2 Days in Dublin

After I got back from Cardiff on the 11th I kept having the urge to go on another trip. We had 3 weeks of Christmas break and I decided I wasn't going to just stay in my room the whole time.

I came across cheap tickets to Dublin and I was praying so hard someone would agree to host me but there was still food in my fridge I didn't wanna waste them so I was hesitant about leaving for 3 days and that's when Amy who's studying in Dublin got back to me saying I'm more than welcomed to stay with her. 

She was telling me how Dublin is expensive so I thought of bringing my kiwis and mushrooms and tomatoes and  to Dublin. I did some research online about Ireland custom prohibitions and tweeted Ryan Air and finally Ireland custom emailed back saying me it didn't seem like a problem to bring in fresh fruits and vegetables so I packed them in my bag and set off to Dublin. But I never got around to eating them in the end.

I had places I wanted to visit written down in my notebook but my plan changed after I picked up this Dublin Gallery Weekend map at LAB Gallery on the first night. There were so many exhibitions that I didn't know about going on so I ended up dedicating all my 3 days just visiting galleries and museums and had to miss Pheonix Park, St Stephen's GreenArtBoxIMMARHA and food markets which were a little far from city centre. 

14th Dec // Wed

I was worried about rainy weather (like that rainy day in Cardiff was horrible) but my host Amy and everyone on CS were telling me the weather in Dublin had been good and of course it fucking rained when I was there.

From Dublin Airport I took the Aircoach to O'Connell Street (return EUR11) and I was very satisfied because they had sockets on the bus unlike the Bristol Flyer A1 and Bristol Airport :/ 

Dublin Aircoach (number 700) to City Centre         €11.00 return / €6.00 single
Bristol Flyer (First bus number A1) to City Centre   £11.00 return / £6.00 single

So I got off at The Gresham Hotel at around 4pm and met Amy at The Spire and we walked to her apartment which was only 7 min walk away. 

I met Amy's housemates from Brasil and they were lovely and considerate I was impressed that they thought it is rude to speak in a language around folks who can't speak it. One of them invited me to join them at the pub but I wanted to take a look at LAB Gallery which was just around the corner.

The on-going exhibition was called "A Different Republic" which showcased works by 4 different visual artists spanning two storeys of the building.

After the gallery I walked around the north part of Dublin city centre and found LIDL and their bananas were so expensive! A cluster of them was for €1.35 which could have costed less than £1 in the UK. I didn't have cash with me so I had to pay by card and I was charged €1.37 which would then be a £2.15 deduction from my acc, it's even painful if you think about it in MYR. All for 7 bananas ugh. 

Before bed I was offered Doritos and I couldn't help myself and downed the whole bag of it and slept with guilt.

15th Dec // Thur

I was pretty excited and went out exploring early in the morning when the sun wasn't even up yet. 

Perhaps I was too early, Moore Street market hawkers were still setting up their stalls when I was there and I figured it was mostly fruit and veg stalls so I left.

I thought of visiting Mespil Road market later during noon so I went to No1 Currency Exchange Dublin and got £20 changed for €22. 

It was so hard having so many places to go with different opening times. I ended up in Trinity College Dublin but Douglas Hyde Gallery (which is in Trinity) wasn't open yet so I visited the Design and Violence exhibition at Science Gallery (also in Trinity) which was mind-blowing but the section upstairs didn't open till 12.

I was hungry anyway so I left and thought of going to Mespil Road Market for lunch but it was a little too far so I decided to check out this Coppinger Row Market that I have read about online, turns out there was nothing I guess it didn't actually exist anymore, but at least all the walking was worth it with these beautiful architecture everywhere, I was truly mesmerised.

I was interested in the talk by Projects Art Centre at Temple Bar about their exhibition The Wild but I showed up way earlier and it seemed like I was the only one there and me being me I decided to skip the talk and luckily every thing was pretty near to each other in Dublin city centre. I visited Gallery of Photography, The Library Project (a bookshop), Dublin Castle (only the outside) and spent lots of hours in Chester Beatty Library (it's a museum).

One hour is certainly not enough in The Chester Beatty Library. It is really amazing with a broad variety of manuscripts, lithographs, illustrated books, history about religions and cultures traced back to Constantinople period etc, no photographs are allowed due to it being a private collection but entrance is free so it is well worth a visit if you have the time.

