Friday, January 8, 2016

Dublin in 72 hours or less!

72 hours in Dublin or less!!

It's my first trip to Dublin and I was super excited. 
It takes 3 hours or more to reach Dublin from Cork so I booked the aircoach bus to Dublin at 6am (arrive at 9am) and 7pm back to Cork (so I'll arrive at 10pm back at Cork) because I wanted a full 3 days at Dublin. Most shops only open around 9am anyways, and closes around 6ish. 

However, me, being a person with terrible sense of direction, directed us to the wrong location to take the aircoach!! With 5 mins to 6am, we are still wondering around at Cork City and it was raining cats and dogs!!

Fortunately, L approached a car and the kind man said he was heading towards St. Patrick's Quay (which was the place we were supposed to go for the coach) and offered us the ride!! So so so grateful! Had it not because of him, we would miss the bus to Dublin and this would ruin our entire trip T_______T!! Not to mention we've paid €11 each for the tickets (22 for return)!

Thank you kind man! You made our day :D

Slept my whole journey there. Air coach is so comfortable!!
When we arrived Dublin, we went to search for the hostel we've booked, Jacob's Inn
I was very concerned initially because it's the first time that I've booked a hostel..researched quite a bit on the reviews and all..

I'm safe to say, this was a good experience!

Day 1

 Our room! I slept on the top deck :3 

The room is very spacious and the beds are very soft and clean. The room is equipped with heater so it's warm!! Thank god because Vic Mills is 24/7 cold! Our roommates usually came back late (after we've slept) and were still sleeping when we left the we had minimal communication. In a way, this was good because we sort of have the whole space to ourselves at night. We didn't have to compete for the washroom! 

There's also hot water. So happy!! There's a limited time for water heater in Victoria Mills so most of the days, I have to shower in cold water..and it's freezing! So glad to enjoy the hot water all to myself :D

Jacob's Inn also provide lockers for your luggage. You have to pay a deposit of 10; the day of arrival and departure is free, but once you store your luggage overnight, they'll charge 2 per day.
There's free walking tour of Dublin everyday (which we didn't join). Every night, there's free movie & popcorn at 9pm! We didn't get to join that as well. There's also a game room and 4th floor outdoor terrace! 

They have a TV at the eating area and they put on good shows as well! 

I love the fact that they provide free breakfast everyday..I always toast my brown/wholemeal bread (they use 'Irish pride', which is my favourite wholemeal bread so far!!) 
Muesli with milk! and free flow of Nutella!!! I'm surprised they provide Nutella because it's not that cheap. There's also apple and orange juice, tea, coffee or hot chocolate :)

The location is not that bad either. It's just 5-10 minutes walk to the city centre. 

Had Subway for lunch..and it's actually the first time I had Subway o__o

Meatball Marinara

Sweet onion Chicken Teriyaki (??)

We shopped around Ilac and Jervis shopping centre and wandered around the streets. The weather was good!! Well, compared to Cork's, which rained almost every single day in December >_<

For dinner, we wanted to have Korean cuisine. We chose Arisu at the end.

Arisu Restaurant
120 Capel Street

 Free appetizers. The restaurants in Brunei provide more appetizers!! I miss Kor-yo! 

Bulgogi (€12.90)
We also ordered an extra portion of lettuce because they gave us only 5 pieces of it to go with the beef :( The lettuce costed 2.50/portion 

Dolsot Bibimbap (€8.90)
Kor-yo's bibimbap is still the best!!

 Kimchi Pork Stew (€9.90)
THIS WAS SO SPICY. My tongue burnt after eating half of it..the waitress actually confirmed if we wanted this because she said "Chinese usually order the bean paste stew as it's less spicy.." but we're like game on! Challenge accepted! But it was really really spicy!

Happy tummy :D

Day 2

Woke up around 8-ish and prepared as we planned to go tour the scenic areas of Dublin. The sky was quite dark and I was afraid that it would rain so we changed our plan and went to Guinness Storehouse instead!

But it didn't rain for the whole day. In fact, the weather was really good for all 3 days when I was at Dublin. So thankful for it!

Tickets are €18/adult but with student ID, we are entitled for a 2 discount :)

They taught us how to taste Guinness the right way. 

We were also given the opportunity to pour the draught beer! We get to enjoy the whole pint as well (included in the ticket price).

We were also given certificates after the session

We brought our pints of beer up to the Gravity Bar at the 7th floor to enjoy the 360 degrees view of Dublin while drinking.

