The first thing I learned in Dublin was that I rely on the Google maps app way too much. With minimal data on my phone and not wanting to arrive back in London to a huge bill, I was forced to use a real map.
As in, one of those maps that folds up in your pocket.
A map without a blue dot telling me where I was.
The last time I used a proper map was during a Year 7 orienteering exercise which ended with my friends and I lost in a field in Cambridgeshire and having to be picked up in a teacher’s car after failing to arrive at the finish post.
So yeah, I knew my map-reading abilities were a bit rusty.
That said, Dublin was super easy to get around and it’s a city that deserves to be discovered on foot.
That tiny alley might not look overly significant the map, but spying a street of graffiti around a corner and deciding to just go where your feet are taking you? It’s the best way to explore somewhere new.
Walking anywhere in Dublin with me though, I imagine, was sort of frustrating…..
Wait, I just want to take a quick picture of this building. Oh my God check out all that graffiti. Hey, look at the colour of that door! Wow, I just wanna get a photo of this amazing church.
Dublin. Kid. Candy store.
It started in Temple Bar. Graffiti, street art, shop windows and pub doors; all in bright hues. The grey October skies loomed overhead but there was colour everywhere.
It was when we were halfway down a cobbled street in Temple Bar that we discovered something that definitely wasn’t on any maps we’d studied. The Icon Walk, which you can find just off Fleet Street, documents Irish culture through art – a free crash course in culture if you’re strapped for time, and something I’d definitely recommend you search out if you’re ever in Dublin.
Then I realised you can’t walk anywhere in Dublin without bumping into a statue. They’re everywhere, from James Joyce on O’Connell Street to Molly Malone on Grafton Street. Of course, the statues wouldn’t truly be a part of Dublin unless they’d been given a series of funny, albeit somewhat derogatory, nicknames over the years.
‘The Hags with the Bags”, “The Stiffy at The Liffy”, “The Tart with the Cart” anyone?
And then there were the buildings that really blew me away. Trinity College, Custom House, Christchurch Cathedral – it was like being in London, where I’m constantly fawning over some building or another.