It is official, after boarding two airplanes and spending endless hours in the sky- I have come face to face with the realities of jet lag. However, the lack of sleep is well worth it as I am now walking through the busy streets of Dublin. Full of endless energy, Dublin is a high-functioning, quintessential hotspot for tourists that is not to be missed. The reason for selecting Dublin as one of my research destinations was to examine how modern Europe functions on a daily basis in comparison to the United States.
One of the most interesting aspects regarding Dublin is its architecture that demonstrates a fusion of traditional and modern design. Rather demolishing old buildings, they have become the central piece of the city’s aesthetic appeal. Therefore, modern buildings are built around their predecessors, giving the streets an eclectic flow of history and modern style.
Transportation in Dublin is very systematic and simplistic. However, what must be understood, unlike transportation in the U.S. that drives on the right side of the road, Dublin’s transportation system drives on the left. What I found to be very interesting from what I have observed is that buses and cars are the first and foremost sought after means of transportation within the main areas of the city.
Food was something I was worried about. Many times my friends who have traveled to Dublin found its food to be bland compared to the U.S. However, after visiting various restaurants like Bread and Bones and Cornucopia, I found Dublin’s food not to be bland, but rather a flavorful contrast to what is seen in the U.S. However, in Dublin there is nothing more important than a good pint of Guinness. Regardless if it is a traditional restaurant or pub, the first question a server is most likely to ask their customers is whether they would like a Guinness to go with their meal.
One prime challenge I had encountered when entering Dublin was acclimating to its high-paced environment. As an individual who has grown up in the suburbs, it was more of a culture shock to get accustomed to Dublin’s urban surroundings. Furthermore, I had to learn to get used to walking with tight clusters of people everywhere I went. Normally, in the suburbs people have devised a safety bubble that represents a person’s personal space. However, in Dublin that protective bubble is nonexistent.
A second interesting aspect of Dublin culture I had to grow accustomed to is its conservative restrictions on electricity at the hotel where I am currently staying (Trinity City Hotel). Rather flipping a switch to turn on a light that is practiced in the U.S., a key card must first be inserted into a power box that will then turn on the power for the entire room. One final thought for travelers going to Dublin should make sure all your electrical devices are compatible at the residential accommodations you are staying. If your devices are too powerful for the electrical systems to handle, you can end up destroying them. This happened to me on my first day as I went to plug in my hair dryer and ended up short circuiting.