June 9, 2009

Bublin' Dublin

Dublin was the first trip of the year and it came unexpectedly as a spontaneous idea from Cristina who had read about St Patrick's day and a great offer to stay at a castle!

It was very difficult to resist it, especially since it qualified as a very nice birthday present for me :)
So a couple of hours later we were good to go the following weekend to Dublin.

We got there late Friday evening and went straight to the 'castle' which was definitely the coolest hotel we've ever stayed in. There are sooo many reasons to stay there and indulge utter comfort. It was a truly unforgettable experience.

But Dublin was definitely much more than that. First of all, it was bursting green while in Prague it looked like spring gave up any hope of beating the gloomy winter. Green and springy with a permanent wind performing disco-like effects with the sun and clouds.

That must be a reason why the whole city is so alive! Despite not having a great deal of imposing architecture nor dramatic views (which i pursue fiercely wherever I go) Dublin has a great personality as you will see in the videos i shot in a matter of a couple of hours walking through the city center.

Dublin's houses are rather modest looking: basic Victorian architecture of what was at the time a mere provincial town of the British kingdom which could hardly dream of one day becoming a prosperous capital of its people. Even so, they are very well kept - especially the doors. It seems a great deal of effort goes into maintaining a nice shine on the thick, colorful paint layers carefully laid on these symbolic and yet so functional inventions.

We spent the whole Saturday admiring the city unwinding along the banks of the Liffey and we ended the day with a fulfilling creamy experience where else than at the Guinness factory. Word of advice though, get your tickets online to get in smoothly without waiting like us for almost 2h... It's cheaper too... Anyway, it was worth it - the museum is really cool and highly interactive. The best aspect of its interactiveness is getting trained to pour your own perfect pint
of Guinness - a skill which becomes ever more important in the partner selection these days :p

Top that up with a view of the city (albeit not very impressive but nice nevertheless) from the Gravity bar, a 360 glass bar on top of the museum (which is part of the old factory in fact) and you won't even regret not catching the St Patrick's day fireworks display which we thought ought to have happened at the other end of the city when in fact it was happening in a completely different town in Ireland.

We've called it a day after wondering through the temple bar where there's no temple and no bar but in fact tens of them. There's this bar of sand which belong to the Temple family where all the bars were built in what's today Dublin's cultural core.

Sunday welcomed us with a sunny breakfast in the castle that was just amazing and kept us filled for most of the day. This day we got to experience the local flavour a bit more intensely as we walked through the pedestrian streets and parks of Dublin. We came across a great open air kids fair and witnessed the Irish baby boom - basically every family had at least two kids swirling around them. It's kind of understandable, which such nice events and opportunities for kids there's probably never been a better time to be one!

As we were headed t0 another park nearby, my eyes slipped across the firm of a very uninspiring pub and as they read ''O'Donoghues", Rory's pub advice came to my mind and we had to give it a try since we were so lucky to run into it. Rory's Irish and i met him during my monster days :) And how glad I am I did! The people you see in the video below are regulars of the 200 years old pub and we had just managed to pop by their Sunday afternoon session. It was the most flavourful Guinness we had enjoyed so far!

After crossing the park we were headed for in the first place, we saw this nice dancing troupe performing:

And finally, as we were spending our last half an hour in town before heading to the airport, from an alleyway came a most intriguing deep bass and fanfare sound from these guys.

They had no less than 6 drummers!!!

Maybe some of events that spiced up our stay were due to the St Patrick's celebrations but even without those, Dublin has always something surprising to offer and amaze! So go and green yourself up a bit!

More pictures here


satov said...

Hello dude. This post reminded me of the trip to Prague. Thanks again for beeing such a cool guide for us (the guys still tell me how much they enjoyed the evenings we spent in the city together), and see you next time .. wherever it may be :).


Florin said...

Hehe glad you liked it, that old english guy mistakenly called me some days ago :p
Anywayz, say hi to the guys and be a good boss :p !