Dubliners? Dubloons? Dublinarians? Hmm…
Moving on! My lovely sister visited me last October, and we used part of her time here for a short hop to Dublin. London to Dublin is less than an hour flight; it was like flying NWA to DFW, but so much cooler! The only shorter flight I have ever been on was from Honolulu to Kauai, which was about 20 mins. We flew early in the AM to make the most of our day then had one full second day and another morning to explore the city. This was a decent amount of time as Dublin is an extremely manageable city with it’s own charm.
A lot of that charm came from the people themselves. To quote our Musical Pub Crawl guide; “The rumor is that we’re a friendly people, but we’re not. We’re nosey.” Well, whatever you want to call it, Dubliners are interested in the people visiting their city & have an open manner that makes them very approachable. Now for some examples!
– Men in Temple Bar on Temple Bar Street in the area of Temple Bar: obviously our first destination after storing our luggage despite the early hour. Temple Bar area was right across the Ha’Penny Bridge from our hotel, so we wandered over for an early lunch before tackling the city. While waiting for our meat & cheese board & Irish coffees, I wandered around the bar admiring the atmosphere. A middle-aged gentleman chilling at a table in one of the rooms started a conversation with me about where I was from. When you’re obviously a tourist, people ask this. I told him I live in England, & he started telling me about his brother who had moved to London years ago. From this trip, I’ve decided that the Irish try to do one of two things (or both): find out if you have any Irish family or make some kind of connection with you via where you are from. They like to relate to people, and I totally get that. In fact, I think I might be Irish because when I meet people I try to make those kinds of connections, too; they’ll say they are from Washington, and I’ll tell them about our roadtrip there & what I loved about it. Also, the Irish & myself usually end up doing most of the talking beyond getting the answers to questions. So after learning about his brother in London, I asked him for recommendations during our brief stay. He calls over another guy, and they start discussing the various pubs & bars in Temple Bar for food & nightlife. Here they are, 2 Dublinians, hanging out in the most touristy part of town because they’ve always gone there. The Temple Bar is their place and their main recommendation, too. Later, I was asking the bartender for some stats regarding their Guinness consumption at The Temple Bar (my dear, Sam, wasn’t able to come with us, so I thought this would be something he would be interested in knowing). To my surprise, they actually use kegs (about 180 kegs per week at approx. 48 pints per keg and add an extra 200 kegs on top of that for St. Patty’s week). I actually was thinking that since they used so much that they might have a big vat underneath the bar that got filled by a truck weekly or something (I was apparently thinking they treated Guinness like gasoline). A guy at the bar laughed at that & said, “Sure, come by later, & we’ll let you go swimming in it!” I told him my husband would probably love that. So, Dublinites – friendly, loyal, & a bit roguish.
– Trinity College workers – our next stop was Ireland’s oldest university. We walked up to the stand for student-led tours manned by a tall, skinny guy with glasses & a red-haired girl. We got our tickets, and I couldn’t help myself from making small talk by asking questions about them & the campus around us. When I asked them about the robes they were wearing, the guy told me he would answer that in a moment when we started the tour & that he would be our guide. The girl laughed as he walked away to gather the other sight-seers and said, “he’s so awkward.” It probably didn’t help that he fell into my sister’s adorkable category, so I was teasing her & we were giggling. He began walking our little group around the campus and giving us lots of info on the history & the current functionality of the buildings & the university in general. When he would stop talking to walk us a little further, he would turn to us & ask, “and do You have any questions?” It was hilarious mostly because of his awkward demeanor, so I would just come up with something random to ask. At one point, he told a story of a professor who had died in a gunfight with students back in the day from a gunshot to the groin; the nurse in me wanted to know how he could have died from such an injury. He looked a little baffled and said, “no one’s ever asked me that particulars before!” After he showed us the museum building, he came over to ask specifically if we had liked it because it was his favorite. I really just wanted to pinch his cheeks! He dropped the tour group off at the library to view the Book of Kells exhibit on our own. After we had admired the ancient manuscripts there, we headed up to the Library‘s Long Room. On the stairs on the way up, I asked an older gentleman who worked there if we could take pictures. He said no, so I put away my camera most likely with a bit of a pout (I am a huge shutterbug; I take way too many pictures of just about everything). I loved this place; the dark wood architecture & the hundreds of old books was like my heaven. As I was gaping probably open-mouthed at the beauty, the same man came up behind us & whispered “quick, get your camera out! I’ve sent the other guy downstairs for a minute!” He literally came up & sent his co-worker down to check on something to give us a few minutes opportunity to snap some shots! I will love this man forever. After we finished our exploring, we found him outside of the gift shop. He introduced himself as Pat, & we thanked him profusely for our pictures. He asked us where we were from & the other typical questions, then wished us a wonderful rest of our trip. My new BFF Pat – how Irish! We saw our tour guide again on the way out, so I took the opportunity to ask his recommendations for the city. He recommended a street where students congregated & not Temple Bar (probably too obvious for his hipster tendencies). I then asked where he thought we should go now, and he responded, “Outside.” Kayla & I died laughing! To explain, it was a very nice day, & he was probably encouraging us to go enjoy the sun while it was out; however, it definitely sounded like he was telling us to go away. We laughed about this for days; we would just look at each other seriously & say, “outside” and bust up all over again. What a character! So Mr. Adorkable & my BFF Pat kept our high opinion of the Dublineers going!
– Arlington Hotel employees – We really enjoyed staying here: great location, good breakfast, music & dancing every night, but we did have one issue. Our room’s radiator had a broken nob, so we couldn’t adjust it ourselves. Luckily, the workers were helpful & prompt to adjust it for us (if not overzealous because they would frequently turn it too much & we would either be freezing or burning up at one point or another – oh well! we weren’t in there that much). Our first friend we called Alex John Mark Paul because that was a mixture of what Kayla & I thought his name was. His name was James, and he is a leprechaun. I’m serious, he was short & had red-hair & simply the cutest little face with a huge smile. He was super nice & even let us borrow his pen. Our other radiator adjuster was Peter (actual name John), who was super young & preciously shy. Our only unfriendly friend was the front desk girl. She looked like Grumpy Cat, a mixture of bored & annoyed. She was still helpful & gave me my best quote for an Irish impression: “the music starts at eight-tir’ty & goes until eleven-tir’ty.”
– Etc. – The guy manning the desk at the National Library was bound & determined to find some Irish in our blood, making us review all of our relatives last names. It was adorable. He was also a chatty-Kathy telling us about the time he travelled to the States. The worker at Arthur’s Pub in the Guinness Storehouse gave Kayla & I an extra beer because we couldn’t decide which ones we wanted to try; wasn’t that nice! Then the bartender downstairs at the hotel shared his Minstrels with us because I talked ManUnited football with him. Minstrels are M&M-like candies, & he kept them in the fridge.
My impression of the Dubliners is that they’re just a bunch of friendly, down-to-earth people. They’ve had a rough go of it in the past, but it just makes them more relatable.
We did learn a couple of things on our trip: ask & remember people’s names that you meet and take pictures of or with them. We can’t even remember our tour guide’s name and don’t have decent pictures of any of our friends! Luckily, we did catch a couple of them in the background of our shots, and it made us laugh every time we found them.
We really enjoyed our time in Dublin & all of the people we met. Call them friendly or nosey or whatever you will, I like them!