Creative Layovers: 9 Hours in Dublin
Last spring when I was booking my tickets back to the states I found the best deal on Aer Lingus (did you know all Irish planes are named after saints!?!). At the time I had never been to Dublin before and so the 9 hour layover on the return flight seemed like the perfect excuse to see Dublin and catch up with my friend Emily who runs the blog From China Village – named after her hometown in Maine – which is a fantastic resource for any visit to Dublin, especially if you enjoy a twist of DIY. This whole leg of my trip was particularly amusing because I had just come from a 9 train ride from Pittsburgh to New York where I caught my 7 hour flight to Ireland. I was only slightly jetlagged and in need of a shower, but it was an adventure and we got really lucky with a beautiful day! Emily also happens to be a Vayable Guide (what I do in Paris) and has two offerings – Dublin Like a Local and Made in Dublin – so she gave me a special blend of the two.
First off, when you’re jetlagged, it’s really nice to have someone show you around so you don’t have to think too hard. I first met Emily through twitter, then featured her on Boarding Pass, and actually met her in Berlin during The Hive conference. Despite having only met her once before in person, whenever we’re together it feels like I’m hanging out with an old friend. (Funny, when I’m giving my own Vayable tours, it never really feels like I’m with strangers). My pace of life typically is non stop so there’s not a ton of time for research, so it was such a treat to have someone like Emily (below) to show me the ropes – and make me want to come back for a longer visit!
Our visit actually started with a trip to The Design Tower, which is full of artist studios. Emily had called ahead to arrange a special visit with a couple artists. This is definitely something I wouldn’t have done myself had I not been with a local. By the time we left the space I was totally fascinated by the process of soldering.
We also visited the Alan Ardiff studio that makes moving jewelry (that’s one of his prints left), and the jewelry designer Breda Haugh. I was fascinated by the low-tech nature of her workspace (right).
Along the way we stopped at the beautiful new design-forward hotel, The Marker. We didn’t get to see a room, but I can tell you the bathroom was gorgeous! I was really intrigued by the geometry of the interior.
Now I know this is going to sound weird, but the yogurt salad lunch was a total highlight of our day. The other perk of seeing the city with someone who lives there is they know the good deals and special happenings in town. This actually was Glenisk – Irish brand of organic yogurt – Upfront & Personal pop-up shop. Emily had received a couple free coupons in the mail so we decided to check out their “yogurt salads.” Emily and I still talk about it to this day. We both had the smoked salmon with lemon juice, olive oil and capers on greek yogurt as our savory option, and berries, honey and granola for dessert. SO amazing! You can find the recipes on the Glenisk website.
Another highlight for me was the Irish Design Shop. First it was fun because Emily knows the owners. Second, I love that everything they sell is made in Ireland. (It reminded me a bit of L’Illustre Boutique in Paris). They’d just opened their second location so we got to scope them both out. Definitely great for a more meaningful souvenir.
We ran out of time to fit in a proper beer, but Emily made sure I got to the airport in plenty of time, where I chugged my first Guinness before boarding my flight back to Paris. A giant success, I do say!