Ireland - England 2012

Dublin Day 1

After stopping at Abu Dhabi in the middle of the night and with 36C outside, we touched down at Dublin Airport at around 7:30am and made our way to the baggage carousels.  We went through a security check in which they asked how long we were intending to stay and stamped without further hesitation.  Whilst retrieving the bags, Tom got his immediately but we waited for mine for what seemed to be close to 30 minutes.  It wasn’t just me but there were many others from the plane waiting as well.  It felt like they only had one baggage personnel on hand.  The airport was quite empty.  We then made our way through the final checkpoint: customs.  When you think of customs, you think of massive queues, intense questioning, border police and possibly some tears as you consider the oft chance of being refused entry.  Instead, Dublin’s was a single officer standing in the middle of the exit gate (probably 10 metres wide) who asked where we were from and then left us saying “enjoy our stay”.

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On the plane, Tom told me to wear special hats so that our transport from Royal Meath Pitch n Putt could recognise us.  Tom was there wearing his and I had clipped the cap onto my bag.  We made our way outside to a crowd who had gathered – some had names printed on a card, others were there to welcome their love ones home.  We made our way to the end without any contact and stayed to the side for a little bit.  By the time I got back from a rest break, there had still been no contact.  I had always had my doubts and this did nothing to settle them.  Nonetheless, this was his thing and I had my thing so I suggested we forget it and go on with the 747 Shuttle service to the city as described on my hotel information sheet (and only for 6 Euros).

We checked into our accommodation at the Riverhouse Hotel which was in the middle of the city located in the Temple Bar region.  The room lacked a bar fridge and some cooling but it was to be expected being cost effective (around $90/night) within the city.  I dropped my luggage and proceeded to take a shower.  By the time I got out, Tom had completely emptied his luggage into his drawls – everything.  One interesting object he brought was his own alarm clock.  Couldn’t he have used the one on his watch – I thought.

We got out and started walking around the city.  We visited Dublin Castle which is more modern than some of the other buildings in the city with the Church being the only building left standing time.  In the middle of the court, there were some sand statues which only occur about this time a year.

Next up, we went to a series of food stalls held on the lawns of Christ Church Cathedral which dated back to 1036.  We bought some chicken schnitzels which came with some salads, chips and drink.  It wasn’t that great so I gave most of mine to Tom which he continued to scoff down.  This was actually a good move as later that night, it didn’t quite agree with me but Tom had no issues.

Next we went to St Patrick’s Cathedral, the largest church in Dublin.  St Patrick is Ireland’s patron saint and is recognised in bringing Catholicism to the land.  The cathedral dates back to 1192.  Next to the church was a well maintained park.  We went in and were lucky enough to have the choir singing.

Lastly, we walked to Guinness Storehouse and walked through the 6 or so levels of information/history.