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.

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