Monday, 16 April 2012

Dublin 2012 - Day 1 & 2

Day 1

 Our flight to Dublin was only at 12:50 so we had plenty of time to finish packing and organise ourselves before the taxi arrived to take us to the airport.
 The flight was really smooth and quicker than expected - taking an hour exactly.  One of the first things we saw as we came out of the airport, to get a taxi to the hotel, was the Aer Lingus building - difficult to miss really :)
 We were glad to be there and had to take a photo under one of the bilingual signs. All sign posts were in both English and Irish.  I hadn't realised before we got there that the Irish language is spoken as widely as it is and had expected English to be the main language. I realise this may make me sound a bit dim but that was what I thought.
I got Jon to take a photo of Emily and me just to make sure there would be at least one photo to prove I  had been there too ;)

By the time we got to the hotel it was nearly 3 o'clock and we hadn't had lunch. We opted to have a sandwich in the hotel bar then go up to the room to unpack before having dinner in the hotel restaurant that evening.

Day 2

We woke to sunshine on day 2, which we hadn't really been expecting, and decided to make the most of the weather and do the open top bus tour round Dublin. However, there was a Museum next to the hotel so that was our first port of call.  
 The Museum is housed in what was Collins barracks. The building is huge!
 Walking up to the entrance
 Jon and Emily in front of the main entrance.
 When we first walked into the courtyard I said it reminded me of a parade ground - this was before we realised it had once been a barracks. The above photo shows half the courtyard.
 I took a number of photos on the bus tour but, to be honest, they're not brilliant. A lot have the bus railing across them or the photos aren't sharp (or I can't remember why I took them =P )  So, I'm going to put a few up just to give a taste of what we saw.  The photo above is the house where Oscar Wilde lived at one stage.
 I loved the lamp posts.  To begin with I just thought they were quite pretty and I liked the scroll work at the top - then Emily pointed out the Shamrocks in the middle, I love that little detail!
 The Viking Splash tours were quite amusing. We didn't go on one but we did pass them a few times. Everyone on the tour was wearing a Viking helmet as it wasn't unusual to hear a big roar go up from their vehicles as they toured the city =)  So funny and the children on board seemed to think it was great!
 This was just taken to give an idea of the streets around the city.  One thing that did strike me was the fact that there weren't really any high rise buildings.  In fact, when we did a river cruise later in the week, we heard that they're about to start building a new building which will be 32 floors high, which will make it the tallest building in Dublin (and I'm not sure if he said in Ireland!).
One of the many pubs around the city.
 Christ Church Cathedral.  
I have got more photos of the Cathedral to show later in the week.  Although you can only see part of the top section here, I love the detail that is found on Cathedrals and old Churches.

 Christ Church Cathedral on the right and the Viking centre on the left. I'm not sure what the bridge joining the two is but I love this type of bridge. We saw similar ones in both Cambridge and Oxford.
 Posters showing what's going on now and in future 
 And Emily suggested another photo of us =)  
 O'Connell Street
(And yes, for anyone who knows O'Connell Street, I did chop off the Spire or Needle {or whatever it is called} It's not my favourite attraction and it was too tall to fit in the photo!  The needle is the large post seen in the centre here which rises something like 33m tapering into a point at the top which is why it gets called the needle).
 The Luas (tram) was fantastic.  There was a frequent service (from our hotel there was one in to the centre every 5 - 10 minutes. I think 6 minutes was probably the longest we had to wait for one), buying a return day ticket was about 3 Euro 50 cents and you could catch it as many times as you wanted during the day. The trams were clean and in the evenings there were tram guards who would check to make sure there were no problems.  We used the Luas every day we were there and at one stage I was even advising a lady on which one to get and where to get off  - lol!

After our bus tour and looking around for a bit, we headed back to the hotel for a late lunch before getting ready to go to the Theatre that evening.
We caught the Luas back into town
And walked from the drop of point, past the new convention centre - which has been nicknamed "The tube in the cube"
and then crossing over Samuel Beckett bridge - one of my favourite bridges in Dublin.  
Looking down towards the harbour from the bridge.
Emily and Jon outside what was Grand Canal Theatre but is now called Bord Gáis Energy Theatre 
where we went to see Legally Blonde. Emily and I thoroughly enjoyed the show but, unfortunately, for some reason Jon was under the impression I had told him that Legally Blonde was a Blondie tribute act =P  Not sure where that came from but needless to say, he got a bit of a surprise when he realised what it was he had actually come to watch.
We had seen these wonky red poles before going in to the theatre - Emily had suggested they looked like some sticks a drunken person had put in the ground - and when we came out they were lit up and made quite a feature.  
I absolutely love this photo of the bridge, taken on our way back to the hotel.
The conference centre was also quite spectacular.  

That's all for now but I hope to put the next day up within the next day or two.


I haven't had a chance yet to visit everyone's blogs or leave comments.  Alice was ill while we were away and it seems that Claire has now come down with the same virus. It appears to be a 48 hour (ish) virus but leaves you feeling quite washed out.  Jon was also not well this morning though hasn't actually been sick.  Fingers crossed!


  1. I am the only one in my family to have NOT been to Ireland, hopefully one day I will get there. I the meantime, I am enjoying your photo tour but am sorry to hear of the illness that struck while you were away, we have had it here and last night it returned - so much for being a 48 hour bug!

  2. I really enjoyed seeing your photos!

    Hope the virus passes soon

  3. I hope the virus has come and gone by the time you read this. Loved seeing your photos. The architecture is stunning---and those photos of the bridge are fabulous!

  4. Hope everyone is feeling better by now. I went to Dublin for a weekend about 5 years ago and loved it. It's so good to see your photos as they bring back some happy memories. Looking forward to the next instalment.

  5. Hope everyone is feeling much better. Your photos have really made me want to visit Ireland.