It feels like an absolute age since I sat down to write anything and to be perfectly honest it's because I have been stumped for what to talk about. For anyone who knows me in real life, my chatterbox nature might make that hard to believe but it's true! I've been really struggling to find my voice, my why, and that fire that started up this whole thing. To solve this problem, I did what any rational human being would do and I booked a less than 24 hour trip to Dublin last week! I went with Cam (you can see his lil’ face in that Temple Bar pic!) and off we went to Dublin on Tuesday morning, returning back in London Wednesday night.
Now that we're back and all my photos are edited and the vlog is live, it feels only right to share the details of our mini adventure, so that if you should find yourself in a creative rut, you'll also be able to book a £30 return trip to Dublin (accommodation included!) for just under 24 hours in order to reignite those creative flames and continue to share your passions with the world!
DAY ONE: TEMPLE BAR & GUINNESS STOREHOUSE
We flew out with Ryanair from London Stansted on Tuesday morning at 10am, arriving in Dublin at 11am! Since I booked our tickets the week before and we visited in an off season, our tickets were only £20 for a return flight. Since we were travelling light (read: one backpack each) when we arrived at Dublin airport, we headed straight for the buses and bought some return Airlink tickets to the city for an easy €12. We then headed to the Temple Bar area, home to Dublin's famous Temple Bar and a whole array of other gorgeous pubs and restaurants. After a quick photoshoot (typical!), we headed off to find our hostel, which was right in the heart of the city. We stayed at Kinlay House in a room of 24, which sounds absolutely insane, but we were only there for one night and we got free WiFi and breakfast was included! For €10 a night, I'd call that a steal!
After checking in to the golden hostel, we took 30 minutes to rest up as we had both been up at an ungodly hour in order to get to the airport. We figured a quick kip wouldn't halt us in our exploring and I'm glad we decided to take it easy before heading to the Guinness Storehouse! Now, before we went to visit this amazing brewery, I thought it was going to just be another cash grab exploiting the cities main export. Am I kind of right? Maybe - but only if you don't find the process of beer making and the hundreds of years worth of history behind a key export interesting. Our tickets for the storehouse were €18 each, which included a free pint at the very top of the building. At first I was skeptical, as this would be the most we spend on any one attraction, but after trekking up 7 stories of Guinness making history, learning about everything from how Arthur Guinness signed a 9000 year lease on this building to how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness - I almost felt like I was committing highway robbery in broad daylight.
The staff at this place were so knowledgeable and we got to do everything from a proper taste test teaching us how what flavours and smells we should be getting from any one pint, to a walk through history of the marketing behind Guinness from their very first advertisement in the newspaper to their sponsorship of the Six Nations! I think a highlight of this day was definitely that at the end of the tour of the storehouse, which is for the most part a self-guided tour, you emerge at the top of the building to a bar with a 360° view of the whole city of Dublin - and OH MY, does it just take your breath away. Sure, the place was very crowded, but we got to the top just as the sun was setting to enjoy our perfectly poured pint, straight from the storehouse itself!
After nursing our pints and enjoying the sun streaming in through the windows, we decided to head back to the hostel to relax a bit before dinner. We originally decided to head to Trinity College and the Ha’penny bridge to get some sunset pictures, but I think our 2 hours in the Storehouse coupled with about 5 hours of sleep the night before, meant we were ready to just take it easy and get some rest. We headed to a pizza place for dinner with some old friends of mine who are local to Dublin (hey guys! thanks for dinner!) and my eyes were opened up to the sad realisation that I wouldn't be in town long enough to try all of the delicious food! Kind of just means, I have to head back another day right? Well, following on from dinner we explored some of the bars around town from the Porterhouse to the Stag's Head, closing the night off with some Irish whiskey, which put us straight to bed!
DAY TWO: TRINITY COLLEGE, HA’PENNY BRIDGE, & MUSEUMS
Day two started at a bright and early 8:30am as we had to check out of our hostel by 10. We packed our backpacks and headed down for our complimentary breakfast of coffee and toast (I think I ate my bodyweight in peanut butter!) before heading out to explore Christ Church Cathedral and Trinity College. Now, I have no strong feelings about Cathedrals but Cam loves them so off we went. The entry was €7 for each of us, which felt a bit steep, but I noticed if you has a Do Dublin card (one of those cards to maximise your sightseeing), you would have been awarded free entry! We decided against the card as we were there for such a short time but if you're there for 2 to 3 days, I can see it really being worth the money! We explored the cathedral and the crypts, which housed a lot of interesting artefacts dating back to the Tudors. Like I said, I'm no cathedral enthusiast so this was definitely not my highlight, no matter how beautiful the stained glass is!
