the hoofindex - rewind to the previous trip (marrakech) - fast forward to the following trip (south east england road trip)

 

Happy St Paddy's Day!!

Well it wasn't totally happy - we had a few issues in actually getting to Dublin. Lets just say that after a little car trouble which meant missing our original flight, we then had to play "planes, trains and automobiles" and ended up flying out of Heathrow a little later than planned - and the insurance company will be hearing from us! The main thing was we made it, and in the end really enjoyed ourselves! We did find that we were under-packed on the warm clothes since the spring weather that we have been having in England lulled us into a false sense of security. Dublin is officially the first equal coldest place that we have ever been – it's tied with Edinburgh at New Years!

Our flight in was a little rough due to weather conditions in Ireland and the pilot literally threw the plane at the runway at great speed…I knew as we were coming in through the turbulence that we were going quite fast and when the wheels made contact with the ground the pilot put the brakes on harder than I have ever felt before and if we weren’t sitting in the exit aisle with a big gap in front of us then I am sure that we would have been mushed into the seats in front of us!!

On our arrival in Dublin (after braving the massive immigration queue full of Americans) we caught the bus into the city and found our hotel really quickly and easily. It was on Custom House Quay and overlooked the River Liffey. A great central location that meant that we could walk everywhere…. good ol' Hoof'ess and her favourite site, wotif.com came through again. Sometimes it pays to book accommodation late!

We then walked into the town center, but had just missed the parade. There were still thousands of people around and surprisingly they were all dressed in green!

After a bit of a wander around Trinity College we met up with Jules and Gregg at a pub at the end of Trinity College (just up from Temple Bar, which is where all the main pubs are). It was a lovely pub in an old school building and it was massive, but completely packed! Luckily Jules and Gregg had been there for quite a while with their Dublin based friends so had managed to secure a seat and table for all of us. Hoof'ess was soft, deciding that it was too early in the day for Guinness so started on Breezers - but when in Rome... so it was straight onto the black stuff!

The Hoof'ess cranked it up a notch with a bottle of Moet - along with some of Jules kiwi friends. That's right, in Dublin with a bunch of kiwi's - but at least we had our token Scottish guy to make it feel like we're living with the locals.

The Hoof'ess even had a little of the black stuff... from my pint!

After the rugby was over (Gregg intently watched the Scotland v France game) we moved onto a second pub – Mrs Maguire's which was down by the river. It was full of Americans (they must have been making a pilgrimage to trace their Irish roots???) but they were playing Irish music which was good.

We stayed for a few drinks before some friendly locals with some green paint came round offering to paint shamrocks on our cheeks...

But who wants cheeks when you've got a pair of extra large chins!

It was then decided to head to the heart of the action in Dublin – Temple Bar. Surprisingly the pubs weren’t massively busy and we only had to queue for a few minutes to get into The Porter House. It was a massive three storey bar that was playing a good mix of Irish and non-Irish music. We also got to talk to the first Irish people of the night (and in fact almost the only Irish people of our whole trip…apparently they are thin on the ground in Dublin!!!). But the green shamrock hyjinks carried on... damn people taking cameras with them on drinking nights!

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By about 12am we were starving and tired so bailed on Julia and Gregg and their friends and headed across the road to a little Italian restaurant for some food before stumbling through Temple Bar and across the river back to our hotel in the freezing cold. Lucky we had our beer coats on cos the wind would have rivaled a good southerly in Welly!

We woke up at about 9am on Sunday and felt surprisingly good considering the amount of alcohol we had consumed on Saturday, so after a good Irish breakfast (we both avoided the White and Black puddings!) we headed out for some sightseeing.

We took the tram all the way down to the Guinness brewery and joined the very long queue to get inside...

...it was like we were queuing on a pilgrimage to the holy place. Weirdly similar to queuing for the Vatican... except bloody cold in comparison to Rome. There was a very friendly English man in front of us in the queue so we spent our hour wait chatting with him and trying to ignore the wind that was gusting through at gale force pace. The display inside the storehouse was quite interesting and this was the opportunity where the Hoof'ess could try another Guinness.

At the top there is the ultimate brewery bar with the ultimate view - being a lovely clear day you could see most of Dublin. But due to the fact that the bar was also the venue for redeeming your free pint of Guinness you could hardly get near the windows to see out.

We couldn’t face another pint so just took a few pics and enjoyed the Crowded House they were playing on the sound system for a while before heading back out…they were very appropriately playing Always Take the Weather with You, and I think we had brought Wellington rather than Tauranga weather!!!

One final picture before heading off...

We decided to brave the weather and walk our way back to our hotel via the main sights over the course of the rest of the afternoon. Our first stop was St Patrick's Cathedral...

St Patrick's park...

Then Dublin Castle...

And the Castle grounds...

All this touring meant I needed the guide book close to hand.. a location which the Hoof'ess found rather amuzing.

We then headed back past all the bars from the night before - first the Mercantile... the starting point...

On route we passed the famous Temple Bar just as it started to rain so we hit the souvenir shops to get some shelter, however as we came out again the heavens opened up.

The crowd in the streets scattered as it started to hail/sleet/snow/thunder…it was a really weird weather phenomenon and we sought refuge under the veranda of a bar until it tapered off to just snow.

This was the three story bar where we finished our St Paddy's festivities...

And then Maguire's which was the second bar... oh the memories!

Feeling very, very cold we decided to flag any more sightseeing and headed to our usual favourite, Hard Rock Café for an early dinner. The Hoof'ess didn’t warm up much over dinner and having ice cream for dessert wasn't the smartest idea…it made the walk back to the hotel to pick up our bag a very miserable task!

A quick pic of the Dublin waterfront before we got back to the hotel, picked up our bags and caught the bus back to the airport. Soon after we were back on the plastic fantastic heading to Luton.

 

It took some time to recover from the speed tour of Dublin - so the next trip is a little more relaxed... checking out the beach resorts of South East England.