Photo Diaries: Dublin 3D2N

September 21, 2015

Once back in Malaysia, I told myself to blog all about London first. But after taking a look at the amount of photos taken inside my camera, I doubt that I can finish editing all of my London photos in time without leaving my blog unattended for too long. So I am writing this post now to share about my Dublin trip first! :)

My main purpose to the UK is to attend the cousin’s graduation and using this opportunity (excuse) to travel as well. 

After the graduation ceremony in SOAS, we flew to Dublin for a 3D2N trip. I heard that the weather in Dublin will be slightly colder than that of London so skinny petite me brought along thick clothing, all ready to brace the cold…… summer. #equatorpeopleproblem

We checked into DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at Burlington Road, which would be our base for our short trip in Dublin. It is located minutes from Dublin's city center and St Stephens Green area. Once we were done placing our stuff in our hotel rooms, we decided to take a casual stroll in the city before sundown. 

Overhearing the conversation between my uncle and the taxi driver, I learnt that: Irish folks love their stout (“ You must visit the Guiness Storehouse!”); Irish coffee is drunk with the coffee and whiskey mixed;  the potato famine was really bad; green is the official color; leprechauns will steal your gold(Irish folklore hahaha); and that Trinity College is “the best university in Ireland you should send you kids here”.

Statue of Molly Malone and her cart on Suffolk Street, Dublin.

Fusiliers' Arch, facing into St Stephen's Green park.

Aunt and I in St. Stephen’s Green. 

Across the road from St. Stephen’s Green is Grafton Street. Grafton Street is a music haven. You will come across buskers at almost every corner of the street and people standing(or sitting) around to watch their performance. The laidback culture here definitely got me admiring their way to life.

Here’s a short documentary I found on YouTube about the street music culture in Grafton Street.
*hottie alert* Skip to 6:00 for the hot guy whom I saw performing that day.

The next morning, we joined the official Dublin city tour. The fare for a day tour is €19 for an adult. The Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour was pretty decent. The live commentary by the experienced tour guide in every tour bus was always interesting and entertaining. Basically, the bus will stop at every tourist attraction listed in their routes. Tourists can easily hop off the bus at whichever tour stops and hop back on once they are done visiting that specific place.

We first stopped at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. 

Every nook and cranny of St. Patrick's Cathedral is crammed with historical relics, art and statues. This very statue is the statue of St. Patrick.

This is the Tree of Remembrance. It remembers all those who have been affected by conflict.

The monument uses a simple, neutral symbol of nature, the tree. However, the Tree of Remembrance has been broken and destroyed by war and is made, not from natural materials, but of steel. This is intended to reflect modern industrial warfare. The base of the tree is surrounded by barbed wire, a universal symbol of conflict. Visitors are invited to remember a loved one who has been affected by conflict by filling out a small leaf shaped tag and tying it to the barbed wire. Over time, the barbed wire will be covered with messages of hope. source 

The Lady Chapel.

The choir and the high altar.

The Door of Reconciliation, through a hole in which the earls of Kildare and Ormond shook hands.

In 1492, tension between two Irish families- Kildare and Ormond, broke into outright warfare. The Ormond family took refuge in the Chapter House of Saint Patrick's Cathedral. However, the Kildare family followed them and asked them to come out and make peace. The family behind the door, afraid that if they did so they would be slaughtered, refused. As a gesture of good faith the head of the Kildare family, Gerald FitzGerald, ordered that a hole be cut in the door. He then thrust his arm through the door and offered his hand in peace to those on the other side.  Upon seeing that he was willing to risk his arm by putting it through the door, the Ormond family reasoned that he was serious in his intention. They shook hands through the door, and the two families made peace. -source

Today this door is known as the "Door of Reconciliation". This story also lives on in a famous expression in Ireland "To chance your arm" which means “to put yourself at risk”.

While St. Patrick’s Cathedral made me go back far in history, the next tourist attraction definitely got me time-travelled back to this century. I mean, the last century. Guinness Storehouse was built in 1902.

