Croke-Park-Skyline

Experiencing the magic of New Year’s Day does not always require planning a trip to foreign cities. In what follows, I would be recounting how I had discovered my home city, Dublin, in a whole new light – on the 1st of January, 2013.
If you are looking forward to an exciting travel chronicle to a far-off land in this post, you might be just a tad disappointed. I have lived in Dublin, Ireland for most of my 26 years of existence, and I did not venture out to a foreign city during the last Christmas and New Year weekend. Instead, I had decided to catch up with my best buddy Bruce, and show off some of the best local tourist attractions to him (Bruce, incidentally, works in New York – and was coming down to Dublin to spend the holidays). Being dedicated foodies both, trying out the top Dublin restaurants also featured prominently in our plans!
Don’t feel that I am ruing my decision to stay in Dublin during this festive season – for nothing can be further from it. The ethereal way in which the main streets and alleys were decorated, in fact, made Dublin itself appear like a whole new city for me! Bruce, of course, was totally bowled over – and decided to extend his stay over here by three more days. Let me here recount some of the things that we did on the 1st of January – to make the day really, really memorable:
• A morning stroll at Croke Park – Bruce has a thing for grand sports stadiums – so I decided to give him a taste of the best Ireland had to offer in that regard. However, the delightful way in which Croke Park had been decked up took me aback too (in a pleasant way, of course). There were quite a number of people already present over there, and sharp at 9am…hold your breath…a flash mob was organized! I have two left feet, and looked on quite jealously – as Bruce grooved along to his heart’s delight. Old place, but a very new experience!
• Attending a classy musical concert at the Olympia Theater – Now, we had just wandered into the theater, and had not planned to catch any particular musical event. As it turned out, the concert that we attended there was, in all fairness, one of the finest I had ever been to. Bruce was spellbound at the solo concertino performance, while we hummed along with the traditional Irish hymns that were later played (come on, right from when I was a little girl, classy musical performances have always enthralled me).
• It’s lunchtime – Can you imagine what a hearty morning stroll and attending a 3-hour music concert did to us? That’s right, they made us ravenously hungry. I brought my local knowledge to the fore, and presented Bruce with the option of having lunch at any of the four Italian restaurants in Dublin that I liked the most. He selected the widely reputed Toscana Restaurant in Dublin, we had antipasti, lasagna, grilled chicken and tiramisu – and beautiful festive music was played in the background. Once again, this was an experience that was new to me too – and one that I really loved!
• A visit to the Dublin Zoo – We had been outdoors since early morning, but none of us was in the least bit tired. Once lunch was over, we made a beeline for the Dublin Zoo – to catch a glimpse of the diverse range of wildlife over there. I had always found the zoo to be a bit too crowded for my liking – but the expert way in which visitors were being managed by the personnel over there on New Year’s Day was indeed worth a round of applause. We stayed at the zoo till late evening.
Slightly predictably, we hit a happening local nightclub, after dining at the Toscana restaurant (yes, again). When Bruce dropped me off at my apartment, it was almost 4 a.m.! It had been a day to savor – in the truest sense of the phrase.

Author’s Bio: Joselin John is a renowned author. She often writes interesting articles on the web, on travel and lifestyle issues. In this post, she relates how she had discovered a new, attractive side to her home city – Dublin – on the last New Year’s Day.
Links:
1. Dublin restaurants to http://www.toscanarestaurant.ie/
2. European restaurants at Edmonton to http://www.ctfinebistro.com/

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