Dublin Trip

I've just gotten back from my trip to Dublin and I must say that the Irish people are incredibly friendly. I had a great time meeting them. The rest of Dublin, however, was a different story. I've been to a number of major European cities such as London, Paris and Amsterdam, and I must say that Dublin was a bit of a disappointment compared to them. Ireland has a booming economy and is an economic powerhouse in Europe, but it's economy languished for a long time and the city of Dublin, in many ways, appears to reflect this. Even though I tried to be circumspect in my views, the Irish picked up on my hesitancy to answer the "what do you think of Dublin" question and more than once said "Dublin is not Ireland". I was urged to check out Cork, Galway and the country side to get a better perspective. The Irish were so friendly that I'll have to go back and take them up on this.

The Irish population today is just over 4 million (one estimate I read puts it just below 6 million), which is rather surprising given that in 1841, a census recorded their population as being over 8 million! The reason, of course, is largely due to the Irish Potato Famine of the mid-1800s. A fungus wiped out their main source of food, turning potatos into a black sludge. Many Irish starved to death and others fled the country. This led to the beginning of the Irish diaspora. The diaspora may have started with the famine, but joblessness, religious oppression and political difficulties continued to drive the diaspora, though it appears to have slowed down and possibly ended by the late 20th century.

Turning away from the history lesson, here are the photos!

A friend from the US was visiting (I'll not name or show her as I didn't ask permission) and we took a five hour train trip to Holyhead, a town in northwest Wales. From there, we boarded the ferry to Dublin. On the way, I managed to get pulled aside by security for a careful inspection of my luggage. Curiously, while the guard went through my clothes and looked for hidden compartments, I was not searched, not were the pockets on the outside of my bag.

In any event, we boarded the ferry and settled down for the three hour ride. It was a much nicer ride than I was expecting. They had a restaurant on board (and a bar I visited later).

We stayed at the Grafton Guest House, a pleasant hotel in the heart of the nightlife area of Dublin. Though you see a single bed and yes, we shared it, we're just friends :)

And the view from our window (not much of a view, but the "Hogans" pub was great).

And some miscellaneous shots I took around Dublin:

The bank of Ireland:

Trinity College:

And while heading to Dublin Castle, I came across this building, but I was afraid to ask:

And a couple of scenes from the castle:

And what would Dublin be without a thriving horse market in the city! After talking with some of them, I gathered this wasn't a regular event, but I was surprised, particularly when I had to jump out of the way of an out of control pony.

And a couple of their police:

Here you can get a pretty good idea of how pollution is damaging many of their buildings.

And because you wanted to know, here's where your delightful pint of Guiness comes from:

I definitely intend to return to Ireland at some point if for no other reason than to see more of it than Dublin. The people were so friendly and photos I've seen of the rest of the country make it clear that there's much more to explore here.

It all looks so beautiful. And you my friend look like a stud. Glad to see things are still going well for you.
Great post and photos. I lived in Dublin for almost a year when I was 20 so it was a bit nostalgic. You came up on my "Friends of friends" page and you seem interesting. Mind if I add you?
I had been at a college where I was very unhappy and was set to go to a new one when i realized i need to take some time off to kind of get my head screwed on straight again. So with 2 weeks notice, almost no money, no job and no place to live, off I went. It was a wonderful experience, although very very hard at times. I am sure you can relate!
Sounds like one hell of an adventure. How did you pull it off? Didn't you have immigration issues or anything like that?
There is a program in through STA Travel where anyone under 26 could apply to work abroad for 6 months to a year. I think the program has changed A LOT (including confirming jobs in advance now) but it was a really challenging and fun thing to do. Certainly cleared my head out!
Two of my great grandparents left Ireland and immigrated to Canada due to the potato famine. Wonder if Ireland would like to adopt me...

Dublin looks interesting enough for me to give it a go. :D

How goes the apartment search in London area?
Haven't started looking yet. The company and I have finally agreed to terms, but approval for said terms still has to be given.
good to hear you went to Ireland the "proper" way! my dad and i once did a kind of day trip type thing where we went overnight to Dublin, went by train to Limerick Junction [near Tipperary], from there to Waterford and then back to Dublin, and returned home overnight again. there really is nothing like boarding a train in Wolverhampton just before midnight, arriving at Holyhead at about 2.30am, then crossing the Irish Sea while it got light.

my overriding impression of Ireland from that visit and a subsequent one to Wexford [in the southeastern corner, for a few days rather than a flying visit!] is that the countryside is very lush and green and a lot more natural than much of that in the UK [or at least most of England]. Wexford is definitely somewhere to visit when you next visit Ireland, by the way. it's a lovely train ride from Dublin as well.
I have to say that I've never been keen on Dublin, but the last time I went I was shown around by a friend who has moved back there, and it was the best visit I'd had. The people are friendly all over Ireland. Next time try Cork, I prefer it
That is an absolutely fantastic picture of you. You look great... and I miss you.

Not that those 2 things are related. :)
You look hot and those look like raver-cops.

I love the gold ball sculpture. What is it called or supposed to be for, do you know?
Damn, check out the handsome! And ponies too. It's like Christmas or something.