When it rains, it does it in style here – and it was evident, looking out of the window first thing, that they’d had a bucket-load overnight. And yet, minutes later, it was 14 degrees outside – that’s Dublin weather for you!!!
Up until now, we’d avoided the hotel’s buffet breakfast offering, not because of quality or quantity, but in doing so, it forced us to WALK to find our first meal of the day, rather than lazily falling out of bed and into the Restaurant! Karin S had recommended we tried it – and we’re glad we did! Great food and great variety. Clearly, the rest of Ireland had the same idea, and by the time we got there around 9.30, it was manic. Yummy! a great start to the day.
After getting packed, we then walked to the Smithfield area, about 10 minute walk towards the main drag. When we got there, helped along by the gale-force wind, I’m not sure what we expected, but it all seemed a bit desolate! We didn’t stay long, and as we headed into the City, we discovered a host of Shops that we had somehow missed on our our earlier travels this week – including Arnotts, Ireland’s oldest department store.
We also found a large shopping-arcade - Jervis – which seemed to house all the big names, including M and S (great! we got to cross M & S Earl Grey Tea Bags off the shopping list at home now!).
With our collective retail-therapy habit sorted, it was now time to get back to the serious part of the day – our final cultural experience of the holiday, in the shape of the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History. Conveniently located at the Tram-stop called ‘Museum’ and housed in the impressive ex-Collin’s Barracks, this was a gem of a Museum, charting the history of Ireland at war.
Exhibits from Around the Museum
Wow! What a lot there is to see! This is a very comprehensive collection of memorabilia, and well worth the visit (it’s free to get in), even if you only have a casual interest in Irish history. Brilliant!
Then, it the short walk back to the Hotel, where we retrieved the cases and chilled-out before making our back to Heuston Station, and the flight home.
It’s been a fab break - here are 11 things we learned about Dublin during our stay:-
Everyone is very friendly
The pillar-boxes are green
The Trams make it really easy and cheap to get around
Museums are free to get in
Our hotel had the fastest wireless broadband we’ve ever experienced in the world
The exchange-rate with the Euro made everything very good value
The ‘Molly Malone’ statue has been moved to make way for the Tram network
Weather-wise, it’s perfectly possible to have sun, rain and gale-force wind – all at the same time!
You can mostly tell the age of a car here by the first two digits o their number-plate (ie 11 means 2011)
Guinness tastes exactly the same over here as it does in England
Cheerio Dublin! we’ll be back again soon!!