January of 2013 had me leaving Thailand, vacationing in Bali, and towards the month’s end, I found myself back in true civilization in Dublin, Ireland. After a grueling flight with plenty of layovers, at approximately 8:00 in the morning on January 29th, I came to Ireland for the first time.
In an effort to stave off the jet lag that would surely be coming for us, we checked into our hotel and spent the day wandering the streets of Dublin. At 2:00 pm we were already in The Quays pub in the infamous Temple Bar area, pints of Guinness and Bulmer’s cider in hand, listening to a live band play classic Irish music.
After a brief search for an apartment, we fell in love with a beautiful, two-bedroom apartment in the suburb of Howth. The landlord opened the door and we were greeted with a beautiful, panoramic view of the harbour. We decided on the spot that we would take it. Howth is a wealthier suburb of Dublin, and it’s close proximity to the coast means that seafood restaurants and markets reign supreme – not ideal for a vegetarian such as myself, but Tommy was in heaven with the selection of fresh seafood available to him. In stormy weather, the harbour wall would overflow with white-capped waves, and sea foam would float over for children to play in as if it were snow. I loved living there; I loved that I could regularly see seals in my front yard, I loved the feeling of going for a run among the harbour wall, I loved that I lived close to the former house of W.B. Yeats. The nearby coastal cliffs were a beautiful and scenic walk, where you would see dolphins swimming in the water below. It was exactly like standing on the very edge of the world.
Now, 4 months later, I can say that Dublin has become my favourite city I’ve ever been to. The whole country is wonderfully beautiful, so green even on the greyest, rainiest days. The old buildings contribute to the feeling of history and a certain quaintness absent in most major cities. When you walk down Grafton or Henry Street, there are numerous artists selling prints and paintings, many musicians playing instruments and singing to enthralled crowds. That is easily one of my favourite things about Dublin – it’s always so musical. It’s as if the city has its very own heartbeat.