Hello everyone, this is my long-awaited blog series exploring what I got up to on my travels in Dublin.
Of each day of my trip, I will be writing a blog about my unforgettable journey in Dublin.
If you haven’t already seen my previous blog on why I chose to visit Dublin then please feel free to read the blog and pass on your comments.
Before the trip, I had visited Dublin just one time that took place last year. The whole experience was memorable and rewarding, it was the first time I went to the airport to catch a flight and it was the first time I went out on a date, (I was being a bit adventurous).
Back to the subject at hand, if the first experience was hard to go by, this experience definitely was.
Just imagine this scenario, You are 27 years old, you haven’t stayed in a hotel in your life and haven’t been away for a short break for a while.
I wanted to do this trip because I feel I would have been missing out if I opted out of it. Both my aunt and uncle had encouraged me to do something like this or it is the saying
“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today” – Benjamin Franklin
That quote is fitting because we are close to the end of the year now and I feel I have accomplished some achievements by putting myself out there.
I have been passed Dublin a few times on the ferry from Dun Laoghaire but I’ve not actually stayed in Dublin. I feel as I have a job that I can do my own thing.
I liked the idea of visiting Dublin because it felt I accomplished something and as a city I think it has a lot to offer.
These were the places I had written out before my initial visit:
- St Stephen’s Green
- National Botanic Gardens
- Guinness Storehouse
- National Museum of Ireland
- Trinity College
- St Patrick’s Cathedral
- Christ Church Cathedral
- Aviva Stadium
- Merrion Square
- National Gallery of Ireland
- Dublin Castle
- Malahide Castle and Gardens
- Ardgillan Castle and Gardens
- Marlay Park
- Fair view Park
I didn’t feel I would do all of these places in just the one visit but I wanted to do the ones that appealed to me. I intended on visiting Dublin Castle and National Gallery of Ireland.
So when I was booking my trip, I opted to book a flight along with the hotel in the same package.
From my previous experience on going on my first flight last year, I wanted to opt for the time of my flight to Dublin to fly between 8 – 10 in the morning and coming back to Heathrow around 2-5pm. It didn’t matter to me which airline I was booking with but I wanted to book a hotel that was close to the city centre. (I don’t like the idea of booking a hotel by an airport).
I ended up flying with British Airways, I have no favouritism towards British Airways, I just felt the times that I was flying on matched what I was looking for.
In later inspection, I am not fond of the idea of having to check in the day before, it can be a bit of hassle. I also didn’t like the idea of my checked baggage going to one of those port areas. I like the idea of having my one piece of luggage with me at all times on my first flight when I was with Aer Lingus. In my future flights I may consider taking a rug sack with me on the plane.
It felt a bit scary or weird not carrying a suitcase around when loads of people had baggage on them. I was expecting that I would collect my bag after I went through security. As I haven’t flown properly and naive to flying, It took about three people to convince me in the airport that my luggage was fine and getting sent to the plane.
Before my gate was announced, I pondered what I was going to do in the airport, maybe look around and see what shops were available. Luckily I didn’t have to wait long after security to go to the gate.
When I got to the gate and showed the airport staff my boarding pass, I was delighted to be walking on the plane, I had a minor trouble with getting my seat belt on but when I was boarding the plane, I had no nerves about the plane moving and going up to the sky. The fact I didn’t have a window seat didn’t really bother me. The flight was roughly 45 minutes to an hour so it wasn’t too bad.
When I got to Dublin Airport, I collected my bag through the airport conveyor belt. The trouble I found was remembering which bag was mine as most of them were black so it looked very similar. After finding my bag, I then set off and gone through Arrivals and set off to begin my adventure.
All the trips I go in have to have some purpose to it, this one felt like a purpose of the craziness of pulling this one-off. I wrote about it in a number of blogs, although I was brokenhearted and gone on a downward spiral, I wanted to go on this trip because meeting the girl that I met last year was important to me.
I have to say if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have gone on this trip, it takes a special person to convince me to travel by myself and she convinced me twice so I’m very grateful for her, she’s been my inspiration 🙂
I was pleased to see her. I later got something to eat in McDonald’s and she invited me in to her family house where we just chilled out for half an hour or so. She didn’t have to do that so I thought it was a good gesture. I would have done a similar thing if she came to London to visit me. Unfortunately, when we left the house and got into the car, we past her parents along the way so I was a bit unlucky to meet them person. Maybe it was down to fate.
I then got a ride into the city centre. We drove to Dunboyne train station and got the train to Connolly station and then we got the tram (LUAS) to Heuston. It wasn’t a simple route because I’m not accustomed to making that many changes.
I then checked in to the Ashling Hotel which I booked with my flight with. I never stayed in a hotel before so I was quite excited about it. If you’re going to have a break, aim BIG.
I was so glad I picked the hotel because it was close to the city centre but it felt very luxurious, just when you go in it felt fantastic, I’m glad I made the decision to stay in the hotel, even better than that I ordered a king sized bed which I never had before.
I felt so motivated and very rewarded on the day because work can give you certain luxuries and rewards. I have worked in my job for coming close to a year at the time and before then I worked tirelessly to get as much experience as possible to get into the job market. I feel I earned and deserved this break.
Ideally, I wanted to do some sightseeing on the day but I ended up meeting my friend again in the city centre, I can’t remember exactly where I met her but I intended to visit Dublin Castle but unfortunately we thought it was closed so we just visited the Chester Beatty library. The exhibition or display was more to do with displaying texts or books to do with Asia including China and Japan, I didn’t find the exhibition to be for my liking but it was a good experience none the less, it did feel like visiting the British Library.
After our visit we grabbed something to eat. Traditionally I eat a chicken Jalfrezi when I’m coming home from the V&A on a Saturday evening. Ironically when we went out of the Library, there was an Indian takeaway around the corner so we grabbed a curry and got a taxi back to the hotel and ate together at the room I was staying in, probably best so that our food didn’t get cold.
After I ate my curry, my friend went off and I just stayed in the hotel for the evening. I didn’t really plan on anything in the evening apart from the one trip to the bar downstairs for a glass of coke, In the meantime I watched Paddington from the hotel room. Paddington was an interesting film to watch and then I watched Winning Streak and Match of the Day before I went to bed.
Keep your eyes peeled as my blog on Day 2 will be up soon.
Hope you have enjoyed reading Part 1 of my blog, I look forward to hearing your feedback.
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