Last weekend we had the opportunity to make a quick weekend trip to Ireland to see a co-worker run the Dublin marathon and explore the city a bit. We booked a cheap Ryanair flight (big mistake; more on that later), booked beds in a hostel, and got excited to see the famed Dublin, if only for a few days.
Our simple little trip soon proved anything but. Due to Ryanair’s policy of requiring that non-EU passport holders to have a passport check at the check in desk before going through security (a policy we somehow didn’t follow), we weren’t allowed to board our 9:40 flight out of Gatwick to Dublin. About $175 and 4 hours later we were able to rebook (and successfully board) another flight to Dublin. It made for an interesting morning and taught us lots about reading every bit of information on a boarding pass.
We eventually did get to Dublin, and got a taxi through the torrential downpour to meet our co-workers at our hostel. The hostel was really cool and trendy, with a definite hipster vibe going on. It even had a really cool bar where we had some MUCH deserved drinks before dropping off our bags in our room. The room was nice as well; it was clean and the furnishings were new, and the bathroom was a nice size and freshly cleaned. We left our bags in a locked drawer under one of our beds and headed out to wander around Dublin and get some dinner.
Dublin is centered around a river, giving it a very European feel. Most of the buildings are old and beautiful and hold centuries of history. We stopped for our very first pints of Guinness before heading on to a tiny Italian restaurant nestled between countless other brick buildings. It was obviously family owned and the food was delicious! Because Laila and I had to spend so much on the flight to get to Dublin, the other girls made sure dinner was taken care of for us, a very sweet gesture.
We went to bed early that night so the girls could rest up for the marathon the next day. We were up bright and early the next morning to wish them luck on their epic run, and raced to catch them again a few miles down the course. After we saw the girls run by for the first time Laila and I broke off to explore Dublin. We mostly wandered the streets, looking for trinkets to bring home and exploring the ins and outs of the cosy city.
When the girls were done with their marathon we met back up for drinks and some fries (chips in Brit speak, of course). Then the runners went up for a shower and the other three of us went to the Guinness factory! It was really more a museum of Guinness and its history, but when it was over we got a free pint in the bar high atop the building. The 360 degree view of Dublin was gorgeous, and the beer was pretty great too. After having a conversation with a guy who happened to have gone to high school in Texas and knew Laila’s cousin (CRAZY small world!) we started the trek back to the hostel to freshen up before dinner.
Dinner the second night was at a place called The Bank; a super nice restaurant that, shockingly, used to be a bank! Being in the restaurant felt like spending an evening in The Great Gatsby; the walls were beautifully adorned with gold carvings and the ceilings were painted beautifully. I had lots of fresh oysters (yum!) and we tried Irish coffee (I was real disappointed that it looked like chocolate, but tasted like liquor…). Laila and I had a VERY early morning the next day to catch our 7:40am flight, so we said goodnight to the other ladies and headed to bed.
Our trip home was much smoother than the one over, but because of a nasty storm in London the day before I was still about 15 minutes late for work and INSANELY tired. Despite all the setbacks and troubles along the way, I’m glad I got to spend a little time in Dublin. I’d love to go back and see the natural beauty that Ireland has to offer, but that’s for another time.