Followers of this blog will know that our family trip to Dublin was part of my husband’s 50th birthday celebrations. The children had never been to Ireland and I have only been once many moons ago so this was a perfect excuse to take Terry back to his Irish roots.
Not to mention I was able to knock another challenge off my 101in1001 list #83 Go to Wales / Scotland or Ireland !
Easyjet flight out of Gatwick couldn’t be easier – apart from the usual airport security stresses (nothing riles Hubby up more). We arrived in Dublin about 8pm in the evening and after grabbing a bite to eat at the airport we took a taxi to Terry’s cousin’s house where we were to spend the next three nights.
A lovely nights sleep and up and out the next morning to discover what this fair city had to offer. We were staying about a five minute walk from the Luas (the city tram) which meant it only took about 20 minutes to get into the heart of the city which was absolutely perfect!
We had bought a hop-on hop-off bus ticket for two days so that we could explore the city in style, the buses were great, they were clean and frequent, and some had piped comentary, others had live commentary from the drivers which were infinity better.
Our first stop was the Kilmainham Gaol. Built in 1796 the gaol is as you would imagine very bleak. Men, Women and even children were kept together in the most appalling conditions, in cramped desolate cells.
Needing something a little lighter to lift the spirits we decided to go to what was at the top of everyone’s must see list – The Leprechaun Museum. Yes it really exists and is SUCH fun. Our guide was the hilarious Seamus and he told us everything we needed to know about the little people, we were even miniaturised so that we could discover what it is looking up at the human world.
In the evening we went to an Irish pub near to the Temple Bar area of Dublin called O’Neill’s, we couldn’t resist it. We met Catherine who we knew from our Hong Kong days and it was great catching up with years of news over dinner. Dinner was a little weird, it was canteen style where you queued for your dinner with trays, a bit like how I remember school dinners. Nice though.
A really fab first day, I think we have all fallen in love with Dublin!
Dublinia Viking museum was our first port of call today. A little like the Jovik centre in York, it teaches us about the Viking settlement on Dublin. Great fun..My favourite bit was the market place where there were sights, sounds and smells of a Viking village.
Going to see a Church or Cathredral is usually on our list of ‘things to do on holiday’ but giving the children the choice of where to go they chose St Michans church, religious or historical significance? No….. It’s got mummies to look at. We arrived too early for the tour so went for a quick drink beforehand (otherwise known as a wifi fix). the talk in the Church was very funny and entertaining and then we climbed (literally) down into the Church vaults to see coffins stacked high and various mummies some of which were 800 years old. Morbidly fascinating, kids loved it.
Took the bus round to OCBs which is the cafe belonging to our wonderful host cousin Mary. after a quick drink Terry and Mary go and visit an elderly relative while the children and I get on the bus and attempt to do a compete circuit of the tour before our ticket ran out. We nearly made it 🙂
That evening we had a wonderful meal in a local pub with Mary and her friend Brian. Good food, good company, who could ask for more?
On our last day in Dublin there is one thing that was definitely on the itinerary, and that is the famous Guinness factory. our bus tickets had run out by this time so we walked from the Luas which took about 45 mins to the massive factory that still dominates the Dublin skyline. Several floors one the history advertising and general education of the black stuff. terry and I even pulled learnt how to pull a pint. however Cadbury factory it was not and the kids got a little bored by the end, so to passifythem we took a horse and carriage back to the Luas.
Our last stop – a trip to the pub where Terry’s Dad worked for many many years.
A fantastic three days, we packed so much in that it was exhausting, but yes Dublin is a fair city and I hope that we shall be able to return one day.
Dublin – October 2015