Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dublin (Part 1)

Our flight leaving the airport was just ever-so-slightly delayed. We'd gotten a notice two months prior to the trip that the times had been changed (from a 19:25 takeoff to a 21:00 takeoff) but that was fine because that gave us time to get dinner before heading to the airport and put us in Ireland at a more reasonable hour.

Once we landed, we headed to our hotel on the Dublin Bus. There are two kinds of buses that will take you into the city center (that I know of): Airlink and the normal Dublin Bus. Airlink costs €6 per person (one way) and the Dublin Bus costs €2.20 per person (one way). I had planned on taking the Dublin Bus from the start so we asked an inspector where we could catch it (since we could only see the Airlink buses when we got outside of the terminal). The inspector tried to tell us that Airlink was the way to go since there wouldn't be another Dublin Bus for another hour, but showed us where to go nonetheless. We decided to check out the other bus stop and it turned out that the inspector was full of poo because some dude that works for the airport said that there was a bus that could take us to the city center in just a few minutes. So yay! We saved €4 each! Just fyi, there are machines where you can buy your tickets, but you are also able to pay the driver.

We got to our hotel around 10:30, which was too early to check in, so we were allowed to leave our bags until 14:00. Here's the google maps link to our hotel. This place was pleasantly sweet and the reviews didn't lie. It was cozy and cute, with helpful and friendly staff. When you walk in, there's a sitting room to the right with a fireplace where they let you wait (to check in, for a taxi, etc.). There was free wifi and easy access to the buses that go back and forth between the city center and Dublin Airport.
sitting room with fireplace

our room










To start off our trip we walked around, exploring the neighborhood around the hotel before we could check in. We walked around O'Connell Street and Henry Street. Eventually, we decided we needed food. We ended up getting breakfast/brunch at a place called 'The Kingfisher.' We ordered some sort of breakfast special, which was only deemed "special" because it came with champagne. John (a.k.a. Cutie Pie Baby Boy or CPBB for short) got the large Irish breakfast while I got smoked salmon on brown bread (since smoked salmon was one of the things on my Irish foods list). While setting us up with our silverware and whatnot, the (Asian) waitress asked me, "Hey, are you Asian?" and I said, "Uh... yes..." and she responded, "I can tell," with a knowing smile. Weirdo! Anyway, when she came back with the champagne, she seemed nervous as she started to open it. The cork didn't budge after she'd untwisted the wire cage so she gave it a little jostle and POP!!! The cork went flying into a wall, right above a gentleman's head (whom she startled pretty badly and could have killed) and then the champagne started bubbling like crazy. But instead of letting it drip onto the floor, she decided to dangle it above our table, allowing it to drown CPBB's breakfast and spilled a bunch on his pants! She was gasping, "Oh shit! Oh shit!" as this was all happening, which probably did not make the cute little family behind us happy at all, considering they had a young, influential son. Anyway, in the end, we got a 10% discount, which wasn't much considering the fact that half of the champagne had been spilled on the floor, but it gave us a fun story to recount.

O'Shea's
On our way back, we hopped into a bar across the street from the hotel, called 'O'Shea's' (which is also a hotel). We stopped by for a few pints. Our first pints of Guinness (of the trip) were yummy! All-in-all, it was a reasonably priced bar with plenty of seating and friendly staff.

To fight jetlag and prepare ourselves for the rest of the trip, we spent the afternoon napping. Not too exciting, but we were sleepy!

The Church
After our nap, we woke up and we were hungry again! For dinner, we went to this place called 'The Church.' This place used to be a church but they converted it into a restaurant and nightclub. They serve more casual (and cheaper) pub food downstairs,where you have to scramble to find your own seating, and fancier (more expensive) food upstairs, where you have to wait to be seated. The staff were really friendly and the ambience was nice. It felt weird to be drinking booze in an establishment once meant to worship God, but I can't deny that the architecture made for a stunning restaurant.
Our food
We decided to eat downstairs, as I was more in the mood for pub food, rather than anything too fancy. CPBB ordered a steak sandwich with chips and a Bulmer's while I had the beef and Guinness stew, complete with a Guinness. The food was really good and service was quick, even though we were sitting in a tiny corner.

The stew was really good: not too rich, not too soupy, and it was perfect because it was also on my list of Irish foods to eat. The steak sandwich was also pretty tasty and the chips were crisp on the outside, mealy on the inside. Perfect!

**By the way, tipping customs in Europe differ from tipping in the U.S. In Dublin, you might find that some places include a 10% tip in the bill, in others, it's sort of up to your discretion. I read somewhere that it's rude to tip bartenders, but it's customary to round up your bill: for example, if your bill was €32.15, you might just round it up to €33 or €34. 10% is a generous tip.**

We could have stayed here into the night (since they are also a nightclub) but we decided to head back to the hotel to get some more rest because we had an early flight to catch in the morning. We asked the hotel to book us a taxi for 4:00 (yes, in the morning, before buses are even running) so that we could be at the airport by 4:30 because our flight was at 6:30. The taxi ended up costing €22.

OMG! And at the airport, after we'd gone through security and we were queued up to board the plane, John realized that he didn't have his boarding pass! He had dropped it somewhere after the security check in. He went to the Ryanair desk and it turned out that the guy at the desk had the pass! We were SO RELIEVED. Phew! Thank the heavens that we lucked out like that.

Next up: Paris!

2 comments:

  1. omg you are so lucky that the ryanair guy didn't charge you €40 to extend his arm out to hand you back your own boarding pass!! Hahahahaha

    ReplyDelete
  2. HAHAHA!! I KNOW! ryanair is ridiculous. money-hungry grubs!

    ReplyDelete

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