A wee bit o’ Dublin

Posted by jswt | Posted in General, Ireland - Dublin | Posted on 22-07-2010


It’s Sunday the 18th, and I’m currently sitting in the Dublin airport waiting for my flight to the UK after a rather lovely week in the land of green.

Flew in last Friday with the intent of kicking jetlag over a lazy weekend and then working all week before hitting up the Oxegen festival. Miscalculated slightly though, and the festival was the weekend I flew in. Chose to stay in bed Friday night rather than go see some of my favourite DJs devoid of energy and unable to dance – that’d just be too depressing. Instead, I wrangled up another of the partners on tour and dragged her out for some fun on Saturday – we hopped a bus, and drank a bottle of wine on our way to the event and were ready to rock. Luckily, she was a super trooper and didn’t let the rain and mud phase her, because as much as the music didn’t let up all day, neither did the rain, to the tune of knee deep mud. Highlights of the festival Saturday were definitely Dizzee Rascal, who destroyed the place and put all north american hip hop acts to pathetic shame. La Roux, Florence and the Machine and Rise Against rounded out some goodness. Unfortunately, the rain kicked up enough at the end of the night to send us home a little early, but it was probably a good thing, since the next afternoon we hopped a ride back with a guy from the tour and his brother and some friends and went back for another round. Thanks to the free redbulls (Rose Bulls = redbull + cheap rose = win!) we went mental all night amidst the casualties of the weekend who were still going hard. Some surprises on the little stage led into Eminem on the mainstage, which I wandered away from to throw myself into the middle of the Prodigy dancefloor. Fan-frikkin-tastic! I’d been waiting to see them since 92 and they were even better than I expected – definitely an act that’s grown up over the ages.

Got home late Sunday night, and Monday was a day off for Chris so we spent the day wandering around the city, which is really fantastic. It’s had years to grow up, but it’s evolved into a really accessible city with lots of shopping and restaurants and bars (and bars and bars and bars). We had a nice lunch, toured the Guiness factory, wandered for hours along the river, and topped it off with the… uhh… “joy” of seeing Riverdance.

The hotel we were staying in was brand new (construction finished the week before we got there, and we were the first to stay in our rooms), really really nice and was proud to talk about how their internet was “the fastest in Dublin”. Since the net connections in the hotels can get kinda questionable when there’s 100+ people all streaming their media in the evenings, I took advantage of the speedy connection to take on a massive server migration I’d been gearing up for… I was in lockdown mode through the rest of the week, but came up for air on Thursday night when we went out for a few drinks and met some people and had a good night out (even tho it was raining hard enough to drench us to the core).

Friday was another day off, so we rented a car and drove out into the country to see a distant relative of Chris’ who was still farming the same land where his great-great grandfather grew up. It was a nice drive out there, full of endless green spaces that felt like perpetual golf courses with ancient castles sprouting up out of nowhere. The visit was interesting, as they climbed back up the family tree filling in the blanks at each branch, then we toured the farm a bit and checked out the homestead. Afterwards, we played a game of ‘road-less-travelled’ and just drove further and further into the countryside until we found a random castle and a pub for some dinner. Turned on the GPS after dinner and drove back to Dublin, crashed out early, and worked solid through the rest of the weekend.

Dublin was a very nice city: The people were all super nice and friendly, they speak english (though it’s rather tricky to make out the accent, especially after a few drinks), and it’s more european than the UK. Didn’t get that much of a chance to connect with the city between the festival and the workload, but have a feeling I’ll be back here one day… don’t have to go out of my way to visit, but definitely a place I wouldn’t turn down a chance to return.