Following on from the Cathedral, we decided we would end our trip visiting some of the local museums, while taking some small detours to Trinity College, Ha’penny Bridge, and the Spire before heading back to the airport. We hit Trinity College first, and although I found it super weird to just walk up to a University that students actually attend, the moment I walked through that first arch to see their iconic architecture I was totally blown away. Now, I get why so many people come here for photos. It was truly visually stunning and it was a place that inspired learning. It literally looked like something out of a prospectus guide, and made me very jealous that I didn't think to look to Ireland for my University years! Pining for my University years aside, we snapped up some iconic pictures, made a couple of friends (who thoroughly enjoyed laughing at the lengths I went to to get my photo!) and then headed off the the Little Museum of Dublin.
I could honestly dedicate a whole other post to the experience we had at the Little Museum of Dublin because of how wonderful it was. Entry was €10 for one person and is a guided tour that lasts for 30 minutes. Our tour guide, Joan, was hilarious and so knowledgeable about everything. She led us through the history of Dublin, pointing out artefacts of interest and telling us the stories behind old photographs, radio recordings, and other donated tidbits. The museum itself is privately owned and therefore only has donated items. I think that's truly what gives it, it's charm as you can tell that all of these things have so many stories bursting at their seams, it's hard to not want to spend all your time in there. We ended up spending an 45 minutes in this museum just reading about the history of the Irish times and taking the time to read the hilarious descriptions of some of the artefacts in the museum. If you really only have a few hours in Dublin and want to learn about it - this is definitely the place for you!
Next, it was on to the Natural History Museum also known at the Museum of Dead Things, which we learned had been around since the 1800s, hence their incredible collection of taxidermied animals! It's a small museum but is packed to the brim with any animal you can imagine. It's wild to me that I never truly understood just how BIG a bear is but now that I've seen them so close, I think I'll choose to fight the duck sized horses… (you know what, I'm talking about right?) The museum itself had free entry, which is a beautiful word and I felt like we learned a lot about the sheer size of animals. I can imagine this is an excellent place to go if you're dating an anthropologist or zoologist! Or y’know, if you're just really into animals…
To round off our trip, we walked along the Liffy towards the Ha’penny bridge and our bus stop to the airport. On our way we passed by the Dublin Custom House, which is an absolutely stunning work of neoclassical architecture. You can spot this building from a mile away and it's honestly just so gorgeous. I was a little disappointed it wasn't a museum of sorts, but I guess the government deserves nice buildings too!
Continuing our walk down the Liffy, we finally hit the Ha’penny Bridge, which from my understanding used to cost half a penny to cross, hence the name! It was honestly a little bit underwhelming having just come from the Custom House and a wealth of museums. It was still a cute little bridge but maybe the millennium bridge would have been a little more exciting to photograph. Nevertheless, I'm glad we saw it, crossed it, and snapped a handful of cute pics on the disposable next to it!
And so ended our time in Dublin! I know we missed out of a ton of stuff like Dublin Castle, Grafton Street, and even Leo Burdock's, but it's really just fodder for me to go back! I had an amazing 20 odd hours there and the change of scenery from my little London flat really helped reignite my passion for photography, writing, and film. I know it seems totally crazy to just hop on a plane and effectively go where the wind takes you but I'm young! I'm weird! There's no time like the present! I'm almost shocked that I never thought to do this sooner, but now that I've got one escapade under my belt, I can feel the wanderlust biting at me to book something else. Dublin was a dream and I'll never forget how one short trip managed to pull me out of a less than ideal headspace.
I hope that this little piece helped you plan your own weekend bender to Dublin, or even just gave you a little push to go and book your own spontaneous trip to wherever. I know just getting out of my flat and getting some fresh air always really helps me to reevaluate what's important to me. A piece of my little heart will forever be left in Dublin, and the energy of the city now dances at my fingertips pushing me to put more cool stuff out into the world.
Until next time,