Three girls, one big city, and a burning desire to experience the delights of Dublin in 3 short days!
We arrived early at the airport, only for the Dublin experience antics to begin almost immediately! As we checked in at Southampton airport, we were informed that, whilst my case was the right weight for the flight, it was unfortunately far too wide. I was therefore given two options; either pay £60 for the departure and return of my luggage, or purchase a flat-pack case from a vending machine for £10…I was going to go with the vending machine option!
Picture the scene; three girls sat crossed legged in the middle of Southampton airport, my underwear and various items being strewn in disarray across the floor in the frantic attempts to empty my far too large case, and transfer all items into the not quite so fashionable flat-pack bag! After much zipping, folding, rolling and sitting on the case, we were able to zip the bargain bag closed, and even more delighted when the vending machine spat back out my £10, therefore giving me a free bag!
I then attempted to hand my empty case to an airport attendant, only to be told that whilst he would store my case for me over the weekend, there would be no guarantees that it would still be there upon my return; the luggage room got emptied weekly, and the contents given to charity he informed me!
All luggage commotion over, we headed through security, in order to board the plane for our flight- what could be simpler?! As we headed through security, in-keeping with my already detrimental effect on the trip, I passed through the security gate, only to set the alarm off. ‘No problem’, the security woman assured me, whilst she asked me to remove my boots. Again, the alarm went off. Looking me up and down, the security woman asks me to spread out my arms, and checks that I am not carrying any sharp objects, before making a far too intense pat-down search of my person, including rather too much attention being patted onto my chest area and others! Just when I thought the humiliating experience couldn’t get any worse, she passed the scanning device over me, where it beeped at my belly bar, to which the woman commented ‘ooo let’s hope that you haven’t got another one a bit further down!!’ Completely humiliating to say the least!!
Following this slightly catastrophic start, we were able to fly quickly and smoothly to Dublin, where we immediately caught a shuttle bus to our very well located hotel ‘My Place’, in the centre of Dublin.
After we had checked in, we did the natural touristy thing, and headed for a ‘Hop On/Hop Off Guided Bus Tour’ of Dublin; definitely the best way to see the most famous parts of Dublin, and to learn random bits of the history of the city. With an audio commentary, and added interludes of traditional Irish folk music, it is very therapeutic to watch the city pass by, from the top of the open-top tour bus. At only 14 euros a ticket, this city tour pass allows you access on the buses for up to two days, so if you don’t fancy walking all over the city, you can hop on and off the tour buses at various points during your stay. If you want a slightly cheaper tour, then head for the red buses, rather than the green ones, which are a bit more expensive.
Following our guided tour, and looking rather windswept, we headed back to our hotel to get changed and get ready for a night out in Dublin town.Our first stop of the evening was Thunder Road Cafe- a rather TGI Friday’s type of place, with an amazing buzzing atmosphere, great cocktails and American themed food. We were even surprised by a visit from a very good Elvis tribute singer, who rather dazzled us with his Elvis style hip wiggles!
After dinner, we decided that we really needed to source a traditional Irish bar, and so we wandered slightly further along Temple Bar, Dublin’s main centre point for traditional Irish bars, restaurants, and general touristy things, and discovered the most happening and fun bar in Dublin; Oliver St. John Gogarty’s. With live music during the day, and cheesy 70s and 80s tunes during the evening, Guinness flowing and great atmosphere, this bar provided the perfect Irish experience! After a couple of pints, and a chat with a few of the locals, we had soon acquired a little group of random Irish friends that we drank and danced into the night with.