About a month ago, when I was still living in the UK, I got bored with campus and decided to satisfy my wanderlust by taking a weekend trip. After planning for less than 6 hours, and traveling for another 10, I was headed to Ireland. Dublin, to be exact.
Dublin is a lovely city. It wasn’t as large as I had expected, but keeping in mind the fact that Ireland itself isn’t that large, this makes sense. In actuality, the size reminded me of DC. You could walk everywhere you wanted to go, you just wouldn’t necessarily want to. I was only there for a weekend but I got to see everything that I wanted to, so I’m happy. I would’ve been happier if my boots had better arch support and I had packed a scarf and gloves, but I got to go to Dublin so I really can’t complain too much.
Dublin’s one of those cities that doesn’t really have skyscrapers. That makes me happy. Skyscrapers kind of freak me out. I mean, I’m not afraid of them or anything, but I prefer a less obtrusive skyline I guess. Like DC. It’s a fine, stately city and it doesn’t need any of those ostentatiously tall buildings to prove it. The only really tall structure in Dublin was the Spire. It was a nice landmark, in the heart of the city on O’Connell Street, but being in the very center meant I kept getting confused as to which way was which. A lot of the main city-center looks similar.
I did all of the super touristy things you can imagine that Dublin has to offer. I went to Temple Bar and saw a live band perform while I ate a dinner of bangers and mash and had a pint. I went on a Hop-On/Hop-Off bus tour. I went to Phoenix Park and saw the world’s second tallest monolith; I went to the Dublin Zoo and fawned over the red pandas and the arctic fox and the penguins; I took a tour of the Guinness Storehouse and had a pint in the Gravity Bar; I saw Oscar Wilde’s house; I went shopping on Grafton Street; I went on a tour of the Dublin Castle. I walked, and walked, and walked. Here’s some of what I saw:
To conclude, I present my pop culture thoughts on Dublin:
- On the train to the ferry port in Wales, the conductor announced a stop for Croydon. Naturally I thought of Emanda’s British friend Ashley on Revenge as that’s where she’s from.
- Our ferry was named Ulysses. I made the James Joyce connection. One of my traveling companions thought of the Odyssey. Perhaps because of the main character’s name in O Brother, Where Art Thou?
- The ferry ride was 3 hours. Naturally the Gilligan’s Island theme song was stuck in my head the entire journey.
- No matter what country you’re in, radio stations use those annoying slogan jingles promoting themselves.