Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

Top 10 Overrated Attractions in Europe


2010
02.20

1. Manneken Pis, Brussels

It’s a tiny little men peeing in a fountain, on the corner of a street, with hundreds of tourists in awe around it. It sometimes has costumes. When I was there, it was an orange tuxedo. Lovely.

2. Astronomical Clock, Prague

The clock is not really interesting. It’s more of a tourist trap than anything, so beware your belongings… pickpockets thrive in this area.

3. Stonehenge, England

The stones are actually pretty impressive, especially when learning how it got there. What’s not impressive is the 20 feet distance from the stones and the nearby motorway.

4. Champs-Élysées, Paris

Large busy boulevard. Too many tourists. Angry French drivers. Luxury stores aplenty. Make sure you pack a bunch of “patience” before going there.

5. Vatican City, Rome

Too much luxury in such a tiny place. Definitely worth a visit though, as long as you don’t think about world hunger.

6. The Spire, Dublin

That’s basically just a tall, metal thing in the middle of O’Connell street.  You can’t really walk past it, unfortunately.

7. La Barceloneta, Barcelona

The beach is dirty and overcrowded. Too many Asian masseuses asking around (repeatedly) for clients. The sea is filthy and cold. Just don’t rely on this spot  to  have a true “Spanish beach experience”.

8. Moulin Rouge, Paris

The Boulevard de Clichy burlesque club has nothing to brag about. It looks like something you would normally see in Vegas. Plus, tickets are very, very expensive.

9. Heineken Brewery, Amsterdam

Video simulation. €15. Enough said.

10.  The Louvre, Paris

Perfect if you want to wait hours outside, argue with non-queuing people, walk around in an overcrowded corridor and fight your way to catch a sight of the Joconde, hidden behind a glass wall and two guards. 

Travel Report: Dublin


2010
02.04

I stayed in Dublin two days, which I think was sufficient. My advice on Ireland is to spend as much time as possible in the countryside and little time in the capital.

On the first day, I visited Parnell Square (next to the hotel), went down O’Connell Street and walked to the famine statues, which were said to be impressive. They aren’t.  O’Connell street is filled with souvenir stores and overpriced filthy restaurants. I found it to be somewhat abandoned, maybe due to the economic circumstances. I spent most of the afternoon trying to find an open restaurant to have lunch. We ended up in St. Stephen’s Green area, which is nice.

Maldron Square

On the second day, we headed to Maldron Square. That’s where you can find the famous Oscar Wilde statue and the houses with vibrant colored doors. Legend says that after an evening at the pub, drunk Irish men recognized their home because of the door color and not the actual address. 

 I headed to Temple Bar area. It is nice, but it feels tacky and touristic. Dublin Castle looks boring from the outside so I didn’t visit it. St.Patrick’s Church has a fee to get in so I didn’t visit inside. It does look nice on the outside though, well worth a photo. 

Guinness Storehouse

As I was travelling with a beer lover, missing the Guinness Storehouse was unthinkable. I’m glad I went because even though I don’t like beer, it was actually very interesting and interactive. Well worth the long walk to get there as it’s a bit out of the center. I suggest you book your tickets in advance as long queues to get in are common. Plus you get a 10% discount. Clickie !

  • Accomodation: Maldron Hotel, €59 for a double. Great location, room feels more expensive than it is. No breakfast included.
  • Transporation: Aer Lingus from London. €0 for both trips, taxes only. From airport to Dublin’s O’Connell Street:  City Bus (#747, €10 return per person).
  • Food: Had lunch in a sucky american place on O’Connell Street because nothing else was open. Had dinner at Hairy Lemon pub which was great. Stopped at grocery near hotel to get things for breakfast and lunch the following day.
  • Activities: Guinness Storehouse, St. Patrick’s Church, Maldron Square Houses, Dublin Castle, St. Stephen’s Green, Parnell Square, Temple Bar area, O’Connell Street.
  • Final mark: 3/5. Would’ve been 2/5 if it wasn’t for the Guinness Factory.