I have to give fair warning. I didn’t like Dublin. Not one bit. Maybe it was because we were exhausted by this point in our trip, maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe Dublin really isn’t that great. You can decide, but I have never felt so unsafe, frustrated, or like I had been lied to about a city before. Dublin was a great base for us to explore the rest of Ireland, but if we ever return to Ireland I think we will stay out in the little towns and far away from Dublin.
I think I would have enjoyed Dublin more between the ages of 18-22, when binge drinking and bar hopping still appealed to me. Now alcohol just makes me tired and it takes me 3 full days to recover from a hangover, so since we weren’t planning on getting drunk due to an early tour the next day we really had issues finding things to do.
We first walked along the River Liffey looking for things to do. I was shocked at how dirty all of Dublin was, but especially here. It took a lot of attempts not to get trash in the picture. We ended up crossing several bridges before we found one that had recently been cleaned. We even stayed in the suburbs of Dublin where you think the trash issue would be better, but believe it or not it was so much worse. Worse than London (by far), worse than what we saw in Honduras and even worse than what we saw in a tent village in Belize. It was awful and I was mad about it.
We also got chased down and cussed out by a real life Gypsy. Oh. My. Gosh. that was terrifying. Advice: Do not give them money, do not leave a store with money in your hand, and do not make eye contact unless you want to be followed closely and screamed out.
So as you can tell my first impressions weren’t great. It’s a shame. I really wanted to like Dublin.
We made our way to the Temple Bar District and ate some lunch and hopped in and out of the pubs. I really wanted to find the original Temple Bar and we did, so I was happy.
Unfortunately, the pubs inside of Dublin cater to tourists. I should have guessed it. I had such fantasies about drinking beer in a bar with the Irish. Well, it happened in the smaller villages we visited, but not in Dublin.
After pub hopping we made our way to Trinity College to see The Book of Kells. Trinity College is really beautiful!
The Long Room, where The Book of Kells is housed is really beautiful. It was closing as we got there, so no wondering around for us. 🙁
It also closed at 4 PM in the peak tourist season, so that was strange, too.
After Trinity College we went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It took us forever to get there. At the time we visited all of Dublin was torn up as they were putting in a tram system. It was a mess trying to navigate. By the time we got to the cathedral my phone was dead. Stefan’s was barely hanging on and we needed it to get back to the apartment, so we didn’t want to waste the battery taking pictures. I will tell you that it wasn’t as impressive as the other cathedrals we had seen on this trip, but it was still very beautiful. I borrowed some pictures from a friend who went recently so that you could still see inside of it.
On our way back home we stumbled upon the Molly Malone Statue. “Molly Malone” is a popular song in Ireland and the unofficial anthem of Dublin.
The song tells the fictional tale of a fishmonger who plied her trade on the streets of Dublin, but who died young, of a fever. In the late 20th century a legend grew up that there was a historical Molly, who lived in the 17th century. She is typically represented as a hawker by day and part-time prostitute by night.
You’re supposed to rub her breasts for good luck. We did and the rest of our time in Ireland was great, so it must have worked!
One cool thing about Ireland is that they have Gaelic posted on all of the street signs.
I do wish that we would have made it to the Guinness Factory, but we were so tired by this point that we went back to the apartment we rented. We had to be up at 4:30 AM for our tour the next day and we had been up since 4 AM for our flight out of Edinburgh, so we were beat!