I recently went on a short trip to Dublin with my friends Jill and Nikki. Our friendship goes way back to the late 1990s when we were at university.
It’s always an alcohol-fueled gathering when the three of us get together and our trip to Dublin was no exception. Our nights ended with slices of pizza and conversations I wish I could remember and our days began with brekkie and bloody marys (which then turned into conversations I wish I could remember).
The flight from Heathrow to Dublin is short and sweet. Our flight arrived bang on time and we boarded a bus from the airport to Trinity College (home of the Book of Kells). From there, we walked a few steps to our Airbnb.
Having visited Dublin twice before, I knew that accommodation in Dublin was not great but I had a good feeling about the apartment we had rented even though my worst Airbnb experience happened at another apartment in Dublin.
We arrived at the apartment about 30 minutes early and our host was in the midst of cleaning. He welcomed us in and told us to make ourselves at home whilst he finished cleaning the bathroom.
The apartment was centrally located which worried me a bit because with a central location usually comes noise. As we sat there, I could hear the traffic noise but thought it would die down at night (it didn’t but the traffic noise did not affect our sleep). In fact, I slept very well in that tiny two-bedroom apartment.
After our host finished cleaning, he sat at the table with us and handed over two sets of keys. This was a pleasant surprise because it allowed us the freedom to split up, say if one of us wanted to go to Starbucks and the other two wanted to go to the Leprechaun Museum. (Note: None of us had cell phone service in Dublin).
Each key ring contained five keys.
Three keys were fitted with colored rubber “bracelets”. The colors were red, yellow, and blue. The other two keys were not color-coded but were different sizes and shapes.
Our host explained that we needed to think of entering the apartment building as though it was a traffic light. The red key was for the external building door. The yellow key was for the door leading to the lift. And the blue key was for the door to the floor of the apartment.
The large non-colored key was for the bottom lock and the small non-colored key was for the top lock.
I thought perhaps we were in an unsafe area with all these keys but the host assured me it was safe and that the only reason why there were two locks on the apartment door was that he had the top lock specially fitted so that it locks the door automatically when it is shut so that guests can leave their keys behind in the apartment when they check out.
The host slid one set of keys across the table to Nikki and the other set to me.
Jill pointed at Nikki and said, “Oh, no, no. She’s not the responsible one.” She then pulled the keys away from Nikki and placed them in front of her.
Jill then informed our host, “The hierarchy is Camie, me, and then Nikki. Camie is the leader. If something happens to her, then it’s me, and if something happens to me, oh, no, then it’s Nikki.”
More laughter ensued.
Our host then said, “Speaking of responsibility… My brother and I have a friend who also has an Airbnb property and our friend once received a call from a neighbor of his Airbnb apartment that his guest had locked herself out of the apartment and was running around naked.”
Jill said, “Nikki has run around almost naked before.”
Our host said, “OK, If you get locked out, naked or not, call me. If you get lost, call me. If you need recommendations, call me. Even if you get thrown in jail, call me. I will help you.”
We all nodded that we understood the rules.
He then took out a map and asked, “What do you plan on doing whilst you are here?”
Host: “OK, then I’d go here, here, here, and here. What about restaurants?”
Me: “Yep, we plan on eating as a second priority.”
Host: “OK, then you should go here, here, here, and here. What about tourist stuff? The Book of Kells is just down the street and Dublin Castle is right there.”
He pointed out the window. Dublin Castle was literally across the road.
Me: “I’ve seen the Book of Kells and I will not permit them to see it on my watch.”
Our host wrapped things up and we went to a nearby pub for a late lunch and then stopped at the supermarket for a few essentials: Beer and Diet Coke for Jill, red wine for Nikki and me, and brekkie stuff for the following morning.
This is a photo of our refrigerator after our first night in Dooblin (this is how Nikki pronounces Dublin).
Overall, our trip to Dublin was relaxing. We probably accomplished as much tourist stuff in three days as a sober couple would have done in a single day. We didn’t mind. We were doing what we wanted to do like drinking a pint of Guinness at Gravity Bar in the Guinness Storehouse. (Jill drank a Diet Coke instead because she “wouldn’t be caught dead drinking ‘ass beer’.”)
We also swung by Ireland’s oldest bar, The Brazen Head. It was established in 1198. It’s worth a stop but I wish we would have got a better photo of us.
Admittedly, the weather was not on our side during this trip. It was cold, windy, and very rainy but we slogged through it and sat fireside at pubs when possible to thaw out.
Sometimes I shipped Nikki and Jill off to do touristy things, like when I suggested that they visit Kilmainham Gaol whilst I sat in a nearby coffee shop warming up. One of the downsides to revisiting a city (or even when we have visitors in England) is that I’ve already done many of the touristy things that tourists want to do. They also visited the Leprechaun Museum one morning when I needed a couple more hours of sleep.
We managed to get a break from the rain one afternoon and strolled along the River Liffey before tucking into a tiny pub to warm back up.
We made fast friends with many locals. The locals especially took to her outgoing nature. Watching Nikki converse with the locals and their Irish accents was a type of entertainment I cannot describe.
And though there isn’t much to write about from a tourist/visitor perspective, the trip was exactly what we wanted it to be.