Winter Escape Episode III: Dublin

Dublin was a city that really impressed me, particularly for its size and with little reliance on major landmarks unlike other cities. It's relatively flat, much like Melbourne and very walkable.

It's airport in particularly the relatively recent T2 is also quite impressive: clean, modern and generally easy to navigate around.

Again the Airlink bus service is once again probably your best bet for traveling into the city centre. The next day I found out the location of my hotel was within an area of the city that housed many of the embassies, including - you guessed it - the Australian Embassy.

The Australian Embassy and surrounds. Notice the lack of sausage sizzle

As I had yet to vote in the Federal election I thought what better way to cast my very first vote from abroad than do it in Dublin with a sausage sizzle to boot. I was disappointed to learn that there was no sausage sizzle but also no queue to speak of, I was in and out in two minutes.

I don't know about anyone else but I consider the lack of sausage sizzle at a voting station, albeit abroad to be un-Australian particularly when friends in other cities were welcomed with them at Australian embassies.

Despite this I wouldn't allow the lack of sausage sizzle dampen my spirits, nor the drizzly weather which I had worked out by the end of my trip came in cycles every two hours.

One particular area I was keen to explore in cities which had them was their respective Docklands precincts. Moreso one's undergoing urban renewal, in order to form a better idea of where Melbourne's Docklands redevelopment sat in a global context.

The Dublin Docklands, in particular the area around Canal Square - south of the river - has been developed as a relatively low-rise business district with a sprinkling of residential apartment buildings and public spaces.

Dublin Docklands, north and south of the river.

Aside from voting and checking out the docks renewal, I had very little else planned in terms of must see items. Instead I set off on foot with no particular destination or plan of attack save for stopping at a pub for a pint of Guinness or two and trying to stay dry!

The aim was to see where the streets would take me and what I'd discover along the way.

Not surprisingly (and much to my delight) the primary streetscapes were lined with buildings of masonry construction not unlike Edinburgh.

The main point of difference however, was the greater variation in colour and texture which made for more visually pleasant streets, even when grey skies loomed large overhead.

Branching off the primary street network of the city are a series of alleys and laneways with retail activation with pedestrians the primary users. This further added to the city's walkability and to the overall experience of exploring the city.

Moments of street art also popped up occasionally on the sides of buildings providing further visual interest to the streets and laneways.

The streets of Dublin

If you're thinking of visiting Dublin or haven't been I would highly recommend it. Look out for my two-part story on London next week. In the meantime, you can keep up to date with my travels on Twitter.

1 comment

Chris Seals's picture

Strange, DUBLIN is colder in their summer than it is in Melbourne's winter, great escape.

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