A Visit To The Emerald Isle

On a recent trip to the emerald isle we were surprised to discover that the gay scene in Ireland is open and concentrated.

They don’t call Ireland the Emerald Isle for nothing as green was all we saw as we came in to land.

Getting around Dublin, we found, was so easy – and it started at the airport. For a single ticket (about R80) we caught the Aircoach that took us directly from the airport to within a five-minute walk from the Jurys Inn on the bank of River Liffey. Apart from metered taxis and a number of hop-on, hop-off bus tours, there are other bus services in the city, as well as trams. The best way to really experience the city, once you’ve planned which area to explore, is on foot.

Dublin is a combination of old and new. We already had a great view from our hotel room, which faced the river. From what we could see, a fair amount of inner-city rejuvenation boasting an eclectic blend of styles has taken place. Dublin, as those who have visited will tell you, is a delight, with surprises lurking around every corner.

One of the first things we noticed about the city, and indeed the rest of Ireland, are the colourful (and camp) window boxes outside nearly every shop front.

Hanging baskets and containers of various shapes and sizes were, even this late in the season, bursting with a rainbow-hued display. Overall, Dublin is pedestrian friendly, enticing you to set off on foot to uncover its stories, which you can pick up once you start chatting with the locals.

It is possible to design a visit that should suit most travellers’ pockets. A broad range of accommodation is available, from comfortable hostels to more higher-end hotels. Also consider whether to hire a car or rely on the comprehensive public transport system. (Unlike South Africa, in Dublin it actually works.)

If you’re planning your first trip to Dublin, do spend your first morning on one of the city’s hop-on, hop-off bus tours. Because of the rain and fluctuating temperatures, we dressed warmly and sat on the open top floor of the bus and had a great view of the passing sights.

TO BE CONTINUED


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