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IRELAND | Monday, 12 June 2017 | Views [303]

We were not sure what to expect from Dublin as everything we hear about Ireland is about how green and beautiful it is. Dublin is neither green nor beautiful.

After checking in at our apartment, we decided to go and explore the city. As we walked down the street, all we encountered were unhappy and scowling people. It was not until we crossed the river and stumbled upon the Temple Bar area that people seemed to be happy. As it turned out, these people were mainly tourists.

We returned to the apartment somewhat downcast  about what we had experienced and decided that when in Ireland, one should do what the locals do and head for the pub. Of course, if you are in Ireland, you must try the Guinness. I had been assured that Guiness was "mother's milk" and was quite interested to see the difference between draught Guinness and our usual fare from the imported cans. It was a different beer - rather creamy and light in flavour which probably explains why Gloria was able to drink her pint despite her aversion to beer. I prefer my stout bitter, strong and heavy so l was not so impressed on my first taste. I thought I should have another pint to confirm my first opinion. And a third just to make sure. I'm not sure what time we got to bed...

The next day, after a lengthy lay in, we set off for Trinity College. We noticed that the crowds were much thinner and far happier. We decided that Friday night was the night the locals went out, although we still saw some of the scowling people.

I can thoroughly recommend a visit to Trinity. The Book of Kells was very interesting and those with a bent on ancient history would be impressed. Then we progressed to the Long Room section of the Old Library. My librarian partner was in her element and l have to admit that I was impressed too. Thousands of old books on dozens and dozens of shelves. Gloria's smile had to be seen to be believed.

From there onto the picturesque At Stephen's Green, a welcome piece of green, water and trees in a fairly drab city that we have seen so far. We wandered around and came across Peter's Pub. The obligatory photos followed by a drink at the bar of course.

The next day we went to the Guinness Storehouse. The fee to go in was €20 each so we decided to pass. Whoever owns Guinness is on a tidy little earner as the Storehouse has over a million visitors a year. You can do the math.

 As we meandered around we stumbled across a mediaeval church. St Audoen's Church is a hidden gem that apparently the locals don't know much about! Check it out on Google.

Overall, we found Dublin disappointing as a tourist destination, although if you like nightlife then Temple Bar will be for you. Whilst we did meet some very cheerful Irish people who made us laugh, the majority seemed to have a large chip on their shoulders.

Let's hope regional Ireland fits the popular image we hold of the country.........

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