Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dublin Trip - Impressions

I'll initially state that I actually only spent Sunday afternoon (after a transatlantic flight with no sleep), Thursday night pubcrawling and Friday afternoon (after drinking until 3am) actually in the heart of Dublin. So it's a little hard to judge. I'll say first of all that Dublin is not one of those cities that people are going to first say "wow, it's so CLEAN!". Friday afternoon walking around the pedestrian-malled Grafton Street shopping area with a hangover was tough - the place just frankly didn't smell good. The other thing that I noticed as I walked around with my camera is that it's hard to take good pictures. The sky was basically grey the whole time I was there, washing out the colors a bit. The city is primarily 4-6 story buildings and narrow streets, so it was hard to find good vistas like you find in Chicago and DC and London. The one place I found to get some pretty good pictures was along the River Liffey, but the Friday afternoon pedestrian traffic on the narrow sidewalks was so heavy that it was actually hard to just stand in one place and take pictures.

All of that being said, I liked Dublin and I look forward to going back! The people are great, the architecture is interesting, the city centre is reasonably walkable and how can you argue with a city with Bono, Sir Bob Geldof, Christy Moore and Phil Lynott as its musical icons and Samuel Beckett, Joyce, Shaw, Stoker, Wilde, Swift and Yeats are all the literary kings? This is not the broke, crumbling Dublin of the late 70s U2 videos, but it's also no longer the hippest capital in Europe as it was a couple of years ago. The huge capital boom that created the need for the large number of cranes building new stuff in the Docklands has gone bust, leaving those cranes idle for the time being. It does still have the feel (and the high prices) of a go-go city though and I'm definitely keen to go back and do some more exploring.

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