Ireland Vacation - Day 1: Dublin
You’ll remember that awhile back I booked a fabulous luxury vacation to Ireland for less, well now I’m back from it and here are all of the details. So when we originally booked the trip I don’t know why but we were thinking that we got a manual car and no GPS. Turns out we got an automatic car and GPS. Phew! Without those we would have had a shit time getting around. After picking up the car at the airport Dan Dooley car rental location and learning that craic (pronounced crack) is the Irish way of saying fun we headed into Dublin to find out first hotel - the Four Season Dublin.
Unfortunately our room was not ready yet so we left our bags at the hotel and headed to Grafton Street for our first Irish breakfast at Bewley’s. It was amazing! There is so much food included. It was well worth it after the plane ride. For less than 10 euro we had potato farl, grilled bacon (Canadian bacon), sausage, tomato, pudding (this is a different kind of sausage), mushroom, poached egg, home made relish and two slices of toast, freshly squeezed orange juice and tea or coffee. It was a great deal for a large filling breakfast. My only complaint was that the poached egg wasn’t runny, but MG traded with me and I was happy. Yum! I’d eat there again in a heart beat. Since we still had some time before our room would be ready and had taken a cab ride to the city centre we decided to walk around a bit before heading back.
We explored the outside of Dublin Castle which was in walking distance from Grafton Street. It was nice to look at but not enough to make us what to pay to get inside. The outside and the abbey was good enough. The abbey was filled with beautiful stained glass windows, carved wooden crest of the families that lived in the castle and a massive organ above the entrance. Many of the crests dated back to 11th and 12th century. It was remarkable to see how well kept it was. I’m sure there was much restoration over the year. It was a great first taste of Irish history.
We finally made it back to our glorious hotel and into our suite. The room has two double beds and a foldout bed for the third person. CC decided to jump on the trip last minute so she made a bed out of the two arm chairs and foot rest. It was actually quite cozy! The chairs were more comfy than the beds! But the room was huge and well worth it. It was only for one night so we were all pretty good. Next we were scheduled to have a horse rising lesson about 30 minutes from the city center. Unfortunately, we got very lost after leaving a little late. We missed the lesson but saw some great sites along the way to the Calliagstown Equestrian Centre that was at the top of the mountains. We had already paid for the lesson through a Living Social deal so it was a big bummer.
We headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and drinking in the city on our first night out. Dinner was at the fabulous Exchequer Pub. It came highly rated from tripadvisor.com so I figure why not try it! And it was a great decision. We had a started of Irish meats and cheese that was amazing. I love cheese and couldn’t get enough of it during this whole trip. I had the fish and chips and learned what “mushy peas” are and that I should avoid them. Bleh! But the rest of my meal was great. The best part was the dessert! We all shared a sticky toffee pudding and it was simply divine! A great first dinner in Ireland. Many compliments to the chef!
Next we headed to the Temple Bar area to hit up the bars. Of course, we went to the infamous Temple Bar itself. It was over crowded, as it was Saturday night, but it was amazing. All of the old Irishmen loved us. I had a beer that I cold fit because I was over stuffed with food and MF found a cute bartender who wanted to see her after he was off. We left Temple Bar for a bar across the street where we met a plethora of young Irish lad having a good time. After drinking with them, singing songs and having one take off his shirt look at my smirk and say “Well I don’t fancy ya anymore” we headed back to Temple Bar to find MF’s new love. We then learned that he wasn’t off until 3:30am. Argh! So after the bar closed at 2am we hung around for a bit in the street where song of the people from the bars were singing Hey Jude in the middle of the streets. We of course sung and danced around with them. MG and MF wanted to get pizza and CC and I wanted to pass out so we separated for a bit. But we were all in bed by 4am. There was no way we were waking up by 7:30 to make it to our 9am horse riding class. Foiled again!
So what did Day 1 cost:
- Brunch at Bewley’s - €12.50
- Cabs - €29
- Dinner at Exchequer (split appetizer, main meal, split dessert, split bottle of wine) - €37.50
- Drinks - €25
- Other expenses - €1.50
Total for Day 1 - €115.50. A little pricey but it was a big day with Saturday night drinking.