Over the last 6 months or so, I have started travelling to places less traveled and I have started enjoying them. The real desire to visit Republic of Ireland was ignited when I read an article from National Geographic Traveler. The article came in a special edition and was named "50 places of a Lifetime". I was based out of Great Britain during that time. The geographical proximity between at Great Britain and Ireland was another cardinal reason for the visit, since it was obvious that I would be saving good amount of money and time.
I am a Indian Citizen and was working in Great Britain on a work visa.My wife had joined me a dependant visa.There is a slight confusion when it comes to visiting Ireland, if you are a Indian Citizen and working in Great Britain on a class D Visa (Work). We checked with the embassy of Ireland in London and they informed us that we need to have a tourist visa in order to visit Ireland. It took us a couple of weeks to arrange the required documents. The good part was Indian citizens don't have to pay Visa fees which otherwise was 60 Euros per application.Thanks to the inclusion of India in the Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme.
We flied from London to Dublin by Ryanair. Our flight landed on time and we heard a prerecorded jingle which said "...another on time landing by Ryanair! We took the Airlink bus from the Airport which took us into the heart of Dublin City. Our first impressions about Dublin were it appeared to be just another city in Europe. We knew that it would be changing soon. We stayed at the Times Hostel which was on College Street. It was a good place and very close to Temple Bar. We had a girl from Chicago, USA as one of our roommates who had taken a stopover in Dublin and was on her way to Denmark to meet her boyfriend. Our 2nd Roommate was a person from Sophia which is the capital city of Bulgaria. He was working for a bank in Sophia and was visiting Dublin for 4 days. We had a basic conversation which in one asks his fellow travelers the same five questions: Where are you from? Where are you going? Where have you been? How long are you traveling for? How long are you here? I call it an initial 5 minute conversation which is common whenever you stay in hostels. Later in the evening, I and my wife went to the Temple Bar which is one of the most happening places in Dublin City. Since it was a long weekend, the streets were full of tourists. The area surrounding the temple bar sets the perfect tone and we were soaked in the lively atmosphere. That was very much the end of Day 1.
We had contemplated on whether to visit Cliffs of Moher on Day 2 or Day 3. Cliffs of Moher is on the western side of Ireland and it takes 4 hrs from Dublin to reach the cliffs. It was a beautiful sunny day when we started our excursion to the cliffs on Day 2. The drive to the cliffs is not that scenic and there are hardly any photo stops on the way. I remember we took a coffee break near one of the tributaries of Shannon River which is largest in Ireland. We reach the parking lot for the cliffs at 11 am. The walkway from Car Park to the cliffs is 3 kms long.
We had earlier seen mammoth cliffs in Melbourne and Tasmania. However the difference with the Cliffs of Moher is that you can actually walk over them. The initial part has some fencing but once you cross O’brien Tower it goes off completely. Beyond O’brein Tower the views are panoramic and it gets on going more and more beautiful. One can see the Durdle door where few scenes from Harry Potter and Half Blood Prince were shot.One has to literally sleep over the edges to get a real view of the cliffs. It sounds scary but believe me it is extremely alluring. The 3 kms walk over the cliffs takes 2-3 hrs since there are many photo stops in that trail. We went to the cliffs on a sunny day but still it was very windy up there. The excursion to the cliffs and the views are breathtaking and we didn’t realized how time flies by.
We started our return journey late afternoon and reached Dublin in the evening. On the way back we took a halt at the fishing village of Kinvara for fish and chips. Day 2 was abit hectic but we were mesmerized by the beauty of Cliffs of Moher.
Our Day 3 was pretty relaxed since we had planned local sightseeing. We visited Trinity College which is one of the Oldest and most famous colleges in Ireland. It is also host to the Oldest Book in the World named “Book of Kells”. Ireland is also famous for its writers. It has produced some of the finest writers like George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde etc. Recently a Bollywood blockbuster named Ek tha Tiger was shot in Trinity College.
We saw Dublin Spree on our way to Guinness Brewery which was our next destination. This was the first brewery tour we were visiting and had heard a lot about the gravity bar and the concept of pouring your own pint. It was a self-guided tour and took 2 hrs by the time we reached the gravity bar which was on the top floor. My wife was excited with the idea of pouring her own pint which she did fairly well. One gets a free pint of Guinness on reaching the top floor. I saw many couples roaming around the lower floors and also observed that after sometime the men were only interested in the black liquid J
We moved to the top floor from which we had a Bird’s Eye view of the city. In my opinion, Gravity Bar is a overhyped place and sometimes it becomes very crowdy. Overall, I can say that the brewery Tour was a good experience in itself.
We came back to our hostel and our roommates joined us for drinks. Since we had different nationalities, we had an awesome time wherein we talked about different aspects of Education, Culture, Industrial growth in our countries. This is one of the reasons why I love staying at backpacker’s hostel. You get to meet people of varied cultures who have different virtues towards life and who share amazing travel experiences. I had a similar experience in Turkey & Ireland was nothing different.
We catched a Redeye flight on our way back to London. Ireland is a perfect getaway from London and one should never miss a chance of visiting this country with scenic landscapes, rich history and friendly Irish people who are very proud of their heritage.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.