My cousin Siobhan lives in Dublin and has for the past 15 years or so. I haven’t seen her since she was last in North Carolina which was in 1999 I think… So it’s been 12 good years since we’ve seen each other! I found some cheap flights online that just so happened to coincide with a week off-work she was taking, so we planned the trip!
I left Thursday morning and took the FrogBus from Perpignan to Girona airport. The bus was kind of late, but luckily there was no line at the airport so I walked right onto the flight. Then I flew from Girona to Bristol, England. In Bristol, I had about 4 hours to kill before my flight to Dublin. So I relaxed, went through security, watched some tv, had a coffee and a sandwich. With about 35-40 minutes to spare before my flight, I wandered to the gate and got in line. But I was one of the last people to do so. They scanned my boarding pass and then said….”Sorry we can’t let you onto this flight without your boarding pass being stamped by RyanAir passport-check, which you can find at the ticketing desk.” Oh my god!
I freaked out because this gate was about 1/2 mile from the ticketing desk, and the line was already moving to get onto the plane!! I started running, back through security, down to the desk for the stamp, got the stamp, then back through security where I had to unpack my computer and all that again, then the 1/2 mile run back to the gate. When I got there, they said, “Sorry the flight left! Just pay 100 euros, then you can get on the next one!” Aughh! I was so gutted and I had already used my free 30 minutes of wifi, and I hadn’t written down my cousin’s number to call her. Long story short, I waited about 3 more hours and in 2 wrong lines, paid $10 for more internet, and (I found out later) NINETY DOLLARS in credit card charges for using the pay phone, and 100 euros for the next flight!!! Haha….Jacqueline’s travel advice: Never use a pay phone! Pay for internet and use Skype!
I got to Dublin about 9pm and Siobhan met me at the airport. It was so great to see her… she looks just the same as I remembered! We went to her house and I met Joe again, and their two boxer-mix dogs Holly and Iggy. We just sat and had a glass of wine and chatted. (We had this great wine called Chocolate Block…I recommend it haha)
The next day we went to the Archeology exhibits at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. The best part of the exhibits I think was the bodies of people who died in the bogs and have been preserved and mummified.
We had a great lunch at Le Pichet, one of Siobhan’s favorite French restaurants in the city. We walked around Temple Bar, saw the Spire, the “tormented testicle” art at the Central Bank, and had mint tea at a Tunisian hookah lounge.
We walked all around different parts of the city I can’t exactly remember… I loved seeing the double-decker city buses!
Haha…and at the cross-walks, they have “look left” or “look right” painted on the ground. I guess because there are so many tourists, you can easily walk before looking the correct way! That night we went to a friend’s house for a girls night and had great wine and cheese and other munchies. It was great meeting Siobhan’s friends and we didn’t leave until many hours and several glasses of wine later. 🙂
On Saturday, we walked around to all the markets around the city. I love markets, and the first one we went to was pure heaven!! It was all incredible food – Mexican (which is such a novelty to me now!); fresh oysters; fresh olives and dried fruits, hummus, and tapenades; pastries and freshly baked bread; sausages and sauerkraut; too bad I had just eaten! But Siobhan had made fresh hot scones for breakfast which we ate with butter, jam, and fresh creme…amazing!
We went to some more food markets and flea markets. Then Siobhan showed me this old Georgian townhouse that has been converted to a high-end shopping center…it’s incredibly beautiful. We walked around St Stephens green (which was also lovely!),
and then met Joe for a pint of Guiness at a bar near their house.
We took a long walk along the canal by their house with the dogs,
and then finally went for a great dinner at a place called The Cheese Pantry.
The only slightly-unpleasant part of the trip were allergies I was still dealing with – and I was having these splitting headaches that continued for about a week after I got home. Luckily they are all gone now!
I was sad to go in the morning, but it was such a nice visit! Dublin was a beautiful city, and it was so nice getting to reconnect with Siobhan and Joe. Thanks so much, again, for your hospitality… It was great seeing you both!