Dublin, Ireland – a country that’s been a priority on my list for the longest time. In terms of Europe, there’s something about the Irish culture that I really enjoy. Maybe of its landscapes like the Cliffs of Moher. It might be the bars and fights that you always hear about. Or just because I grew up eating Lucky Charms for breakfast? Regardless this was one of my favorite European countries so far.
- Flying into Dublin airport you actually won’t arrive right in the area you’d expect. You’ll have to take a bus or some sort of transportation to get to the city center.
- Most of Dublin is walkable but there is a lot of public transportation that you can take.
- Ireland is a large country so don’t get stuck in only Dublin. Dublin is a great city but it’s actually rather small so you can cover most of it in a couple days.
- Look into Galway or if you have time, head south to Cork.
- Be careful of pickpockets and people who ask you to sign petitions. I ran into a few of these while in Galway. Just act confident and walk as if you know where and what you’re doing. You’ll be fine.
- Talk to the locals. You’ll also be surprised how many Americans and other tourists you’ll meet at the bars.
Places to Visit as a Tourist
- The Guinness Storehouse – The famous factory of Guinness beer. Come take a tour and experience an authentic Guinness. Yes, it’s a tourist trap and you can get a beer cheaper elsewhere but if you’re a fan then it’s a must.
- Temple Bar – There is an actual bar by this name but this name is often used to refer to the area itself that has numerous bars and shops.
- Dublin Castle – Right in the middle of the city. Check out the historic architecture that blends in with the rest of Dublin.
- St Patrick’s Cathedral – Large cathedral with a park. Come relax here after a long day.
- Irish Museum of Modern Art – Lots of famous artworks. Spend some time here to learn more about the Irish culture.
- Ha’penny Bridge – Great location for pictures. Visit there to take in the view and architecture of the city.
- Spanish Arch – Historic arch that is just outside Quay Street. Come here to relax and watch the ducks swim in the river while taking in the view of the local neighborhoods.
- Eyre Square – Right outside the train/bus station, come relax here and enjoy some street performers.
- Quay Street – Tons of shops, food, and bars. The bars open very late and you can hear people enjoying themselves until the late hours of the morning. Lots of great street performers and artists.
- Cliffs of Moher (Tour Departs from Galway) – Book a tour in advance and visit this infamous sight.
- Irish Stew
- Irish Tea
- Shepard’s Pie
- Smoked Irish Salmon
- Colcannon and champ
- And LOTS of beer
- Tip for “Mat Surfing” is to always call or contact the school ahead of time to see if you are even allowed to take a drop-in class or come by for an open mat session.
For this trip, I was able to visit Jungle BJJ in Dublin (34 Avenue Rd, Portobello, Dublin, D08 N620, Ireland). To drop by for a class check out their website at https://www.junglebjjdublin.com/ or message them on Facebook.
The school is ran by Peter Mamaev, an instructor whom is very detailed in his approach to teaching and has a strong focus on the mental aspect of training. The school itself is somewhat hidden in a smaller alleyway so it may be hard to find. Just follow Google Maps and you’ll be okay. The main entrance of the school is actually a “garage door” so that’s what you’ll be looking for when you’re walking on that street.
For this trip, since my gi was dirty from my trip in London, I decided to drop by the nogi class for some training. Everyone here was welcoming and definitely skilled. The class started with a warmup that included your typically BJJ drills and front rolls, cartwheels, and so forth. Conditioning was definitely important here at Jungle BJJ Dublin so be sure not to eat too much before coming. You’ll be doing a lot of pushups, running, and more! Good for the body after all that vacation dining for sure!
After the warm-up Peter proceeded to teaching a series of sweeps while showing details on proper control and hand positioning. His instruction was very detailed and I was able to pair with many of his students for drilling.
After drilling, we proceeded to roll where we partnered up with various people for a good number of rounds. I was even able to train with Peter which was an awesome experience.
Really great people and atmosphere so definitely drop by their academy. They are always open to having fellow Globetrotters drop by for a visit.
Ireland is ranked pretty high in my list of favorite countries to visit. The people are all welcoming and I absolutely enjoyed the live music you find all over the city. The train ride across Ireland from Dublin to Galway was amazing as you take in the views and Irish tea has become one of my favorites. Drop by a bar or five and talk to the locals. They have tons of stories to share. Wander, get lost, and experience the luck of the Irish.
Dublin, Ireland – September 2018
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