Monday

In love with Ireland




Going to Ireland was very different from travelling around the USA or M'sia. Half the charm of Ireland is spending lots of time in the small, quaint Irish towns. 




I'd recommend spending a couple of days in Dublin, but spend more time out in the middle of nowhere at small bed and breakfasts:D -leaves you closer to the castles and sites you want to visit. You'll come away with a better view of the romantic Ireland that most travellers including myself went to see.


Best way to see Ireland is to either rent a car or take a bus/train to get around great country side and small towns along the way. Our hotel was barely a 5 minute cab drive away from the shopping streets which looked quaint and original… but because we had landed in the early hours, the shopping streets were not yet open, nor were our rooms ready, so we decided to go walk outside - a perfect day, complete with a musical merry-go-round and the nicest cafes surrounded us. With grey skies, threatening to rain sitting in a cafe with a warm cappuccino suddenly Dublin became the most happening city in Ireland - I guess when we are less hungry we actually appreciate the subtle beauty, the calm perfection of this, very old yet extremely modern city! After a leisurely breakfast we headed to a multi brand super store, very avant-garde and did some early shopping :DD



The cold and the rain were no deterrents for us – we visited an art gallery and where delighted to see Leonid Afremov’s vibrant paintings-  a celebration of art and colours,  a 10min walk took us to the chocolate factory that warmed our hearts on a cold and wet  rainy, rainy day:DD






About noon we headed for the Guinness Factory tour ( a tip: buy the tickets on-line to save yourself from long queues) 
which gets a big thumbs up, because what you are really paying for is getting up to the top to enjoy a pint with a gorgeous view of Dublin City. We skipped the guided tour which felt slow, and boring – headed to the Gravity bar with views of the city and the free pint. There is a great atmosphere and as the sun decided to warm us nicely, we started falling in love with Ireland. Dare I quickly add here, Guinness is not to my taste (it was my first and last try of it) :D


Of course you can't go to Dublin and not visit Temple Bar. Irish atmosphere is contagious here! You don't
pay to get in and some nights they have live music. Funky shops, eclectic cafes, hordes of stylish young Europeans have made Temple Bar, a definite pit stop whether in Dublin for a day or a week. Get your bearings in the day time then explore the night-life! Tante Zoes- American, Creole, European Temple Bar, Dublin's own French Quarter for lively Cajun/Creole restaurant…much, much to take in here















Book of Kells was fascinating, even if you're not Christian or religious. The detail, the artwork - simply amazing. Before you go, however, read up a little on it. It is so much more impressive it you know at least a little before you go. Be prepared for the crowds. A place that clearly belonged to earlier times- has beautiful architecture, cobble-stone pavements, campanile, student chatter & bustle - all add to the great sense of history of this perfectly located university, with its wonderful libraries & the Book of Kells as samples of all that is on offer.

Day one we had packed in much, were dead beat with a longish flight behind us, and the non-stop touring since early hours, we stopped at a delicatessen, had some coffee  and waffles to revive our flagging energies, bought some wonderful pastry for our ‘after lunch dessert the next morning’ - except, it didn't make it - we ate it as a late night snack! :DD

Dublin’s Grafton street is another awesome lively part of the town. The street is booming with street vendors, entertainers and uber cool designer shops. The coffee shops offer wonderful treats with high energy levels. It is the main shopping street in Dublin – need deep pockets as the stuff is enticing. There are plenty of reasonably priced shops to choose from as well, depending on the budget.



Nice hip atmosphere with many talented buskers all the way up and down the street. It's a place you can easily spend an entire day before you realize the day is over! You can't help but notice the amount of shops that are now closed on Grafton St. –On speaking with the locals, it became apparent, that the high rents are unsustainable in a country that does not understand the perils of expensive property. A wake up for Bombay?


Day 2 early hours saw us back on Grafton Street but now it was near empty with only a few solitary people on their way to office buildings , or darting around delivery trucks. The bronze Molly Malone statue fits the street quite well in the morning light without tourists posing in front of her for photographs; however, her low cut dress seemed a little daring for the sunrise! :DD\





We anchored at Bewleys Caf√© – for Tea (and coffee) and scones - the magic of hot water pouring  into the cup, admiring the stained glass, the artwork, and the highly decorated architectural details of the 1920s building, simply make you wish to linger on forever over your cuppa. We ordered takeaways, stepped out the front door onto the colorful entrance tiles before continuing our stroll towards St Stephens Green (park) – where we parked ourselves on lovely benches to see the swans and ducks scuttle about on the pond in front of us until our tea and coffees were done with.  Day 2 morning bliss of quiet soon gave way to click-clack sounds of dress shoes hitting the footpaths, rumbling buses, taxis, delivery trucks, and other furious sounds of the city.






















We saw a heckalot sights and sounds – many captured in the mind, at the risk of making this post too long, shall take a break now, will look at posting another post on Dublin soon.


19 comments:

Rahul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rahul said...

Very well written and very well clicked too ))
Sometimes you don't need to explain the beauty of a place to someone, all you need is to show them the pic. That’s case with this post too.
I always thought of Ireland as a rude nation but after reading this post I stand corrected.
Dublin is one of the top tourist destinations in world and now I know why.
The only things I see in this post is fun lotsa fun:D
I'm sure U must have had lotsa fun too..
Though all the pics posted are awesome but I do have coupla fav 1’s--- The Painting, Temple bar gonna b there 4 sure lol and the lamp post…

It’s a beautiful post thanks for sharing :)looking forward for next one :)

Anon said...

Wonderful travelogue:) What about uploading pics to Flicker ?

Rajesh

Anon said...

Its lovely...both pictures n narration. So jealous :(

Arpit

Anon said...

Nicely detailed out - makes me want to go there. Need to save :)

Ajay

sheila said...

I will never forgive myself for missing you by a day:(, you gotta come back again Mee, soon!!!!

sanjiv said...

Hey Brilliant post! Loved it! Did you also travel to Galway? Wish I knew you were headed to Ireland, wlda given you some tips from our trip there. Looking forward to more post on this country.

Anon said...

Hey Mee,

You do write beautifully and make the experience come alive for even those who have not visited the place.
What an awesome talent to have !

Love
PP

Anon said...

:) Read 2 paras...but surely will complete before I sleep :) Love your
expression as always...

Vandy

Anon said...

Brilliant post M- And longer than the previous ones! When I read your posts, I just hope the post doesn't end! You create the right mood - thanks to some wonderful imagery in your writing.

Ajoy

Aijaz Ahmed Pitafi said...

Thanks for a virtual trip to Ireland, first one ever :)

R Niranjan Das said...

Nice account of your travel.

http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/04/the-valley-view.html

RavneetSingh said...

My word!!! You are a brilliant photgrapher and what a fab subject to show off! Loved the post:D

Neeraj said...

You have beautifully captured, both, in words and photographs, the "old Irish charm" as they say :)

Mee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anon said...

Wow , amazing desc of Ireland. Am certainly going to put in my next escapade list. Thnx for sharing, it's well written as usual:)

Sachin

melinda said...

Niceeee> Its like a story narration, I wish never ends. Lovely.

Anonymous said...

A photographer's delight...

desi Traveler said...

These are really good pictures capturing the essence and life of Irish life..