They have a Middle Eastern cafe called Silk Road Cafe which is always full-house! I had my lunch there it was only like €6.50 for a "half-portion" which comes with rice and you get to choose a salad and a dish.

The Library closed at 5 so we all were evacuated and I decided to check out some galleries which were still open. I was gonna go to another gallery but I was walking the wrong way and ended up at Pallas Projects which was at the end of a really hidden dark alley. Pallas is a contemporary artist studio that has a gallery (oh my dream) and I loved all the works at the exhibition Periodical Review 20/16.

Dinner tonight was Turkish kebab takeaway from Alper, I got a vegetarian set meal (kebab + fries + can drink) for only €5.00 it was really yummy but the service was awful like they didn't even seem like they're preparing your order. There were also other takeaways at a cheap price along Talbot Street to try out if you can't bear with rubbish service.

Amy had been working hard on her essay which was due tomorrow and being ill and all so we didn't have much time to hang out but tonight we talked about our backgrounds and culture differences back home and she told me about her hitchhiking experiences across Ireland and it really made me want to come back to explore the countryside.

16th Dec // Fri

My flight today was at 9:50pm and I planned to not come back around again for my backpack so I packed everything and left Amy's after giving her a hug.

It's my last day in Dublin and I only planned to spoil myself but it's never too late so I popped by No1 Currency Exchange Dublin again and this time I got a €11.50 for a tenner. 

Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane opens really early so that's where I first visited today there were artworks from different periods and I got to see Francis Bacon's relocated studio. Then I dropped by Hillsboro Fine Art which was just nearby. The on-going exhibition at Hillsboro was "Now & Then" which celebrated the growth in art practices of various artists. The gallery owner / curator was very friendly and he gave me a book about Patrick Graham for free after I commented that I liked his works.

I "surveyed" a bit and this Brick Alley Cafe at Temple Bar had the cheapest Irish breakfast I could find so I had a vegetarian Irish full breakfast for lunch here after visiting Temple Bar Gallery + Studios. The €7.20 Irish breakfast came with toasts, 2 eggs, tomato, baked beans, peppers and mushrooms but to my disappointment it was rather tasteless. The cafe space was cosy but it would be a little narrow for groups. I sat at the window seat where you can watch passers-by but it was cold as they had opened windows above. 

Then I walked all the way to mother's tankstation limited which was showcasing Yuri Pattison and it was some contemporary shit that's pretty and deep. I thought the gallery space was very alienating and empty as well, a guy opened the door for me and disappeared after that, there was no light at the sign-in table and I looked up this stairs and saw a jesus-looking statue staring back at me and almost lost my shit.

While on my way back to the centre I passed by NCAD but I didn't go into the gallery as I couldn't find the entrance and I was distracted by the fact that it's an art school and was tryna peep into the student studios.

And then I came across the Liberty Market which was like a market with all the cheap stuff that looked like made-in-China's and rip-offs. I have always wondered why do are these mass-production of low quality stuff are allowed to happen...

My plan for before leaving for my flight was going back to Chester Beatty Library and also Science Gallery for the second time because there was just so much to see. There was a locker at Chester Beatty Library for 1 euro deposit as you're not supposed to bring in your backpack so I was thinking maybe next time I could actually leave my stuff there for the whole day if I didn't wanna walk around with lots of extra stuff, they'll never know. 

I thought of giving St Stephen's Green a quick visit before I left but noooo they closed according to daylight hours so I basically didn't manage to go to any park in Dublin :-(

I had been having a sore throat for the whole day which sucked but it also meant I had an excuse to eat ice-cream so I had been thinking about getting an ice-cream and I finally ordered a tiramisu at Gelato Di Natura (aka SUSO?) while waiting for my bus to the airport. It was €2 for an alright portion but it tasted only so-so I'm no desert expert but I thought the chocolate top was too dry.

It took me like 30 minutes to figure out I was waiting for my bus at the wrong direction which was why my bus never came but luckily I got on my bus successfully, despite trying to get on one that wasn't even heading to the airport. 

We landed in Bristol sooner than the ETA but it was the scariest landing I've ever experienced. The emergency break was on and there was a loud "bang" and all. As if I wasn't exhausted enough I got off my bus at Asda rather than the stop in front of my hall to get something and then walked back home. 

Agfa Vista 200 - Olympus mju ii
dev + sc Bristol Camera

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