Sunday, 8 May 2022

Caroline Jordan's Ideal Trip to Dublin #TheBodyPolitic #CarolineJordanMysteries #Dublin #Ireland #IrishBlog #MysteryBooks

 A reader emailed me to ask, as they're visiting Dublin soon, what would be Caroline Jordan's Ideal Visit recommendations!

Well in honour of such a fabulous question here's a blog post to answer, and I hope you enjoy it Amy.
Now, we all know the last 2 years have brought a really hard time for the city centre, with a lot of really cool places have closed down. But there are still absolute gems all over the city and from must see attractions to cool restaurants and everything in between there's something for everyone. This is only a tiny sliver of city life and as Caroline is young and single (so far! The Body Beautiful might change everything...) let's buckle up for a fun day.

Let's imagine Amy has arrived in the city and is staying at a fabulous hotel - maybe she's treated herself to the iconic Shelbourne or Merrion, or is going for the fast paced The Grafton or ultra cool The Marker. She's barely unpacked her bag when she gets a text "I'm at the bar!" and she knows Caroline has knocked off work early to come meet her. Later on Paula and Stephen will turn up, with the duo known as "the twins" and Simon Prendergast will wander down from his art gallery on Merrion Square, and they'll all meet up for dinner. This is shaping up to be an epic first evening.

Where for dinner, though? Well, Caroline would say Red Torch Ginger  one of Dublin's best and great value Asian Fusion restaurants. Situated in the D2 area, and surrounded by other great eateries such as The Cedar Tree or Trocadero it's also near to some absolute iconic bars. The International, (inc comedy club) The Long Hall, The Stand, O'Neills and more are all within walking (or stumbling) distance. Streets like Drury Street and South William Street are packed with restaurants, pubs and very cool independent shops. Before they venture to the restaurant, they can check out Irish Design shops, the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, The Stephens Green Shopping centres, boutiques like Om Diva  and the charming array of shops and stalls in the Georges Street Arcade
Amy got a bit over excited shopping and is laden with a load of bags - but Dublin is a small city so it's a quick walk back to the Hotel to drop the bags. It's still bright out, and will be until ten o'clock in early summer (11 in high summer!) and there is no sense of having to rush. The city is vibrant and bustling, but in a friendly way. Plenty of time to freshen up and head out (I think Red Torch will win tonight, lots of other nights to check out all the city has to offer.) People arrive in waves - Paula and Stephen with Marie Flynn to have dinner, Simon and the Twins in time for a glass of wine before making their way to one of Dublin's famous pubs. It's worth the short walk to Georges Street to The Long Hall, where the wall to wall mirrors shine and reflect the twinkling chandeliers, and the reflections in polished wood make the place a reminder of gracious, and raucous, days gone by. 
An earlyish night tonight, because in the morning Amy is going on the tourist trail - hitting Trinity College, The Epic Museum, Dublinia, The National Art Gallery, The National Museum of Archeology, Guinness Brewery, Christ Church, Chester Beatty Library, Kilmainham Jail...oh ok, we're not going to kill Amy with exhaustion. She can spread out the list of Dublin attractions in the city centre alone and fill her week up! The hop-on hop off busses make it easy, and again, Dublin is a small city. Traffic can be bad, but for the excited tourist, it's a chance to sit and enjoy the city as you travel.

By the time she's back in the hotel, Amy is happy to have a shower, and a rest, and then back out! A different restaurant tonight, and maybe a few pints. But the next night Simon and the Twins have a brainwave...they hire taxis to bring everyone out to Johnny Foxes Pub in the Dublin Mountains. Foxes is the highest pub in Ireland, and despite being landlocked is famous for seafood and Guinness! There's a Traditional Irish Music and dance event there most nights, which for a girl from Oklahoma is everything she'd imagined about Ireland. Amy finds herself outside, taking a break from the heat and noise, in the balmy night air, listening to an impromptu sing-song in the carpark. A young man from Clare opens his mouth and starts to sing, shyly at first but with increasing confidence as one by one the people fall silent to listen. It's an old song, of love and loss, of a country under occupation and a determination that the future will be one of freedom. When he finishes the last note lingers on the air until the crowd erupts in appreciation, with shouts of "Gwon ya good thing," and "Good man, there!" 
In her hotel room later on, Amy remembers the song and and falls asleep to it's wild melancholy echoing in her heart. 

End of Part one.



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