By Sydne Tursky [Visiting Student Blogger]
As my time in Ireland dwindles down to a matter of days, I find myself ever more appreciative of Dublin. Though I have always loved this city and have been so happy to spend time here, I am realizing more and more how much I have taken it for granted. It has been the home to come back to after gallivanting through central Europe for a week; it has been my lively surroundings during many late-night walks back from the library or a pub; it has been host to many laughs and cries and laughs that turned into cries. But my life here has become a routine, and that means that sometimes I am oblivious to the most wonderful parts of Dublin.
I have taken time this last week to rediscover everything that enthralled me about Dublin from the first day I landed here, and I would like to share them. If you’re a Dubliner, you might realize that you take many of these things for granted because you are so used to them. Without further ado, these are my absolute favorite things about Dublin.
- Pubs and their Flowers
I generally abide by the old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but it seems to me that this rule does not always apply to pubs in Dublin – pretty facades usually denote good pubs, I have found. My personal favorites are those with flowers hanging outside. It’s a simple, silly thing, but it brightens up the sometimes-dreary Dublin days.
- Markets, Markets, Markets
Dublin is nothing if not good at markets. On weekends, it seems like the streets come alive as vendors set up in different areas around the city, selling delicious street food, crafts and gifts. My personal favorite market is the Temple Bar Food Market. It’s tucked in a little alcove off Essex Street, and every Saturday they serve up the most delicious foods, including chicken dumplings, crêpes, barbecue and the most amazing cheeses and pastries.
- The Food
Speaking of food, Dublin has good eats outside of the markets as well. The great thing about Dublin is that you can get virtually any kind of food whenever you want it, from Pad Thai to burritos to burgers – in fact, you could probably find all three of those on a single street. However, Dublin is also great at celebrating traditional Irish food as well. My love affair with bangers and mash began here, and though I could make potatoes and sausage easily in the United States, I know it just won’t be the same. Just look at this food:
- Irish culture and dancing
Dublin is very different from the rest of Ireland: more international, more diverse, much busier. But it embodies the best of both worlds, because you can also spend a night in a pub watching traditional Irish music and dancing, which is one of my favorite things to do in this city.
- The River Liffey
This point really reflects my own bias – I just love cities on water. The River Liffey isn’t particularly clean, or clear, but it just adds something special to this city.
Watching the sunset over it, or the nighttime lights reflect off it, is one of my favorite things. There’s just something vaguely magical about this river. (I haven’t ruled out the possible involvement of leprechauns.)
Truthfully though, the thing I’ll most about this city is its people. Everyone here is so kind, and I have met so many wonderful human beings. When I leave this city, I’ll be leaving a little part of myself behind.
Goodbye Dublin. You will be missed.