We left Galway with fond memories and drove to Dublin which was our next destination. We have booked a small luxury hotel called Roxford Lodge hotel. We selected this hotel after reading Trip Advisor reviews. It was difficult to find a hotel in the city centre which has parking facilities.
Most hotels in Dublin do not have parking facilities. They have requested patrons to use near by public parking. You could end up paying as much as 24 pounds a day just to keep the car. Roxford Lodge was not in the city centre, but close enough. It had limited free parking and that was one of the main reasons for selecting this hotel.
Dublin is the capital of Ireland. It is also the most populous city in Ireland. There is evidence to show that Dublin has been inhabited from prehistoric times. It's known history dates back to Roman times. Dublin is situated at the mouth of the river Liffey. River Liffey divides the city in two, between the Northside and the Southside. The Northside is generally seen as working class and the Southside as middle or upper middle class.
We arrived in Dublin in the late afternoon and we found our hotel in a quiet street, a little outside the city centre. We could see the entrance to the hotel, but we could not see any parking facility. I went to the reception and asked the girl where I could park the car. Parking was available at the back of the hotel. We had to drive around and come from a back lane to the back of the hotel. The girl would open the gate and allow our car to come in. We found a very small car park. That was good enough for us. The girl at the reception came down to our car to meet us. She opened the back door of the hotel using a code and then guided us to the reception through a maze of doors and corridors. We took quite sometime to understand the layout of the place. There were doors and passages everywhere. There was a staircase and an elevator to go to the reception. The girl put us in the small elevator with our bags and said she will meet us on the first floor. She took the staircase and met us on the first floor where they had the reception.
This girl Janina was the best receptionist I have seen in all of the hotels we visited. She was a bundle of energy and did everything in the hotel except running the restaurant. All the doors including the gate to the car park would be kept locked at all times for security. We got security codes to all the doors to open them when we go out and come back to the hotel. While talking to Janina, I asked her jokingly whether she is Irish. She said Yes I am fully Irish, my parents and grand parents are all Irish. I told her that her name did not sound like an Irish name. She agreed, Yes, she got a strange name not very common in Irish. It sounded more like a Russian name.
We have been planning to meet David and Marlene in Dublin. Marlene used to work with Mala in Carlingford. We knew David and Marlene for a long time. Around the same time as we started our trip to UK, they started their group tour from London. They were doing a very similar trip visiting the same cities, but going in the opposite direction. We checked our schedules and found that we would visit Dublin on the same two days as David and Marlene. We were staying in two different hotels, but we could meet and visit some of the attractions together. David checked and told us that their tour operators have arranged various activities for them on the first day, but they are free on the second day. We agreed to meet them at their hotel on the second day. David later found that on the second day, their tour operators have arranged a visit to the Guinness Store and an optional dinner at the Guinness store. He said we could join them for the visit and the dinner. We agreed.
On the first day in Dublin, Mala and I decided to buy tickets for the Hop on - Hop off bus and do a city tour. The tickets were valid for two days. We had only a few hours left on the first day. We decided to do a quick tour on the first day and do the rest on the second day depending on the free time we have. We got off the bus only at few places, but did the full round in the bus. We did not get out of the bus at Guinness Store knowing we would be doing the full trip next day with David and Marlene. We had dinner in a pub in the city and took a taxi back to the hotel. When we came back to the hotel, David has already called us. We tried to call him several times, but he was not in his room. Later we found that their group attended a function that went on till very late in the night.
We called David again in the morning. They were free to meet us and we could decide to do something together. We had our breakfast in our hotel and drove the car to David’s hotel. We met them at their hotel and decided to visit a castle a little outside the city. This castle is called Malahide castle. We did a full tour of the castle, but we were not allowed to take any photographs inside the rooms. The reason could be that there were many different pieces of furniture brought down by the owners from different countries and some of the pieces could be valuable antiques that could not be taken out of those countries.
David suggested that we visit the Dublin museum and the gallery in the city. We drove back to the city and found a parking station in the city very close to the museum. Our visit to the museum was a valuable experience. There were several mummies found in the bogs of various parts of Ireland. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photographs. A bog is a marshy land and the bodies buried in these marshy lands got preserved.
After visiting the museum and the gallery, we still had a few hours before visiting the Guinness Store. Our plan was to park our car near David’s hotel Jury’s Inn and join their tour group to go in their bus to visit the Guinness store. We left David and Marlene and came back to our hotel to take a rest. In the mean time David and Marlene were to do a short trip on the Hop on – Hop off bus. We came back to Jury’s Inn around 5:00PM. The tour bus was scheduled to leave the hotel at 5:30PM. David was at the reception, but Marlene was missing. David said they went in the Hop on-hop off bus and he got off near the hotel. Marlene decided to continue in the bus and get off near a shopping centre to do some shopping. She should be back very soon. At 5:20PM, she was still not there. David was getting worried. He asked the two of us to go in the bus with others. He will wait for Marlene and come in a taxi. I said that was not necessary. Let the bus leave. The three of us could wait till Marlene returns. We can go to Guinness Store in our car. We went to the reception to find the way and driving instructions to go to the Guinness Store. Just when we started talking to the reception, Marlene appeared on the doorway. When David got down from the us, he had both tickets for the bus with him. Marlene could not get down from the bus, because she could not change buses without the tickets. She gave up the idea of shopping and continued the full round in the same bus. At the last station, the bus stopped for some time, but she had to wait. She told her problem to the driver and sat there without changing buses. Finally when the hotel was in sight, the bus was getting held up due to traffic. She got off the bus and almost ran to be back in the hotel in time. She finally made it. It was a happy ending and we got into the bus and proceeded to the Guinness store.
David and Marlene introduced us to their group.
They have been travelling together and having a great time. There were two couples from Australia. We all got into the tour bus and did the Guinness Tour as a group. We had a separate tour guide from Guinness to explain things to us. We tasted a free pint of Guinness on the top floor. This floor had a panoramic view of the city. We had a buffet dinner as part of the Guinness tour and finally we wished the entire group a happy trip and came back to our hotel.
This would be our last day in Ireland. Tomorrow we would be taking the ferry and crossing back to UK. Our next destination is Liverpool.