By Jacqui Gray
With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, I thought it was only fitting me to write about the four days I spent in Dublin being an absolutely perfect tourist.
You may have noticed I am a terrible tourist. But am pretty proud of my recent Dublin efforts and most surprising to me, I really (yes, really!) enjoyed it.
Look at me check off these big ticket items I got to see in my short visit:
Guinness Storehouse – the most popular tourist attraction in Dublin. Think Willy Wonka for beer lovers. Spanning seven floors, with a giant pint, this multimedia spectacular brings every Dublin tourist flocking through the doors – in fact, passport control should be located here! That is how many tourists pass through their doors! Normally, this bodes well for me having a passionate dislike for a place. It may have been the promise of booze at the end of the tour, but I did enjoy myself. It is always busy (I found it cramped) and more about the “brand” Guinness than the beer. But hey I got a lesson in how to pour one and of course, enjoyed a few.
Crossing the Ha’penny Bridge – is famously known as the first pedestrian bridge to span over the river Liffey. Its name comes from the price pedestrians had to pay (a “halfpenny”) to cross the bridge back when it was built. Today it’s free and leads you into the gorgeous Temple Bar district.
The Temple Bar is probably Dublin’s most iconic pub. Flooded with tourists from around the world and not an Irishman or woman to be found, but it is still a lot of fun. Pretty much the whole Temple Bar area is the same – overpriced drinks, obscene amount of tourist and 100% fun!
Trinity College centrally located and a must see. Don’t be like me and think “pffftt it’s a library I don’t need to pay 14 euro to see a library”. Everyone has told me how good the Book of Kells Exhibit was and I kick myself for not checking it out.
Relaxing and people watching on a rare sunny day in St. Stephen’s Green– I mean what could be more fun than watching local people gingerly step out into the golden sunshine. So rare an occurrence they look like vampires cautiously testing rays of sunshine before dazzling us with their oh so white limbs. Side note – Dublin pubs have an overly optimistic view of how much sun they have with a disproportionate number of outdoor drinking spaces.
St Patrick’s Cathedral is a gorgeous building. This grand medieval cathedral is the tallest in Ireland and If you have a chance to attend a choir recital, take it. Check out the nice little garden area beside it as well.
Leprechaun Museum– named after a wee little man with a pot of gold, features all kinds of folklore and mythology, bringing to life the long history of the faeries and other Irish legends. You get to see rooms full of over-sized furniture and optical illusions, exhibits featuring rainbows and pots of gold after a rain shower. While hearing about cautionary tales, like what happens when you try to catch a leprechaun, stories of mishaps and tragedy like the Children of Lir. Good family fun by day, by night, you get the adult only version – The Dark Lands. As with all tourist attractions and Museums, you end up in an all-too-bright gift shop full of tourist fare and glitter.
So I didn’t set out to see this one, just stumbled across it, laughed my ass off, took a photo and moved on. Such an absurd looking sculpture, later I found out it is the Oscar Wilde Memorial Sculpture. Oooops!
The Proclamation Sculpture – probably the creepiest tribute I have ever come across. It is dedicated to Irish martyrs…actually, that is all I remember… except an overriding feeling of creepy. Okay so maybe this one doesn’t have to be ticked off the must do in Dublin.
I did all of this in two days. What did I do with the remaining two and a half days in Dublin I hear you ask? Did what any self-respecting tourists does in Dublin: I drank Guinness, told tall tales and gorged on the delicious Irish accent!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!