We had a breakneck trip to Dublin, Ireland in mid-February 2017. When I say breakneck, it’s not an exaggeration. We left on Wednesday out of Orlando and we were back late on Monday night.
Oh yeah…this is technically day one and two, but I’m not counting the travel day. Also want to disclose this is my first independent tour with Gate 1 Travel. I’ve used them for several trips, but this is the first independent trip. With Gate 1, I traveled throughout Spain in 2012, various cities of Italy in 2014 and Peru in 2015. Those trips were all fully escorted and have no complaints.
Crossing the pond
We left on Wednesday, February 8th out of Orlando International Airport. After connecting in New York City’s JFK, we arrived in Dublin, Ireland on Thursday, February 9th. We traveled for over 12 hours, but to us, it was well-worth it!
Day of firsts in Dublin
We weren’t going to let moss grow underfoot! As soon as we checked-in to the Ballsbridge Hotel off of Pembroke Road and freshened up, we headed out to explore Dublin.
We set out to find the offices of our pre-purchased Hop On! Hop Off! bus tour. Our tickets were for two days and we intended to make the most of them. Although the tour was interesting and the city was beautiful even with its overcast skies, we were tired and the voice over the loudspeaker served to lull some of us to sleep. Definitely not their fault. It was time for some lunch anyhow!
With our Hop on! Hop off! ticket we had an offer for a free Guinness at Nancy Hands. We hopped off there and enjoyed our first delicious meal in Ireland and our very first pour of Guinness. It wasn’t a pint, but it was FREE.
We hopped back on long enough to return to the Temple Bar area where we felt it was time to collect our offer for a free Irish Coffee at O’Sullivans. None of us ever remember having had an Irish Coffee quite like this. It was outstanding. Of course we had to order another round. Besides, we weren’t ready to head back out to brave the cold.
Cold in Dublin
As you may know, I grew up in Jersey and am not foreign to cold weather. As a matter of fact, this past December I braved 5 degrees fahrenheit in New York City. However, the high 20s to low 40s still felt cold. We wore gloves and scarves. Occasionally, a mist made things more interesting. It made the cold reach our bones.
Time to explore Dublin’s Food Scene
It was time to explore Dublin’s Food Scene with ‘Irish Food Trail‘. Our guide, Grainne, was a delightful young lady full of the information we were seeking. She helped with info of things to do, places to eat, places to skip and places we shouldn’t miss. Our walking food tour took us to three locations which really gave us an excellent idea of the city’s layout. We enjoyed appetizer portions of several choices at Gallaher & Co Bistro and Boxty Gallagher. The night became sweeter with our typical dessert at Oscars off of Fishamble near Christ Church and we got to learn how to make Irish Coffees too! The food was good, but the ‘price of admission’ was well-worth our time with Grainne. She was charming and helpful. As the trip continued we learned the Irish all seem to be charming and helpful, but we still felt Grainne was the best!
Stay tuned for my next entry about day two (or three)!