Thursday, August 18, 2005

Return and Leave

So the days have now passed since I returned from the Emerald Isle and I am ready now to discuss the trip. As I predicted the stag weekend ran according to type save for one particular exception - our attendance on Saturday afternoon at Croke Park to see the All Ireland Gaelic Football Quater-Final between Dublin and Count Tyrone. This was a welcome break to the standard stag fayre and provided many talking points for the remainder of the weekend.
On my previous visits I have always thought of Dublin in a similar light to say Amsterdam, Barcelona and say Prague those other popular weekend break destinations. In terms that is of the relaxed and friendly atmosphere and noisy but well behaved nightlife.
This visit my illusions were shattered. It seems Dublin has become more an extension of Britain abroad with drunken fools around every corner. The place felt more like London or Leeds than Madrid or Munich. Ireland may be a fully paid up member of the EU but Dublin (and more specifically Temple Bar) is becoming more like UK by the day.
Still, tis not all bad. The abusive and thuggish bouncers that frequent every pub, club and bar in the UK have not yet found their way across the Irish Sea and the Dublin staff still maintain a pleasant and friendly demeanour (despite the abuse).

So, we move on. This weekend I will travel to the beautiful but remote Dartmoor National Park in Devon for a week of holidaying under canvas. Many activities are in store and these will be reported on my return. Until then.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Dublin approaches

Tomorrow morning (12th Aug) I am travelling to the fair city of Dublin - capital of the Republic of Ireland. The reason for my journey (every journey has a reason - although often this may not be apparent until the trip has been completed) anyway the reason is for a 'stag' weekend for a friend and former work colleague.
The stag w/e has become an affectionate part of the British way of life and in recent years I have visited such wonderous delights as Glasgow, Brigton, Sheffield, Bristol and Southend on these.
The normal course of action for a stag do is to arrive at destination early Friday evening and head straight to a local bar for some light ales and a 'quiet night' in anticipation of Saturday's events. Inevitably, drinks flow fast and as gentleman (many of whom have nothing in common other than being relations/friends/colleagues of 'the stag') become aquainted, so the night gets ugly and finishes far later than planned.
Often events will be booked for Saturday (afternoon) such as paintballing, karting, clay pigeon shooting or other manly pursuits where the stag (and often his best man) cannot possibly win. These will be followed by beers and unhealthy meat products in a public house then a rapid dash to the accomodation (for those that can be bothered) to change - for what? Not for dinner but for more beers and the obligatory niteclub (sic).
Sunday morning rolls up and farewells are said - for some they may not meet again but for many the next time they come face to face will be in the cramped pews of a church when, upon spotting a familiar face from the stag do they give 'the nod' and introduce each other's better halves with a knowing wink.
And so it goes. Dublin is a beautiful city (by day), by night I wonder what will behold.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Welcome to my News

Hello and welcome to my Blog. This is my personal (and clearly now public) journal of my travels past, present and future. I hope to share with you my experiences of the new and varied places I visit and offer some tips and ideas for anyone thinking of following in my footsteps.