Monday, November 24, 2008

Back from Dublin...

Seems no time since I was heading for my weekend in Dublin, but I'm back already. We had a great time and although the weather was very, very cold, it didn't spoil our usual agenda of sightseeing, eating and drinking.

I particularly liked this very unusual Christmas tree outside the GPO on O'Connell Street: it regularly changed colour and was a very fascinating sight indeed.

We were based south of the river, within walking distance of the notorious party area of Temple Bar, but we managed to avoid being caught up in the numerous stag and hen parties' Saturday night adventures. Thankfully, Dublin is more than that, and we found enough venues for us to enjoy our Saturday night without the irritation of those stags and hens.

It had been 13 years since we first visited Dublin for a holiday. Earlier this year we briefly returned for a friend's wedding and we got the urge to go back yet again. This time we decided to do some more obvious touristy things like the sightseeing bus tour for example, although we ran out of time to visit the Guinness Storehouse. Something we did do was cross the famous Halfpenny Bridge (pictured above).

Last night we went in search of the "craic" and found a bar with some live Irish music - great stuff!

Dublin has changed so much. It's such an international city now - we hardly heard an Irish voice when we were there, what with the numerous tourists and also the influx of young Eastern Europeans who, it would appear, almost exclusively dominate the 'service industries'.

One other notable change is the steep rise in prices of everything from food and drink to clothes and consumer items. The Euro is very strong against the pound at the moment (I think that's the expression), therefore we're not really getting good value at the moment - whereas many Irish citizens are heading to Northern Ireland for their bargain shopping. However, we saved up our money and consequently...spent it!!

I'm not really a fan of weekend breaks, as I don't feel that two nights is ever enough for anywhere, but Dublin fits the bill perfectly as it's compact and within easy reach. It may not be the most beautiful/picturesque city in Europe, but it has an irresistible buzz which you can't resist. Well worth a return visit, and if you haven't been yet then you have to go!!

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