in the area, even if we didn't stay), then via The Porterhouse (a bit of a dive compared to its Covent Garden sister pub) to The Dawson Lounge – I know I didn't lash out and try much new this trip, but you've gotta love a wood-pannelled basement pub that fits about 20 people. We somehow got talking to some random Irish people in there who sang Happy Birthday to Kris, and then we pushed on to our goal for the evening – The Sugar Club. Once again, the place was in top form, the music was awesome, the drinks kept coming, and the place just had a cool vibe to it. Exeunt all about 3am again and make our way back to the hotel.
Let me tell you, if you're trying to have a nice relaxing recovery from 3 weeks in Australia, a weekend in Dublin's not the recommended way to go about it.
Sunday we slowly got up, managed to get on the open top bus for a lap of the whole tour run (even though clever yours truly had managed to lose his ticket, like the great wazzock he is)… a top tour, with the tour guide cementing his place in my top 1000 list of bullshit artistes to idolise for the rest of my life.
As the shadows grew longer, we thought we'd knock over a few more touristy things before my departure, so we attempted Dublin Castle (however the timings of the tour didn't fit my flight schedule), and then moved around to the Chester Beattie Library (whose displays comparing Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism would have ordinarily been fascinating however we had places to be…). Christchurch, it turned out, was closed to visitors between 3:30 and 5:30 because of a church service. And finally, the way cool looking Dvblinia medieval heritage centre was closed due to them deciding to adopt winter hours. I don't blame them – I wouldn't want to be sitting about working at a tourist attraction on a Sunday when there was that much fresh Guinness to be drunk !
So that was my trip. Fun, huh ? Now, having written that, I'm off to bed.