Finally! I had finished my time at Moorfields and was finally on my way to Ireland with Sandra. I had found Paddywagon Tours online months prior to the trip. They have all kinds of holidays in Ireland, whether it’s a one-day tour or a 10-day tour. All of them are affordable! Hence why I initially booked with them.
We booked a 7-day tour of all of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Finding cheap flights online was pretty easy. We flew RyanAir from London to Dublin, round trip was £45. Mind you, we packed a 8 day trip in a carry-on bag. We didn’t want pay extra to check luggage under the plane, so we learn to pack smart when it comes to these trips.
Arriving in Dublin around 4pm, we made our way from the airport to Paddy’s Palace. All of our accommodation is included in the tour. We checked in, got our room and hit the town. Having walked up and down O’Connell Street, avoiding the tourist trap known as Temple Bar, we found ourselves standing in front of a landmark called ‘The Spire.’ Having no idea its significance, we took some photos and wandered on. Later, we found out that the Spire is the tallest sculpture in the world. We also found out that it has some nicknames; the stiletto in the ghetto, stiffy by the Liffy and erection at the intersection. Just to name a few.
Not too far from the Spire is a statue of Jim Larkin. Again, not knowing his significance, we just took some photos mocking his pose and moved on. (He was a trade union leader and activist). Now, we wandered into the quirky little shops and more of the well known touristy shops. Carroll’s Irish Gifts was probably our favourite. It has so much to look at!
So being a tourist in a new city, I never carry a map with me. We made the mistake of pulling out a map and immediately we were approached by an undesirable local. He offered us some help, but we quickly said ‘no thank you, we’re just heading to restaurant X to meet some friends.’ We crossed the street as fast as we could and noticed he was trailing behind us a bit. Now the great thing about O’Connell street is that it’s always full of people crowding every inch of the pavement. So we deaked in and out of people and ran into the Foot Locker. We sat on the bench inside the store for a few minutes in hopes that we lost the guy.
After that encounter, we decided to call it a day. As we left the store, we picked up some dinner along the way and made it safely back to Paddy’s Palace. Our tour would start pretty early in the morning, so we made sure we got to bed at a decent hour. I was excited for our adventure ahead of us. I didn’t know much about Ireland’s history, so it would be nice to learn about it and appreciate it.
At the end of our trip, we spent more time in Dublin, which I’ll write about then! There’s definitely lots to see in Dublin! Day two has lots in store for us — we met our Paddywagon crew and we start our adventure to see Ireland in all it’s beauty! Stay tuned…