I’ve just spent last weekend in the beautiful city of Dublin where I met up with my dad who lives in France and who I don’t get to see that often.
I’ve been to Dublin dozens of times, for the weekend or just the evening for a concert or something, but it was my dad’s first time. He’s not too keen on all the touristy stuff, but he’s a real history and literature buff so our tour of Dublin was rather scholar-ish!
We decided on an Airbnb little house close to St. Stephen’s Green, on Synge street. The weekend already promised to be very ‘Dublin heritage’ orientated as John Millington Synge was a famous Dublin playwright who used to live two doors down from us at the end of the 19th century.
Airbnb! What a great invention! We had a huge house for ourselves with 4 beds (!!) and located only about 10min walking from the centre. With the same budget, if we had wanted to go to a hotel, we would never have been able to be so close to the centre for sure. Also, you always get to meet really nice local people. The owner was this retired chatter box of an Irish man, sweet as a cookie, who looked exactly like Slughorn in an almost disturbing way! (my fellow Harry Potter fans will understand). The house was very welcoming and he had even prepared a few scones for our breakfast – so thoughtful!
As we arrived quite late on Friday night, we went straight to eat once finished with the landlord – we were simply ravenous. The one thing my dad and I both enjoy as hell is Indian food, so we headed up to the closest one possible. We found one called Saagar and ordered as much food as we could possibly manage! Meaning Papadums with its four dips, Vegetable Samosas, Coriander Naans and Chicken Korma accompanied with an (actually not so nice) Chilean Sauvignon Blanc:
Saturday was the only full day we had, so after stuffing ourselves with the scones, we headed out into an amazingly sunny Dublin (we don’t get such nice sun in Belfast… and it’s only 2 hours away!! Argh, unfair), and started with a wee dander (if you’re not from around here, that means a small stroll in Northern Irish!) in St. Stephen’s Green. I really love this park, I’d love to live around there and be able to jog around the park, doing some good old people watching, every day! We then went to the inevitable Trinity College, but as it was packed with tourists, we didn’t stay very long. Instead we strolled down Temple Bar, rummaged through book markets and second hand book shops (my dad’s favourite past time ever!), discovered the Dubliner cultural street art, treated ourselves to L’Occitanne (understand by that that I dragged my dad there), had lunch at the terrace of a traditional Irish pub the Stag’s Head (delicious Beef and Guinness Casserole) and finished with a dessert at Mooch frozen yogurt parlour! Yum yum!
After such a nice time around Dublin, it started to rain… hard. We headed back to the Airbnb for a short 2 hour nap (cough cough) in order to wait for the weather to clear. When it finally did, the sun was up and shining as fiercely as ever again (what the freaking hell is wrong with this country??!!). We went out again for a pint of good old Guinness at the O’Donoghue’s pub close to the shopping area, and then went for a seafood meal at the Catch 22 restaurant, where I ordered a really succulent Fish Pie with a glass of Pinot Grigio that, this time, was really tasty.
Dublin is an incredible city for loads of reasons: for its immensely rich cultural, historical and architectural heritage, for the fact that it has so many amazing places to have food, drinks and to go shopping, because it’s so nice to just stroll around in its many parks and because there’s so much happening in terms of exhibitions, events and concerts (which I go to every month or so). You can see quite a lot of things in just a weekend as the centre itself is not that big and everything is more or less within walking distance, but since there’s so much to see in Dublin itself and in Ireland in general, it’s definitely best to plan a full week’s holiday and why not include a road trip around Ireland (and Northern Ireland of course)! It’s such a stunning country!
I guess it must also be pretty awesome to live in Dublin. Even though it’s an expensive city, it must be really incredible to live there – there’s so much to do but at the same time it’s still at a human size! Also, due to the low corporation tax rate in Ireland, all the crazy big and exciting companies have chosen Dublin as their European headquarters: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google (by the way, if any Google recruitment peeps read this, call me!), etc. Well, maybe one day!
Thanks for reading everyone, and if there are cool Dublin places you’ve been to, feel free to share!