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Michael’s Travel Diary

Friday, 16 Mar 2007

Location: Dublin, Ireland

MapWhy oh why haven't I done this before???

Firstly, to get it off all of your minds, the blood test came back fine, and apparently my cholestoral is in top notch form too? Didn't know I was getting tested for that! Just have to wait a week or so for the throat swab test to be finalised.

Now... Awesome. How cool is it to be at work on a Thursday avo, then next thing (with a bit of help - thanks for the lift to the airport Nat, and the directions to the hostel!) be in a different city, in a different country having a beer? So cool.

Well, I was rushed. I pakced my bag in that 20 minute window after work before heading to the airport, and unfortunately left the hostel address and registration number at home - oops. But got all of that sorted.

Next... flight was good (1hr), and left on time. My bag was the second one off the plane, and awesome surprise given the recent baggage dramas I have had, and a 20 minute bus ride and I'm in the NE side of the city, a 2 minute walk to the hostel. Much easier than I had anticipated.

Straight away, headed out to Temple Bar - it's an area, not just a bar, and started on the Guinness. I got my 31st request to 'Have a pint for me' from Cari on the way to the airport, and last night got a request from Cherie to 'Have a few'. At last count I have to drink 34 pints of Guinness for other people before I get some for myself! I'm gonna struggle - managed 2 of the beasts last night before switching to lager... a much more expensive option in this city. One advantage of the Guinness is that you end up drinking much less. I will admit, it does taste better than I remember (is it true that it does tase better in Dublin?) but it still wasn't easy to get down, requiring a kinfe and fork, and wreaked havoc with my body afterwords with stomach aches and head aches.

So, hit the Fitzimons for a Guiness, then crossed to the (Charles) Farrington for another of the dark stuff. Then made my way to The (World Famous) Temple Bar and at 10pm it was chockers. Massively full. But it was a good atmosphere, and good fun. The Irish songs are awesome. More bizarre is when they talk I can't understand a word (maybe they're speaking Gaelic and not English?), but when they sing and 'american' song, every word comes through clear as a bell. It was about this stage that the headache was setting in, so I decided it was about time to pull the pin on the night... but not before a kebab. Man it's been a while since I've had one of those beasts, and it was rather unsatisfying... Dublin is off to a slow start in the kebab races.

Leaving the kebab joint I was given a free entry into the Boomerang Nightclub - come on, I had to have a look. Well, it was the cheesiest place of all time, playing nothing but cheesy pop. I did manage to get the DJ to play MC Hammer's U Can't Touch This - man that song was cheesy when it was released! Stayed for a couple before turning in around 1am.

Quote of the night from an annonymous bar manager at a bar I frequent in Southampton and is associated with the Titans football club: "Kristy and Tom are off to Dublin as well, u guys should smash some black stuff together. Im not just sayin that coz im a saffa, i meant guinness"... Pure genius!

Walked back to the hostel along the river (like all big European cities, Dublin is built on/across a big old river), crossed the O'Connell Bridge, the only bridge in Europe that is wider than it is long, and jumped into bed. Well, sleep didn't come easy, as I forgot the cardinal rule of hostelling... people snore. In the hurry I was in, I didn't pack any ear plugs, and what's more, I didn't drink enough last night to pass out and not notice the snoring... breaking a major cardinal rule. Anyway, managed a solid sleep, eventually, and didn't get out of bed (despite being woken on numerous occasions) until 10am. Power tourist is on break while I do 4 day weekends. In fact, I can only think of one place on my travels in Europe to date that I have stayed in for 4 or more nights - Barcelona. So, I have the feeling at the moment that I have all of the time in the world. That will probably all change when tomorrow is taken up by whatever it is that St. patrick's Day involves.

I'm gonna get in early, and say Happy Mothers Day Mum. Won't be able to chat Sunday, but maybe a quick chat Monday some time, depening when I get home from the airport.

I'm off to explore this city, and just waiting for it to start raining! The good fortune continued this morning with a messed up brakfast order and I got the big veggie breakfast instead of just eggs and toast - It's gonna be a good, no great, day!

Cheers, and enjoy the craic!

Speaking of Americans. Either Dublin is full of them, or they all speak like the brothers off the Boondock Saints and I am picking them to be American.