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Published: October 16th 2007
We had little trouble catching a train to Dublin as our accommodation in Belfast was right next to a suburban train station and it was easy to change trains to the express train to Dublin. We caught quite an early train which we thought would give us plenty of time to find a place to stay as again we couldn't find anything within our price range on the internet.
We arrived at Dublin Connolly Station (one of their two terminus stations) and after grabbing something to eat we went for a realtively long walk to the centre of the city where the visitor centre is located. There were a number of lines at the visitor centre, with a separate one if you wanted to book a b&b/guesthouse/hotel from the one to book a hostel. We decided to first try for a b&b/guesthouse/hotel.
We wanted to stay in Dublin for the nights of Thursday 11th and Friday 12th October, however after a long wait in the line, the girl at the counter was unable to find anything on the Friday night that was anywhere near our price range (i.e. it was well over €100 for a room). All she could
find us was accommodation for the Thursday night on the outskirts of town which was slightly above our intended price anyway. Naturally, we thought we'd try instead for a hostel room so we joined that line.
When we got to that counter we were informed that we couldn't even get a dormatory room for our intended price in either Dublin or surrounding towns on the Friday night. It turned out that there was some football match on that weekend or something. So it was back to the first line and another long wait to eventually book the hotel for the first night only.
With all this trouble we decided to rethink our plans and after a visit to the internet we eventually booked the Friday night at a place called Waterforld which we had not been intending to visit. We also booked a room at Rosslare on the Saturday night as we were due to catch a ferry from there to Wales early the next morning.
To get to our Dublin hotel which was outside the main CBD area we had to catch a bus with all our bags. Whilst we initially thought it was good that
the bus had luggage racks it turned out not to be as the bus quickly got packed with people and we couldn't easily get past them to get to the door. To make matters worse it seemed that Dublin had worse traffic congestion than any other town we had been to so far on the trip and the bus barely moved faster than walking pace. Eventually we had had enough and decided to get off the bus with many excuse me's do get past people. We probably walked about 5 blocks before the bus finally overtook us walking. Although the street had a kerbside bus lane on approaches to intersections, there was so much traffic congestion in the other lane that there were queues of traffic in the kerbside lane prior to the start of the bus lane that were stuck because they were unable to merge into the adjacent lane due to the stationary queue. This meant that the bus lanes actually made it worse for the buses! After a long walk we eventually made it to the hotel where we were staying.
On the next morning we eventually had time to go for a walk around Dublin. We visited Parnell Square and the monument to Charles Stewart Parnell. We also went to Dublin Castle (which didn't really look much like a castle at all) as well as Trinity College and St Patrick's Cathedral.
In order to leave Dublin to go to Waterford we had to go to the other main railway station called Heuston. There is no rail connection between the two stations and Dublin does not have a Metro system so the only way to connect is by tram or bus. Due to our last experience with a bus in Dublin there was no way we were doing that again, so we went with the tram, but even that was pretty crowded! At least they have areas with bum rests where there is plenty of standing room.
The other bad thing about Dublin's public transport is that they do not have integrated ticketing, so you have to get a separate ticket for suburban trains and the trams. Whilst there is some integration between the suburban trains and buses, it makes the ticket very expensive.
However unlike Melbourne which is still planning its DART service (Doncaster Area Rapid Transit) which will be some sort of express bus serving Doncaster, Dublin already has a DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) which refers to some of the suburban trains.
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