Jul/Aug 2008

 

Sighing contently, I breathed in the fumes of freshly laundered pillows and settled in to fall asleep. RUSTLE. One of my eyes propped open quickly and I tried to pierce the darkness to find the source of the noise. Then I heard a stifled giggle. You know when you get that sense of uneasy foreboding that something is about to happen? Well, it’s that.

 

Before I knew it, hands grabbed my terrified body and partially pulled me off my bed and thus 3 pairs of hands gave me 23 punches. And as abruptly they started, they came to an end. Then the light flickered on for me to see 3 grinning idiots I call friends chortling amongst themselves. Picking myself up shakily, all of them gave me a rousing happy birthday song and did I like the 23 birthday ‘bumps?’ (more like 23 rounds with Mike Tyson). I simply glared at them but I can’t hold a grudge against these three nincompoops so I gratefully rubbed my arm.

 

But where was this? I’m in Europe’s party central, Dublin, Ireland!

It all started off with 7 of us putting our heads together after one of my mates, Sarah, suggested we should go away for a weekend at the summer.  Booking our flights after checking Dublin airfares, we met up and travelled to Manchester  (click here for cheap parking at Manchester airport) to get a flight out to the land of leprechauns but only to stop along the way to pick up some underwear for me…it seems I hadn’t mastered the art of travel packing yet as I forgot to pack any! Oh, speaking of packing, I managed to fit everything I needed (apart from underwear) into my carry on luggage so I could just breeze out of the airport without having to wait for my baggage to be claimed. This got jealous looks from everyone else. ‘How the hell did you manage to fit everything including your hair products?! You take longer in the bathroom than all of us combined!’ It’s all about quality…not quantity.

Whisked to our hostel by taking local transport to the centre of Dublin, we were ready to party on in the historic city. But first, we helped ourselves to this…we were going to be tourists!

And then a few more…

What’s more, we only had a couple of hours before bed so more and more Guinness was consumed.

Waking up the next morning, we decided to hit the sights but alas. With Guinness still on our minds, we opted to tour the Guinness Factory at 10am and of course, we had more Guinness.  

Despite the drinking, it was actually quite an informative tour about how beer or stout is actually made. But it did get a thirst going that was gratefully quenched at the top of the Factory where we could admire the sky high view of Dublin whilst sipping a pint or two. I enjoyed it so much I got a Guinness souvenir in the form of a jumper!

Andy with HIS new pants

Guinness Please!

Sky High Over Guinness!

Now that’s over and done with, it’s time to get the party started…after all, it’s my birthday! We ended up going a slap up meal along the river. It was truly magical.

 

Afterwards, we hit Temple Bar, renowned for its party atmosphere by night and possibly most likely where Stag and Hen Nights are going to end up. It was all pretty outside all lit up especially if you had a few to drink and you start dancing to the lights…

Later on, that’s when I had my birthday bumps!

Waking up late, we were pretty tired out and decided we needed to satisfy a pancake craving hunger. If there’s one thing Dublin does well apart from partying, Guinness and that irresistible accent, it’s pancakes in the morning. Move over English Breakfast, this rebel wins hands down. We shortly discovered the next best thing after polishing the pancakes off, we headed into temple Bar in the morning and helped ourselves to Irish Coffees whilst listening to a folk band. What are Irish Coffees?? They are Coffee but with spirits in. No one the Irish Priests are always rolling about in their pulpits after a few of those on a Sunday morning!

From  this relaxing morning, we decided that we MUST gain some cultural and historical insight into this beautiful city. So we headed off to Dublin Castle! You absolutely must go here, the interior and designs in this castle will have you jaw droopingly in shock that the Irish actually know how to appreciate fine cloths. But I wish I could say that I gleaned a lot of insight but rather I was more interested in the gorgeous irish tour guide who led us round. With raven long hair, she spoke to us in dulcet tones and had us mesmerized in her aura. Like teacher’s pets, both Andy and I kept asking her questions and wanting to be next to her as we gazed in appreciation of her svelte form. We perhaps clapped too loudly every time she finished explaining a room. Cottoning on that she had several lovestruck lads in her entourage, she tried stepping away from us many times but there would always be one of us in her path (bwahahaha!). In the end, we all mustered up the courage to ask if she would like to come out tonight with us. Throwing her hair back with a forced laugh, she said..’Maybe.’ We should have known she was brushing us off and we left the grounds of the castle excited that she would be coming out until one of the eye-rolling girls with us asked ‘so how is she going to meet up with you?’ the other boys stared at each other, realising we’ve been done for and exclaimed loudly. And possibly stopping my reply from leaving my mouth..’she will because she’s an angel…’

Hot Irish Tour Guide

With that mush mush over, we knew we had one more night of Dublin left so we opted to prowl the backstreet pubs to gain a truly authentic Irish atmosphere. And we did! We discovered one right behind Temple Bar Area and we made friends with everyone in the establishment. We even got free drinks and we jigged to an Irish band! Several musicians joined our table and we roused with many songs and had more and more Guinness and I regret to say that the night was a blur. The last thing I could remember was Gemma asking ‘aren’t we getting the plane first thing in the morning?’

 

Free Shots!

But rest assured, we did catch it. But as I boarded the plane, I noticed I had a mark creeping out underneath my arm sleeve. In our rush to get out of the hostel, we didn’t really get shower. I lifted up my sleeve to find ‘DUBIN BABY!’ only with a l marked above the letters to rectify a mistake. I grinned. It had been one hell of a birthday Dubin!’

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