In my previous articles I wrote about my first impressions of Ireland and about the wonderful Irish nature. This time I'll tell you more about the Irish capital city, where I spent most of my stay. Dublin is not a very large city, but I'm a living proof of that you can get lost even there. I visited the city center only a few days after my arrival to Ireland to take English classes, which were held twice a week in the afternoon in the Dublin School of English.

I remember the very first trip to Dublin like it happened yesterday. My host mum let me go earlier so that I can see the city center but more importantly that I find the school building. I had a map on hand, which I studied carefully at home so that I know where to go. Nevertheless, I had a little shock already at the bus stop. I foolishly believed that the timetable at the bus stop (even on the internet), contains the times at which the bus departs from the particular bus stop. I guess that's just some odd thing we are used to in the Czech Republic (and some other crazy countries). I went to the bus stop, thinking I'm right on time and still have a few minutes before the bus leaves. And then I look across the road and there's the bus, leaving...

Dublin Bus

Well, I obviously had to wait another 10-15min for the next bus. I was so naive, I thought that the bus was just a bit early, or was delayed. And the truth is I believed this for way too long. I finally gave up after a few weeks and I just didn't bother with the timetables anymore. But it just got me thinking and one day I went on a walk and looked at the other timetables on the route of my bus. Then I realized there is only one single timetable at the bus stops (the same for all the stops on one route) and that the time it shows is the time the bus departs from the very first stop. You can imagine that after that, I just gave up completely on the timetables there. There is a way to know when the bus arrives and leaves, but you have to calculate it yourself. On the dublinbus.ie the timetables are still the same, so you can have a look. Under the timetable there are a few selected stops on the route and the time between them is calculated approximately. Well, at least the Dubliners can never say the bus is late. I guess that's a good thing.

But now back to my story. The bus finally arrived and I was happy that I didn't have problems buying a ticket. I wanted to sit on the upper part of the bus (you know, my first ride on a double-decker bus), but I thought to myself I will rather stay downstairs (there was pretty much nobody else on the bus and I panicked a bit and I felt better sitting next to the bus driver). Another shock came to me when I realized there is nowhere written or said which is the next bus stop and on top of that, if nobody pressed the button on the bus or waved at the bus from the bus stop, it did not stop. I thought to myself, that the next time I just won't have to count the number of the bus stops for "just in case scenario".  By the way, you wouldn't believe how many times I forgot to get off and not to mention the rides in the dark - I was always completely lost and the only thing which helped me realize it's time to get off was a sharp bend right before my stop. But who knows, perhaps the Dublin transport got a bit of a modernization these days.

Dublin

By some really mysterious coincidence, I got off the bus at the right stop. And since I had plenty of time, I tried to find the school and then decided to walk around a bit. The building was next to the Liffey river, so I found that pretty easily. And then I decided to go across the river, to see what's there. And so I did, I went straight and after a while I turned right - that was pretty easy to remember and I was sure I won't get lost this way. Well, I probably wouldn't get lost wouldn't it be for the Chinese quarters I found myself in after a while. The streets there got quite narrow and winding and well, the overall feeling of the place was pretty different to the rest of Dublin to say at least. I tried to keep a poker face and decided to go one way and I was sure it would take me out of there. Well, it didn't. Fortunately, my sense of direction told me something's wrong and I decided to use the map. Of course I was going in a completely wrong direction but eventually I found my way back to the Liffey river.

I decided to take a break there and I found a nice bench to sit on and enjoy the view. I really like that about Dublin. When the weather is nice (which is not really much often, but if you're lucky... :) ), it is really great to sit on a bench next to the river and relax. There are quite a lot of different styles and sizes of the bridges across Liffey, including a Guiness bridge for trains.

Guiness Bridge

Apart from the bridges, there are cute little riverfronts, some with benches which are full of people during nice summer days and you can even find refreshments and some cafe's and restaurant's outside seating there. 

You can also read my next article on Dublin where you will discover the Irish Guiness beer, Leprichauns and the true Irish rainbow with me.