Man, dublin is such a great place. not your typical beautiful city but i love anything with a bit of grunge to it, think inner-north melbourne for example. i love any place that has been gentrified because you get this awesome mix of old, dingy spots mixed with converted warehouses and factories. we actually stayed in the old jameson distillery in an old industrial park which is now a hot-spot for bars and has a wicked arthouse cinema. i loved it even more because the cinema must have known i was coming, because they were playing 'love actually' again on the big screen just for christmas!
temple bar (it's an area, not just one bar as i thought) is abuzz with live bands, and bars at night serving the perfect Guinness. i always hated guinness until i had one in dublin. rich, creamy, malty...so good. it's different because it's poured with nitrogen gas instead of carbon dioxide which all other beer is poured with making it smoother. there's also a special way to pour it, DO NOT let the glass clink the tap other you start again, pour only half the glass verrrrry slowly then leave it and serve someone else. come back in 2 minutes exactly and slowly pour the rest. leave for at least a minute to settle and then you can finally drink it. it's an ordeal but worth every bit. U2 actually got their break in temple bar!
the coastal area near dublin is so so stunning as well. like a movie, reminded me of the scenes from the film 'calvary' (fab film, watch if you get the chance). and the irish fairy tales were so cool to hear, a bit of magic never goes a stray.
the general sense of dublin and the coast was a little grim, a lot of fun, and nice and easy. like a sleepy town, no need to rush. i loved it.