I love Airbnb. Most of my generation has used it at some point or another. But… before Airbnb showed up with its fancy algorithms to connect hosts with guests all over the world, there was the old school BnB. And Ireland is the perfect place to re-experience the traditional BnB. And before you worry about ratings and reviews, registered Irish BnBs are star rated by Fàilte Ireland: the National Tourism Development Authority. Whilst Booking.com has some BnB options, I found it fairly limited if you’re looking for something off the beaten path. A bit more Googling later, I found what I was looking for.
After a week of admittedly very good pub grub, my palate was desperate for a change. And no, I didn’t want Indian food or Chinese food. I decided to save that for when I got back. Hey – I do not go to a far away country to feel like I’m back home. A quick Google search later, I found Damascus Gate: a Syrian and Lebanese Restaurant on Dublin’s Camden Street Upper. It was Friday night and we didn’t have a reservation, but we managed to get a table for two.
Northern Ireland. A country known for its castles, Celtic and Christian monuments, and ‘Troubles’ of the 20th-century. It isn’t a place I thought I’d ever find myself, but whilst here I managed to see a little bit of it.
In the Republic of Ireland, the signage on the roads are in Irish first and English second. As I cross the border, I see the very first sign written only in English. “Welcome to Northern Ireland,” it reads. Some vandals have decided to black out the ‘Northern’ so it reads ‘Welcome to Ireland’.
The highlight of the day and the reason why we did this long drive. The Cliffs of Moher are often touted as Ireland’s Most Visited Natural Tourist Attraction. The advertisers weren’t lying. There were LOADS… and I do mean LOADS of people there. After the LONG LONG drive, I was excited to finally arrive at our long overdue destination. It all sounded like a good idea when we were planning the trip – but the moment I arrived at the super famous Cliffs of Moher, I realised that I’m scared of heights. Oh yes. It’s a childhood problem.
Two teetotallers cannot be trusted to attend a booze tour. We should know better. We don’t. So we decide to do two things that are a ‘must-do’ on the Dublin bucket list. We decide to go to the Jameson Whiskey Bow Street Tour and the Guinness Storehouse Brewery Tour. Hey – just cause we don’t drink doesn’t mean we should miss out on all the fun. But is it fun if you’re not drinking?
Dublin feels like an old friend I haven’t met in a while. I’ve changed, but my old friend is same old same old. Days in Dublin start late and finish late. I don’t mind the starting late part, but I don’t care much for the finishing late part. I’m not big on the pubbing culture. Dublin feels like a mix between Leicester and Melbourne. It’s a little sleepy and slow like Leicester, but the food and pub culture is very reminiscent of Melbourne – where I lived for five years.