I admit I'm quite tipsy after half pint...must train my alcohol tolerance more!! 

 St Patrick's Cathedral

Half of Christ Church Cathedral

Managed to squeeze Dublin Castle into our itinerary of the day as well! We were using GPS to navigate around and we were lost at times..

Ticket is €4.50/adult but I think we paid more for the guided tour (?)
We arrived just in time for the last tour (4.45pm), luckily!!

Finished the tour around 6pm and the sky was dark already so we didn't get a good picture with the castle :(

Went to the I Believe Christmas market for dinner!!

 Classic Dublin fish & chips, crushed peas and mint with tartare sauce (€10)

 Dexter Gotham style burger: Dubliner cheddar, beef, tomato, chipotle mayo on toasted brioche, with rosemary salted fries (€10)

 Steak and bacon burger (€7)

Food makes me face is getting rounder and rounder day by day T__________________T

Day 3

Last day in Dublin :( The sun was brighter and stronger compared to the day before. So we made the right choice to go Howth on the last day instead on the 2nd day! We took the DART there and it takes about 45 minutes (with stops in between).

Lots of sea gulls!! 

The weather was so good that I can't help to take so many pictures!! Sorry for spamming with all my pictures. Thank you L for being sooo patient and helping me to take all my pictures :D 
We had to try so many different angles and lighting because the sun was really bright and strong! Hahaha 

We had to walk all the way to the East pier for the lighthouse..but personally, I think it's not very special. It's no longer functioning as well.

After that, we travelled to the opposite end, West Pier for lunch! It was rather difficult for me because the roads are not even and I was wearing my high-heeled boots!! 

There's a lot of good restaurants in Howth. As it's a fishing port, it's famous for seafood!! L decided to go for the best (but quite expensive) restaurant to have the best dining experience in Howth. So, we went to Aqua's Restaurant :D

AQUA Restaurant
1 West Pier, Howth. Co Dublin
Sunday Lunch 12 - 4pm
Tues - Sat Lunch 12:30 - 4pm

We went for the 3 course meal, which was a good deal. Early bird lunch is €28.95 per set.
For the 2 course meal, its 23.95.

Their Christmas menu lunch includes:
- Seafood chowder
- Chicken Liver pate
- Aqua fishcakes
- Cashel blue - Beetroot salad
- Warm Game salad

Main course
- Fish and chips
- Pan-fried fillet of cod
- Char-grilled corn fed chicken
- Spicy Venison Stew
- 8oz Black angus Sirloin

-Sticky toffee pudding
- Classic creme brulee
- Home-made mince pies

The view was grand. But we didn't reserve any seat so we couldn't get the tables near the window as they're all reserved :( 

So I ordered the Cashel Blue - Beetroot Salad. The beetroot is so sweet, along with the nuts and salty cashel blue cheese...yum!! The mixed greens were very crispy and fresh as well!

 L's aqua fishcakes

You may think it's probably not worth it because there's only 2 pieces of fishcakes..but they used real fish and not processed fishcakes so it's really good!!! But there's fish bones in it so be cautious!

Pinot Noir red wine (€8/glass)

 L's pan-fried cod fillet

 My fish & chips

The fish were seriously delicious!! You know how some fish may smell putrid or rotten because it's not that fresh? The fishes in Howth were freshly caught and cooked so I suppose it's of good quality!

 L's minced pie with vanilla ice cream and fresh rapsberries & blueberries

My sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and cream fraiche

The toffee pudding with toffee sauce is probably the best dessert that I've ever tried yet. It was very creamy and rich!!

After lunch, it was around 2pm already and we planned to go to Dun Laoghaire (which is another port/pier). We bought the DART tickets but waited 30 minutes for the train to come..they then announced that the train would not come and asked us to use the bus instead. 

The problem was that by using bus, it would take 2 hours to reach Dun Laoghaire from Howth..and that would be around 4:30pm. Our coach back to Cork was at 7pm..and so we need to be at Dublin city around 6:30pm the latest. So by the time we reach Dun Laoghaire at 4:30pm, we have to leave already because it'll take another 1 hour + to come back. Definitely not worth we threw our tickets away and took the bus back to Dublin city instead :(

There's still so many places to go in Dublin! We wanted to visit Dublin zoo and Phoenix park as well but due to time constraint, we had to opt them out of our itinerary.

Well, more reasons to visit Dublin for the next time! :D
Overall, this was an enjoyable trip, particularly the lovable weather. 

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