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Dublin Fair City: Coffee, Cannabis and Guinness

Impressions of Dublin: September 15th to 18th 2023

Dublin reminds me of a well-worn tee-shirt. A very comfortable, old favourite, threadbare shirt sporting a few holes.

Unlike the meat grinder of major European airports, the staff working at the Dublin airport actually treated us like human beings. When we arrived in Dublin, the immigration officers met us with a smile and a joke.

Going through security when leaving the Dublin airport was also a pleasant surprise. It was a combination of comedy & karaoke show, the security staff were joking and singing with the folks in the queue, causing smiles all round. That in itself is in stark contrast to US airports where officials bark orders and make you feel like a side of beef.

On the Liffy

We stayed in the Dublin docklands area close to Temple Bar and Trinity college. The tidal River Liffy cuts thru the center of the city. Here seagulls share benches with people.

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Mind if I sit with you?

Many Dubliners sport a good sense of humor, they are open to joking about and taking the piss. On the whole the people we came across in Dublin were typically both engaging and disarming.

Dublin is youthful, full of tech workers, students, movers and shakers.

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Salesforce, HubSpot, JP Morgan, Citibank and the Dogpatch Labs incubator for technology entrepreneurs, all have a home here in Dublin.

Vibrant, very culturally diverse, European in feel, Dublin is also eye-wateringly expensive!

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The Samuel Beckett Bridge

Trams, busses and cobblestone streets

There are some progressive ideas employed in Dublin such as the bicycle lanes. Good ideas that are somehow not executed quite right. The town seams a little wonky at times.

Dublin is very walkable, however; pedestrian signals and traffic flows are confusing. Even the locals seem confused. Pedestrian traffic signals are not made for the impatient. Cyclists and e-scooters completely ignore traffic lights.

Dublin is compact, consisting of mostly low-rise buildings, with very few buildings over 6 or 7 storeys. The is a fusion of the old and the new. Newer buildings line the river closer to the mouth of the Liffy on reclaimed land.

Dublin is a university town with four universities including Trinity College located in the heart of the city.

Cosmopolitan with rough edges

Lots of people come from here elsewhere, Europeans, Indians, Bangladeshis, Asians, and Africans. A stark reversal from Irelands history of exporting people.

In the downtown section you do not see people walking dogs. There are no street dogs or stray cats, just street people.

Dublin feels like a typical port town. There is a very rough human element near the Liffey. Friendly enough, not really menacing, but there is a very palatable undertone of potential violence.

Coffee, cannabis and Guinness – lots of Guinness!

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The home of Dublin Gargle

Pot is illegal, but you smell it every where and it is widely consumed in the open.

Many famous people hail from Dublin. There are scads of bronze statues of Dublin characters both real like James Joyce and fictitious like Molly McGee.

Like our comfortable shirt, despite the ugly stains under the arm pits, we were made to feel comfortable and welcomed during our visit to Dublin.

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A tribute to Dublin Dock Workers

Dublin is not pushy like London, where elbowing random people’s ribs, who happen to get in the way seems to be a sport. Dublin is quite laid back in comparison.

Dublin oozes history, night life, hen parties, youth and hospitality.

Pubs, pub culture, live music and churches. Downtown Dublin is a melting pot of locals and tourists speaking all sorts of languages.

A sound sampler of some Dublin Pub Music

Like our comfortable shirt, despite the ugly stains under the arm pits, we were made to feel comfortable and welcomed during our visit to Dublin.

About the author: Michael was born under a wanderin’ star. He is an Engineer who became an explorer, a photography bug, and hack traveller writer with the propensity to be snarky. “Retired” in 2012 at the age of 44, he and his wife Yvonne travel and house sit around the globe on a full time basis. Michael’s goal is to share the process of escaping the rat race, exploring the globe, and some of the experiences along the way.

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