Ryanair gets me to Dublin in a B737 decidedly older than the Treviso-Stansted leg, with a far narrower seat pitch. But the flight is only one hour, so no big deal. DUB is a 1970’s concrete style airport in need of extensive renovation: this is in fact taking place, hanging ceiling fixtures and missing floor panels testify to this, but certainly do not give a good impression to the first-time visitor.

I exit the customs area; my Man In Ireland is not there – after a while, I spot his boss, named Ivan. He bears bad news: apparently MIIs father in law is gravely ill, so he cannot meet me. The visit plan has to be rescheduled and Ivan will now take care of me. No matter: Ivan is an urbane 35 year old, he drives me to my hotel in an industrial area outside Dublin, a standard British style establishment with thick red carpet and a tea-making apparatus in the room. On the way, I remark on the M25 style traffic jam on the Dublin ring road (the M50) and the fact that the Irish drive on the wrong side of the road.

I glance at the name tag of the hotel receptionist: he is called Iqbal. His colleague is Siobhan. The global village has arrived in Ireland too!

We start the evening well: a couple of pints of Guinness in the hotel bar. We then get a taxi to the town centre about 20 minutes down the road. No great sights: apparently Dublin has no cathedral as expected in a Catholic capital city. The town center regretfully resembles that of Birmingham: a few Georgian style civic buildings left over from the colonial past and a dilapidated, now being renovated city centre area known as Temple Bar. Apparently there are green squares further on, but I don’t see them.

We dine at a modern restaurant, designer lighting, designer furniture and matching designer prices. But the food is excellent: I choose a Guinness organic beef stew with root vegetables and expect a Shepherd’s Pie sort of thing, but no! I am served a delicious bowl of tasty, tender meat chunks in a beer jus, with a side of potato purée and a golden brown croûte. A good Spanish merlot to drink and a lime and chocolate cheesecake to finish. Ivan generously takes care of the designer bill.

Some typical Irish entertainment follows: we go to Fitzsimmons pub, featuring a Man U vs. Everton match showing at a wide screen video at one end and an Irish folk group at the other end playing on the tin whistle, fiddle, guitar and banjo, with a foursome of tap-dancing girls. A crowd of Italians (!) and Americans look on. Seems touristy stuff, but Ivan assures me that similar entertainment is common throughout Ireland – OK, but maybe not all over on Monday nights. We partake of a pint of Kilkenny’s and a pint of Guinness – then a taxi back to the hotel!

4 thoughts on “Dublin

  1. i went to dublin wi me mates and met loads of fit birds. we got leatehered and dsrank plenta of beer and shots. me ass was drippin like a fuct fridge. fitzimmons rocked

  2. Every traveller has to make alittle effort if they want to see what a country is about. Perhaps Ivan was unaware that Dublin has in fact two fine cathederals and a rjch viking heritage. A little previsit research would have provided you with a very long list of exciting places to eat, Irelands capital has an abundance of interesting eateries and Steak and chips is surely the choice of someone not interested enough to put a toe in the water.

  3. I know Dublin this long time and I think it has changed pitifully from the hub of sociability, musicality and creativity of the East, into the desecrated modernistic cold steel glassy-eyed monster it is today. By the way, creativity is not dead in Ireland, but you’ll have to fight through a mucky swamp of ejits to get near it in the cities. If yis are travellin in Ireland, check the towns and ask in old-style cafés about events. You might be surprised to see a sleepy-looking town burst into life and show its plumage! Festivals take place throughout the Summer in Kildare, Portloise, Carlow, Thomastown, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Wexford, New Ross and Waterford (a city but a town too, like Kilk. & Cork!)etc.. and that’s a mere glimpse at the South-East (and a grand trip if taken respectively)

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