Warning for slight discussion of my struggles with an eating disorder.
So last week I was lucky enough to take a few days with my boyfriend to visit the home of Guinness, Oscar Wilde, and Colin Farrell (“In Bruges” is one of my favourite films)… DUBLIN!! I have always been fascinated by the place, especially after having visited Ireland with my family when I was a lot younger and simply falling in love with it all! And it did not disappoint! Not only were we able to explore the beautiful archaic landmarks of the city, we also got to visit a number of museums, have a drink in a cute Irish pub, AND travel through the city on a boat as well as an open top bus!
So, after awaking at the horrendously early time of 5am, we set off to the airport to reach our 7:05 flight! Like two walking zombies, we made it through security and then were on the plane, finally allowing the excitement of the trip to settle in. We listened to panic!at the disco’s new album (which is awesome by the way) and as soon as we were in the air, we were pretty much coming back down! I’ve never been on such a short flight!
We didn’t plan a lot before coming here, simply booking tickets for the Guinness Factory for day 2; so once we had dropped our bags off at the hotel (check in not being until 4pm), we were not too sure what to do… needless to say we wandered aimlessly for an hour or so and attempted to find Harry and Meghan, getting blocked by police officers in the process…
We eventually made it to Dublin Castle (that we found from mere wandering) where we took in the gorgeous archaic structure and discovered interesting facts about it, before finding Temple Bar and walking through cobbled streets and past artistic walls. We stopped for a cuppa at Stage Door Cafe, a sweet little place with the friendliest servers, before finding one stunning area called Love Lane which held a piece of artwork by Anna Dorian, filled with tiles of quotes about relationships and romance. It was the perfect little spot for couples.
After walking around more of Temple Bar and finally finding somewhere for lunch, we then decided to take a visit to The Wax Museum. This was honestly one of my favourite parts of the trip. I LOVE Madame Tussaud’s in London and this was just as interesting and cool! I got a photo with Father Ted, got to project all my hatred at a scarily accurate Donald Trump statue, and even got to sit on a Nimbus 2000 in the Harry Potter section! Along with all this, Deadpool just happened to be strolling around the museum too… clearly he’s not got much going on at the moment. We left with such excitement and an agreement that Dublin was definitely one of our favourite cities! That evening, we grabbed food to eat in our apartment hotel and relaxed watching our country get knocked out of the World Cup semi finals… (okay maybe it wasn’t quite as relaxed as we had hoped… still gutted it’s not coming home).
From the calamity of day one, we weren’t too happy to be waking up quite early in order to get to the Guinness Storehouse… luckily the experience was definitely worth our slightly drained states. We learnt all about the process in which Guinness is made, dazzled by how they managed to convey this information in such an interactive and bright way. I spent most of the time stunned by all the scenery around us, including a waterfall, cool clocks AND the cinema room that played old Guinness adverts. We stopped for a hot drink at the cafe, even that part filled with fascinating things around us, and then went into one of the bars to watch an amazing Irish dance display performed by some of the waiters (a few of them danced on the tables and it made me realise that that was my dream job!!) The final part of the tour brought us an incredible panoramic view of Dublin. I could have stayed there forever.
We then had a bit of fun on the Open Top Bus Tour, travelling through the city and discovering more about its history and landmarks. However, before that, I challenged myself to a treat from a cafe, trying something that was simultaneously delicious but also terrifying. I tried to hide how much of a big deal this was, desperately wanting to focus on the taste it brought. Unfortunately my mind was going crazy… counting what I had already eaten, trying to come up with all the justifications for treating myself and figuring out how I can “make up for this” later like I needed to find a reason to simply enjoy something(!). Luckily I’ve found that the guilt and fear is eased a bit when I’m distracted, so the bus tour was definitely something I needed. I finish the whole damn thing! Despite irrationalities still trying to struggle their way through, I need to positively acknowledge the fact that they were struggling, meaning that I am learning to cope and push away my eating disorders mentalities.
The excitement of the past couple of days completely tired us out so we may have gone back to the hotel for an hour or so to nap… really making the most of the experience as you can tell! It then came to dinner time where we went to an Italian. Once again I was faced with the difficult choices and guilt surrounding what I had eaten earlier, my brain wanting to chose the “safest” option despite how much I wanted something I’d actually enjoy.
I chose my favourite meal, something I knew wasn’t deemed the “healthiest” but something I knew I loved. It was amazing and I left that evening with a sense of accomplishment. It’s such a wonderful feeling when you see the progress being made to get control on your own thoughts back, not thoughts influenced by an illness.
Our last day was spent exploring more of the city, finding ourselves at St Stephens Green which is incredibly pretty and scenic. I got to do some reading whilst surrounded by dozens of geese… a slightly terrifying experience to say the least. We then took a boat tour that was filled with interesting facts and witty remarks from the guide who made the experience so much more enjoyable. We headed to our evening flight with a sense of awe and happiness from the past few days, yet disappointed that we had to leave so soon. I wish we had booked a longer trip.
So, that was mine and my boyfriend’s active, fascinating trip to the great Republic of Ireland Capital! It’s a gorgeous city with such kind hearted locals; everybody was so warm and helpful. I bought a little four-leaf clover charm to remind myself of the happiness and luck I felt being there… with a pint of Guinness in my hand, all I can say is Sláinte!