Date of travel: 16/12/2014 – 18/16/2014
Weather: around 7 degrees – rainy but not that cold
Money spent : £20 (flight) + £88 (for 2 people in blooms hotel) + 170 euros (spending)
Well after 8 months of travelling, we had to try and make sure we kept up with our yearly tradition of going to Dublin.
We agreed it would be nice to see what this jolly old place would be like at Christmas.
We got an early flight for 7:20am from Birmingham and had our beer at the airport.
Ryanair – their new policy grrrr
So the many years of travelling with thie airline, it was only a matter of time before they changed their policy…and today was that day. So now they claim that you can now take up to 2 hand luggages with you..however when we waited in line to board the aircraft a lady came along and tagged our bags with a yellow ticket. It said “check in bag for free” on it. Thinking nothing of this with carried on cueing. As we approached the aircraft outside these people next to a trolly took our hand luggage bags off us – now this was weird so once boarded I asked the attendant “where do we get our hand luggage when we arrive”…she said ” you get it at the carousel inside the airport”….I then responded with “so we have to cue up with all the other suitcases?” .. she said “you dont have to cue and the reason its done is as this is a full flight so weve had to check in hang luggage”…I then stated “but you just said we had to wait by the carousel which surely means cureing with everyone else?”.at this stage she walked off (she was very rude – dumbass!) – the annoying part of all this was that there was lots of empty space in the over head and people who came on after us got to bring their luggage on and some of theres were huge!
We arrived at the airport and had to go threw passport control…now my passport was in my hand luggage – which was apparantely now going round with the suitacases so I had no bloody passport! Luckily the passport guy told me if you have a driving license its ok – however what a stupid thing to do from Ryanair – taking your hand luggage off you!
Luckily after passport control there was a carousel next to a seperate carousel with the suitcases and they were all on there – however I hate to think the circumstances if this was a busy period! To be honest I think its a stupid idea. They should wait until the over heads are full until they start checking in hang luggage. People take on hand luggage on the plane as they may need access to things they may want on the plane.. so how does bunging it below deck with the suit cases help??
So we stayed at the Blooms hotel which is opposite Goghertys. It cost £88 for 2 nights for both of us. This hotel was really nice. Obviously a great location but on top of this had polite staff and they give you 2 free drink vouchers for their bar (although these are only half pints). Also we put “do not disturb” on the hotel door and even with this on they leave a bag of toilet roll / tea coffee etc outside your day in case you need extra – now this little touch I like!
They also had check out at 12 rather than 10 like some hotels.
Breakfast in Dublin
So we went to the keys bar upstairs where we had a 10 EURO breakfast which was nice, however we also found out our hotel did an all you can eat buffet hot breakfast for 10 EUROS. The following 2 mornings I ate at the hotel. Its on the first floor, go up to the lady on the desk in the canteen area and say you want to pay 10 EUROS cash for a full IRISH breakfast and she just takes the money and your free to go.
The choice was brill… you had all your normal cereal / yoghurts but you also had bacon, sausage, beans, eggs, tomatoes etc…and to finish it off you had Quasons with jam and butter. Plenty of tea and juice to go around. This was deffo worth the money for an all you can eat!
You can actually get off at the stop after O Connel Street which takes you closer to temple bar.
So we had a CAXTON FX card from travelling so thought id use this. I Transferred the money in the UK to my card and then in DUBLIN used a cashpoint in Temple bar to draw out cash. Although this did not charge me, the exchange rate was shite. It was like £1 = 1.21. I also used my normal UK bank accounts card in the machine and this charged my £1.32 to do this which then resulted in the below:
£17.24 = 20 Euros
£1 = 1.16 EURO
So all in all its best just to get your euros over in the UK as they were offering me 1.23 exchange rate.
Decorations and Atmosphere
Ok so when we arrived here you see many decorations. Theres a huge tree on O Connell street as you get off the air coach. This was rather pretty – oh and our xmas jumpers rocked too!
As we made our way to temple bar you see a Santa outside Goghertys along with other decorations. We went inside for our first pint and this place is brill. Decorations galore. I love the decorations here anyway but the HUGE santa next to Oliver topped it off for me. He was an old fashioned one (the best ones). He was huge aswel.
The courtyard area had red candles and a nice tree in the center too.
We then ventured onto the likes of Temple Bar pub which too was great. We found that because alot of the bars are old / dark inside that the greens / gold / red decorations go really well. It looked really chritsmassy!
Brazens head was really nice with decorations around the open fire and on the ceiling. It was very festive in the oldest pub in Ireland!
The atmosphere here however let us down abit. The bands were just not really up to scratch. To be honest thow we did go on a Tuesday – Thursday so mid week it was alot queiter. Maybe on a weekend in December would be better. We did however get to see the famous xmas tune by the Pogues being performed by an Irish band so all was well!
Overall I think Dublin looked amazing at Christmas. I love reds/golds and greens at Christmas in dark old pubs so for me this was a great place to have them all put together. I would deffo come here again in December however maybe next time I would come on a weekend.