We arrived in Dublin and thanks to some generous friends, could bypass another hostel in favour of their great apartment in inner suburb Ballsbridge. A trip to Tesco (supermarket) at lunchtime immediately highlighted what we had heard, how much more expensive Ireland and particularly, Dublin, is than the rest of the UK.
A bit tired from the early flight, the first day more or less consisted of nothing except sleeping and cueing up programs to watch on the cable television. We finally explored the city the following day, including Trinity College, St Stephens Green, Merrion Square, and some of the shopping haunts.
One of the guidebooks Barry had been reading the night prior quoted the old idea that you can't go into a pub in Ireland and drink alone. He tested this theory out and, as expected, had the bartender and two local patrons chatting away within the first sip of a pint of Guinness. Quickly we were tuned into the places to go, or not bother going to, the difference between the North and South side of the river (think East/West in Melbourne) and pretty much anything else you wanted to know about Dublin or Ireland. One pint turned into four before we moved on to another venue for dinner and more world cup action.
The following day consisted of much the same as the day prior, with Barry discovering the Porterhouse pub chain. The pubs have a range of their own stouts, lagers and ales, with the most interesting being a stout made using Oysters, surprisingly wasn't too fishy but you couldn't help but feel a bit odd drinking it. We again didn't last long drinking alone, joined by a group looking for a seat in preparation of the Spain v Germany world cup semi. While the boys were Irish, one very talkative French girl amongst them told us she had placed 1000 euros on Germany to win the tournament before it started. Safe to say she wasn't so talkative once the game had finished.
Our final day in Dublin was again fairly quiet as we prepared for our six day Paddywagon tour that was to kick off early the next morning. We briefly looked at Dublin Castle, briefly as it was a bit of a letdown. Being our last opportunity for a while to use a kitchen without fellow backpackers in the way, Elle cooked up a storm, which produced a day early birthday cake for Barry.
After some Bahr-Wright family Skype action in the early hours of Friday, it was on the bus for the highly recommended Paddywagon tour.