Located in the heart of the St. James's Gate Brewery, the Guinness Storehouse® is Ireland's most popular tourist attraction. The journey begins at the bottom of the world's largest pint glass and continues up through seven floors filled with interactive experiences that fuse our long brewing heritage with Ireland's rich history. At the top, you'll be rewarded with a pint of perfection in our world-famous rooftop Gravity Bar. Now that's our kind of higher education. -source

On the ground floor, visitors are able to tour around and find out exactly what it takes to make beer the Guinness way. Raw ingredients were displayed in an interactive way that made the tour a fun and impressive one.

After the tour, we continued up the escalators to the 3rd floor and immersed ourselves in over eighty years of groundbreaking print, digital and TV campaigns in the Guinness World of Advertising.

There were a few funny and weird cartoon statues on display. Guinness sure does have some intense imagination.

This fish here is riding a bicycle. And there is also a whistling oyster. Watch my snapchat videos to see them in action…

At the fifth floor, we adjourned to Arthur’s Bar. The bar is a tribute to the traditional Irish pub with hospitality to match. It is a perfect place to soak up a little atmosphere with cheerful live Irish music.

The Guinness Storehouse definitely needs an elevated perch for its visitors to savour a perfectly poured pint of Guinness while enjoying the 360° view across the city’s magnificent skyline. That happens to be Gravity Bar- the rooftop bar of the Guinness Storehouse on the seventh floor.

I wanted to see out Dublin in style. Where better to enjoy a pint of the black stuff than sitting high above Dublin's historic rooftops? Upon reaching the bar, I exchanged the end of my ticket for a complimentary Guinness.

“There is more philosophy in a pint of Guinness than in all of the books in Trinity College” – Martin Keane, Proprietorship. I guess this explains how much Irish folks adore their Guinness.

After that, we continued our journey on the green bus. Decided to sit on the upper deck this time (because you know everything looks better when you look down on it). A little tip for those who are going to tour Dublin: make sure you can withstand the cold wind blowing at your face if you want to sit on top of the bus.

We passed by Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison in Dublin which is now a museum run by the Office of Public Works, an agency of the Government of Ireland.

We then arrived at Phoenix Park. I rummaged my bagpack for the camera and took it out just in time to take this shot of the Wellington Monument before the bus came to a halt.

My aunt wanted to hop-off at this tourist stop. Eventually, I had enough time to take non-blurry photos of the Wellington Monument after all. Goodbye green bus. (Pretended as if I wanted to take a photo of the bus leaving but in actual fact sneaking a shot at this long posh limousine)

Okay back to taking shots of the Wellington Monument. Oh, this ice cream truck is blocking it.

See how the ice cream truck has the Wellington Monument as a cone for itself. How cute.

“I want a cone of Irish ice cream please.”

After a while at this quiet urban park, we continued our journey. This Viking tour truck passed us by and those people on it were making a battle cry of some sort and I find it cute haha. Look at their horned helmets.

The tour guide told us that in the beginning, the famous Irish rock band- U2 used to hang around a lot in one of the buildings across the river, now called as the Clarence Hotel. In 1992 Bono, U2 lead guitarist, bought the place and refurbished and converted it into a five-star 49-room hotel.

We then passed by Ha'penny Bridge.

It was getting late and we decided to have our last stop at Temple Bar. Temple Bar is not a bar. It is a place (where there are many bars) which consists of mainly cobble-stoned streets with restaurants.

The street art at the alleys is impressive, vivid and hipster-ish. I LIKE!

You have to be a hipster to blend in well. Like this guy right here. “No worries,” said the skull headed guy in tux.

The restaurants in Temple Bar are traditional Irish pubs and usually have live performers, singers, comedians every night, especially during weekends. This is the best place in Dublin to hangout and have a drink or meal. Nightlife here in Temple Bar is definitely noteworthy. This is where the good stuffs are happening in Dublin. I don’t think this place ever sleeps. It becomes more beautiful and more crowded after evening.

My uncle wanted some Indonesian cuisine that night. The Chameleon Indonesian Restaurant was rated 4.5 stars on Trip Advisor, so we decided to give it a try. No doubt, their food was good!

And that pretty sums up my Dublin trip! :D No, I’m not done yet. Now view my snapchat videos. I’m serious. (Not) joking.

I purposely downloaded my Snapchat story so that I can let all of you watch :’) Sorry if it’s blurry and laggy and all.

Have you ever been to Ireland? Comment below and let me know which places in Ireland that you have been to. I would love to know :) (planning for my next trip heheh)

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