Last weekend, I took Aaron to Dublin for his 21st birthday. We spent three days in the b-eau-tiful capital of Ireland and I am already missing the constant busking, the sound of the Irish accent and – well, of course – the Guinness! I love dipping into another culture that greets me after stepping off of a plane and the Irish one was very special and one I’d quite happily dip back into! A lot of our days involved exploring the city that even looks picturesque with a completely fluffy, grey sky. Through doing so we saw a lot of what makes the island of the green clover just so special.
Three days wasn’t quite enough for Aaron and I to correctly navigate ourselves around the city of Dublin even though it’s almost exclusively where we spent our time. It is huge and we were constantly confused about where we were heading and how to get to where we once were- although the signposts were pretty useful. However the size meant for accidentally finding brilliant places. The Ha’penny Bridge (in the second picture) was a bridge I was delighted to stumble upon (not literally) during the morning of our arrival. Built over the Liffey Bridge, it humbly lead us to another segment of Dublin we, once again, never fully understood. But really, really loved. Almost immediately as we stepped onto the bridge, though, we noticed it seemed to be the home for a couple of people of Dublin. Living in Cardiff for university, I have become increasingly alarmed by homelessness and Dublin hit us with another dose of the grim reality of the ugly side of such beautiful cities.
Finding little spots where we could watch the hustle and bustle of the mostly excitable city was another favourite of the weekend. Whether it was the first cafe we stopped off at or the quirky features of Ireland we found, stopping to evaluate, plan and photograph always provided a dosage of tranquil among the busyness. We visited the Chocolate Cafe in the last hour of our trip and despite having that toddler I DON’T WANNA GO feeling, sat on the window seats brought another happy memory. Looking out to the main shopping high street while the sky turned dark blue and the Christmas lights sparkled is an image that will probably stick by me for ever. Despite liking the quiet, the beach and the greenery, cities can be quite lovely and somewhere I see myself a lot of the time.
When researching Dublin (keeping my excitement about the trip at bay so I didn’t slip up and tell Aaron all about it before his birthday) I was delighted to see Dublin’s sightseeing can add up to a grand total of $0. We wandered around Dublin Castle while I pretended it was my new home. We accidentally became students of Trinity College and adored its stunning buildings and bubbly atmosphere. We had a ponder through Merrion Square which is home to a sculpture of the brilliant Oscar Wilde. Having studied A Woman of No Importance at A Level I felt like quite the expert as I chatted away to Aaron. As we walked back we soaked up some more culture by browsing through the National Gallery of Ireland. All free and all extra lovely memories filed away from our trip.
The city of trams (like a… tube… on the road) and crossings that beep like an alien gun; the city where I firsthand heard an Irish man say “fantastic” (goals); the city an hour away from my university city that allowed me to experience my first (glorious) try of lobster, steak and Guinness pie as well as a Guinness Irish stew accompanied by fries made out of pancakes. The city that made some of my favourite memories!
~ Kat ~