If there’s one thing Dubliners know how to do, it’s put on a good party. While Dracula is synonymous with Yorkshire seaside, the author, Bram Stoker is actually a Dubliner and they’re hella proud of that. We’ve already established that Dublin knows how to throw an amazing New Year bash, and OBV a St Patricks Day parade but if you visit around Halloween they have a fantastic festival celebrating all things Bram Stoker. I was pregnant when I had the invite for a weekend of boozing and Bram so I sent Scarlett & Zoe in my stead… here’s what they thought. Over to Scarlet:
If there’s one thing me and my partner in crime, ZoeYak, are good at, it’s deciding last minute to go on a weekend long bender in a new city.
I want to stress, by the way, that the ‘bender’ part is never intentional – when we went to Brussels, the plan was to take in the European culture, do some writing and catch up on our reading. There’s actually a horribly staged #travelblogger-esque photo of me posing in the sunshine, pen in hand, ready to write the next best seller. Fast forward 30 hours and I’m bladdered, crashing a bike into a pile of other bikes on my way to an underground ‘coffin bar’. Talk about making an entrance.
Anyway, when we packed our bags for Dublin, we had high hopes that this was going to be different. Not only were we 3 months older and therefore much more mature, but we were guests of Visit Dublin tourist board so it was best behaviours all round. It transpired, however, that the first thing I learnt about Dublin was that Irish people, and more specifically the girls from the tourist board, are absolutely game for a laugh. God I love the Irish.
Now, because we went a whole fucking year ago and I’m horribly late in writing about this, the details of exactly what we did and where we went are a little hazy. But let me try to give you the low-down of the best bits about my weekend in Dublin….
Yeah we went kayaking in October in Ireland, that’s how outdoorsy we are. We also didn’t have a choice, and I was – as always – unprepared as fuck, to the point where a random woman on the bank lent me her fleece to wear. Anyway, turns out kayaking is dead easy and actually really fun. Zoe didn’t agree as you can read here, but as a miserable goth it’s on brand for her to hate everything. Love you by the way, girl.
Special mention to the drunk lads lurking on the bridge shouting, “this is the spot where all the murderers dump the dead bodies.” The more you know.
Ate and Drank
This was pretty much the backbone of the weekend. Full disclosure; the whole weekend was paid for by the tourist board and they weren’t stingy when it came to ale and decent scran. We went everywhere, from 5* gaffs like The Church, to proper hardcore Irish pubs in Temple bar – which, honestly, I feel more comfortable in than the fancy restaurants. Imagine the party in 3rd class of the Titanic, but with Sambuca.
Serious Touristy shit
For three mornings on the run I stumbled along the corridor to knock on Zoe’s room – hungover to fuck and looking like Tim Burton’s wet dream – because we had another day of touristy things planned for us. Twice she slammed the door in my face. Once I ended up having to go on a Viking walking tour alone while still drunk, where the whole group had to stop so I could go and throw up in Maccy’s toilet. I’m nothing if not classy.
As I said, I’m struggling to remember all of the details but the main highlights were:
The good: Gravedigger Ghost Bus Tour of Dublin
I’m a huge fan of scary shit, so this was right up my street! We travelled by ghost-bus around the city learning about haunted jails, phantom pigs and rogue body snatchers before ending up having a drink at the Gravedigger’s Pub. God bless the Irish for managing to get ale involved with absolutely everything.
The bad: Cliff walk to the fishing village of Howth
On probably the heaviest hangover of the weekend, the board decided to take us on a light cliff walk through the Irish countryside. I say the word “take” in the loosest sense of the word, “dragged” would probably be a bit more accurate. I generally handle hangovers like a fucking champion, but even I struggled with this one. Zoe, I honestly thought was going to die. Or at least throw herself off the cliff in an attempt to cut the hell-walk short.
The ugly: A hedonistic vampire party
Ugly is the wrong word, but it was certainly… eye opening. Artistic director, Tom Lalor gave up a brief for the dress code the night before: “Imagine if FKA Twigs and Rihanna opened a strip club in Vegas.”And, honestly, I think that strip club would have looked tame compared to what I saw people wearing that night. It definitely wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I had a shiny disco ball. Alcohol, house music and half naked weirdos; what’s not to love?
So, in summary, Irish people are the best people in the world, Dublin is amazing and ZoeYak can’t handle a hangover but I love her anyway.