After a pretty crap Christmas, we thought we’d have to cancel our first European city break (Ireland) but decided more than anything we needed a change of scenery.
We loved Dublin so much we can’t wait to share it; It’ll take a few days to write up our adventure, so instead of waiting, here’s a quick photo tour of our Dublin city break from start to finish:
Flying to Dublin
It was an early start (3 am) which explains the vague look. I think Bridget slept in the bobble hat, so she didn’t forget it.
It was freezing at John Lennon Airport and blowing a gale, poor Bridget looks so cold, and there’s Mr Bobble again.
We passed through customs and took advantage of the airport smoking shelter. Before boarding the plane, we grabbed a quick coffee in one of the many cafés.
It was a short but turbulent flight. We were met at the plane, rushed through customs, and ready to explore a grey and overcast Dublin before we knew it.
Dublin in Pictures
Dublin airport is vast but still very accessible for wheelchair users.
There are a couple of weird things, McDonald’s doesn’t sell hot chocolate, and the accessible toilet is in the ladies?
I felt a tad uneasy taking Bridget into the toilet. If that makes sense, the accessible toilet is separate but attached to the ladies, which it probably doesn’t. What you need to know is this is the furthest I’ve ever been inside a lady’s toilet!
Once you exit the airport, there are buses to all corners of Ireland. Don’t worry; there’s an information stand for routes and timetables.
I can’t vouch for the times it’s staffed, but there were plenty of florescent jackets knocking about who seemed to be employed to guide people.
We stayed at the Premier Inn, about ten minutes away from the airport. Helpfully they have their connection bus (as do most hotels in the area), which runs from the pickup terminal about a three-minute walk from the main airport. It’s well signposted if you’re unsure or ask at the info desk.
We were thrilled when the purple double-decker bus turned up, complete with a wheelchair ramp. The bus costs one euro each, and it runs every half hour, but check first. The great news is it drops you off at the front door of the hotel.
An afternoon in Dublin
After a much-needed siesta, we had a 2-minute walk to the local bus stop. We then caught a Dublin Bus into O’Connell Street, which is in the centre of Dublin. I’ll be writing about the Dublin Bus company separately because their service to wheelchair users was excellent.
These two imposing structures are the historically significant General Post Office and Customs House from the rear. We were getting tired at this point, so the front of Customs House had to wait!
After an early start, lots of pushing a wheelchair, and too much fresh air, we made our way back to the hotel.
Before we retired for the night, we visited TGI Fridays for a bite to eat. The food, service and atmosphere were all top-notch. I recommend chicken cooked in Jack Daniel’s it’s to die for!
Suitably fed and watered, we finished a lovely day off in a 1000 pocket strung Hypnos bed.
Day Two in Dublin
We started late on day two because Bridget was understandably “knackered” and had a lay-in. I used the time to put an itinerary together.
We were trying our best to act like tourist’s we visited the Dublin hot spots! It was soon apparent we needed more time to explore because there’s so much to see in Dublin.
We need to work on selfies; they’re awful!
Dublin was accessible to us. Strolling along the River Liffey was a breeze. I wish the sun had put in an appearance.
Thanks to Paul at BaldHiker, who wrote about the bridge. I wanted to see the Ha’penny Bridge, and I’ve heard it called the lovers bridge, kissing bridge and Ha’Penny bridge, so it intrigued me. I spotted the Bachelor Inn and was taken back by the quotes on the way to it.
I was particularly struck by the words of Oscar Wilde; very profound!
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all” – Oscar Wilde
Anyway, back to the Ha’penny Bridge. If you’ve visited or read Paul’s post, you’ll know the bridge is usually covered in padlocks put there by lovers. Sadly when we arrived, they’d been cleared, and worse still, we couldn’t cross it in a wheelchair, but hey ho!
We crossed the Liffey on the next bridge along. I think it’s the Millennium Bridge, but don’t quote me!
I then had this great idea, to visit Temple Bar?
Temple Bar and its world-famous pubs are on the south side of the river. It’s doable in a wheelchair, but to keep its character, they’ve kept the cobbled streets. In fairness, there are plenty of dropped kerbs. Cobbles and wheelchairs are not designed for each other, but it was worth the effort all the same.
Temple Bar, in all honesty, took it out of both of us! If you’re a very fit wheelchair user or carer, you’ll be fine, but we’re lightweights!
We’re not partying animals, so we passed through on our way to see Trinity College and Molly Malone.
It had been a long day, and we were starting to flag, so we headed for St Stephen’s Green shopping centre in Grafton Street for a well-earned rest. It’s a lovely place to shop but busy. In the end, we headed for M&S for afternoon tea.
There are plenty of cafés along the way, but we’re a little paranoid about inconveniencing people, so we stick to the more prominent establishments.
This paranoia is our problem, not theirs, we don’t like inconveniencing people by moving tables and the like, and I’m sure there’d be no problem if we asked!
Rested and warmed, it was time to return to the hotel. Making our way back down Grafton Street, there was loads of street entertainment which Dublin is famous for. We didn’t stop as it was getting dark. We passed by Trinity College again and headed for O’Connell Street to catch the bus.
After a comfortable night’s sleep, it was time to head home. Dublin airport assistance looked after us, as did Ryanair.
It was freezing when we arrived back in Liverpool, but we’d had the best time in Dublin, so it didn’t dampen our spirits.
That was a quick overview of our weekend in Dublin. You might also enjoy Free and Accessible Things to do in Dublin