Saturday, February 22, 2020

September Evening in Dublin

Dublin, Ireland
Travel Period: September 2019

It was nice to visit Dublin again. A rather quick visit though as I was here for a business meeting. Because it's work travel I did not have any specifics in the plan but wanted to make use of the free time to see the city a bit again.

This is the lively Temple Bar district, the night hangout of the city locals and many tourists. After dinner, I managed to visit the famous bar of the same name (see the building in red on the corner in full lights glory) and watched some live show, albeit very short as it was a raucous place. sadly, I am not built for these kinds of places anymore.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

So this quick business trip to Dublin started on the wrong foot. It also ended on the wrong foot by the way, but I will talk about this in my next post.

For some reason, I forgot to bring my work pumps!

When I travel these days, I try to travel in comfort, meaning I try to wear comfortable shoes unless I do day business trips where I go straight to the meeting from the plane then I wear my work shoes, which are usually pumps or high heeled boots. In this case, I will be arriving at the end of the day in Dublin and my meeting the next morning, so I have my white (tennis) shoes.

Good thing that while I was still at Schiphol Airport, I realised that I forgot to bring my work shoes. I cannot imagine showing up in my tennis shoes with my business clothes. H&M has a branch in the airport and came to the rescue with a super affordable 20 Euro velvet black pumps. I could not be more than ecstatic to see and purchase them.

The flight was ok and I arrived in Dublin just before dusk.

Similar to the UK, they drive on the left-hand side of the road.  I took the Airlink Express shuttle which was quite cheap and fast.

The hotel I booked was not far away from the bus stop, in fact, just 50 feet away, so very handy for me. I chose the hotel, something like a lodge because it was walking distance to my meeting, near the Airlink Express shuttle stop and right in the city center. All the important elements in a short business journey that I need.

I really do not like being given a twin room when I am obviously travelling alone! I much prefer a double bed. It's become a pet peeve recently.

I did not waste time, I wanted to walk a bit before darkness falls. Not also sure where to eat but I am craving for a light seafood meal. I have read of a new pop up joint near the Temple Bar area called Klaw that I would like to check out.

But first things first, I need to stretch my legs and do a bit of walking and sightseeing.

The "Spire of Dublin" ahead, also called the Monument of Light.

Walking on the busy O'Connell Street, the main avenue of Dublin.

Then I arrived at the Liffey River. I remember this area pretty well many years ago when I visited the city. Not much has changed really. I thought it would be a good moment to take a souvenir picture of myself on the boardwalk. I am getting old and melancholic these days as I do not fancy taking pictures of myself anymore.

Just across this river is the Temple Bar. It is slowly getting dark, so I wanted to eat and have an early night's sleep.

Finally arrived at the Temple Bar area! I went around inspecting bars and taking pictures for half an hour. This is really a place to have drinks after work.

This reminds me of my visit here many years ago where I met a German girl and some crazy Irish locals from Cork attended a Gaelic football championship. How I met them was a funny one. We went out drinking the night until the wee hours in the morning. The goal was actually to go to Temple Bar but we got stuck on the first bar we visited on the Liffey River.

Then I checked out the restaurant called Klaw (by Niall Sabongi) which have very good reviews but it was so full and the waiting time was like half an hour. Even the tables outside were all taken. I was really curious about their crab and I was not going to give up the night without eating what I am craving for.

I got into a chat with one of the waitresses and she told me there is another joint around the corner called The Seafood Cafe. I went there instead.

Unfortunately, Klaw was so busy.

I arrived at the Seafood Cafe which was not busy so I only hoped the crabs here will do justice. When you are craving for something, you just want it.

They have quite an offering but I only want one item: Crab and it must be cold on ice. And oh, a chilled wine, preferably a Chardonnay to do with it. The oysters were tempting but I reminded myself I am on a business trip and need to remain on budget.

This was quite nice and fresh, I could have another order really.

After dinner, I walked back to the Temple Bar area. I am very tempted to have a drink at one of the lively bars but I was not really sure. So I decided to just walk around for another half an hour, taking pictures along the way.

This area of Dublin has many mural paintings on the walls of buildings, so it was a nice arty walk.

And I thought, what the heck, I am going inside this iconic bar and have a drink. Just 1 glass of small beer for the night before I go back to my hotel.

So I went inside Temple Bar Pub of the same name as the street and district and I was greeted with so much noise and loud music.

My first instinct, obviously I intended to drink, was to go to the bar, but the path to the bar was nowhere to be seen because of the insane crowds around me. I was engulfed in a sea of people moving to the rhythm of light bantering, laughing, singing, talking and that overpowering live music. I honestly don't like to be squeezed in between bodies and all sorts of odor around me.

Forget the beer, let me go check the live band. As I wielded my way to the stage, the crowds just got rowdier. I thought to myself that this is really fun if you are into this kind of scene.

I am not. So I left. I couldn't handle the noise and the crowds. For sure I would enjoy this if I was in my 20s or early 30s.

I passed by a shop selling Cornish pasties and realised I am a bit hungry. The crab legs I had for dinner didn't hold me that long. I have also reminded myself many times that I need to visit Cornwall and try the real Cornish pasty.

Anyway, the pasty was hot. It was okay I think. The pasty I had in Bath, UK was much better.

Time to head back to the hotel to get a good night's sleep.

Wait on my next post on Dublin, on my last day in the city which turned into a nightmarish ending in the evening, or should I say the day, er the next day!

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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