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Dublin: Home of the warmest welcomes

IRELAND is a second home for many Zimbabweans, where rugby, music and the famous warm Irish welcome make everyone feel at home. Report by Dusty Miller


Connect from Harare to Dubai and then onto Emirates’ flight to Dublin. On every flight to Dublin you are treated to a gourmet menu featuring the delectable dishes of world-renowned chefs, including local and international cuisine.
Dublin flights include luxurious sleeper seats for First Class passengers while Business Class passengers relax in spacious and comfortable sleeperettes, making every flight to Dublin truly unforgettable.

Travel to Dublin
Flights to Dublin arrive at Dublin Airport, about 10km north of the city centre, accessible by an express bus (which bypasses city centre traffic), local bus routes and taxis. Once in the city centre, public transport is easily accessible as is a reliable tram system, and bicycles are available for hire at various locations.


About Dublin
Dublin: home of the warmest welcomes, and the most enchanting streets. From Dublin Castle to Liffey Bridge, Ireland’s rich history and stunning natural beauty shine here. The museums, historic sites and verdant green spaces all have a unique story to tell. With Emirates’ award-winning service, your flight to Dublin will be as enjoyable as the destination itself.
To learn more about your visit to Ireland go to www.discoverireland.com
Starting as a Viking settlement established by marauding Norsemen centuries ago, Dublin is an enchanting destination for an urban getaway, blending ancient and modern with natural beauty, and a profound literary tradition. It also makes a popular business hub for many large multinational companies.


Ireland has produced many outstanding writers, among them a number of Nobel laureates, including Samuel Beckett and George Bernard Shaw, as well as other celebrated scribes like Oscar Wilde and James Joyce.
As such, Dublin is replete with establishments, tours and other activities dedicated to honouring Ireland’s literary accomplishments from the Dublin Writers’ Museum and James Joyce Centre, to the Children’s Book Festival and National Print Museum. Trinity College is home to one of Ireland’s greatest manuscripts, The Book of Kells, a centuries old work considered a national treasure and one-of-a-kind, priceless work of art.
Dublin Castle is a major piece of Ireland’s history, having been continuously occupied since its founding at the beginning of the 13th century.
Conveniently located in the heart of Dublin’s city centre, the castle now hosts a well-appointed conference centre, gardens, museums, a library and a chapel among other things.
While visitors are free to explore the grounds at their leisure, the centrepiece of the castle, the State Apartments, considered the most important of their kind in Ireland, can be viewed by guided tour.
A more recent addition to the city’s landmarks is the Spire of Dublin, reflecting a far more modern era with its stainless steel, pin-like structure jutting almost 400 feet into the air. These landmarks, as well as countless other interesting structures, statues and monuments can be seen all across Dublin.
The River Liffey, which bisects the city, provides some enjoyable attractions and activities. The Dublin or Liffey Boardwalk is one way to enjoy the river, but if you wish to get more closely acquainted, take a river tour, or get wet and enter the Liffey Swim, an annual race that takes place in late summer.
Many bridges span the river, some centuries old and others more recent, the most famous of which is the Liffey Bridge, more commonly known as the Ha’penny Bridge, a cast iron structure built in the 1800s and one of Dublin’s most iconic landmarks.


Dining and nightlife
If you prefer an energetic scene, there are many nightclubs and bars from which to choose, many of them found along the banks of the Liffey River and in the Temple Bar area of the city.
The strong tradition of social dining and countless pubs in the city, means one has a wide choice of where to settle for a meal, and there are even tours to help you get acquainted with the options available. And a visit to Dublin’s oldest pub, The Brazen Head, established in 1198, is highly recommended.
Beyond Dublin
Ireland is home to many fascinating natural and man-made sites, including the famous Giant’s Causeway in Country Antrim, and  Blarney Castle near Cork, where you can see the famous Blarney Stone, believed to impart good luck to those who kiss it. Other attractions include the Cliffs of Moher in Country Clare, and Belfast Castle, in Northern Ireland.
Visa information is available from the Irish Embassy in Pretoria at http://www.embassyireland.org.za.
I keep hearing that Emirates are to separate their service connecting Harare and Lusaka with Dubai and, if so, that may solve the problem many Irishmen and would-be visitors to Ireland have expressed to me that — currently — the plane from the UAE to Dublin leaves 10 minutes before the service from Central Africa lands, obliging travellers to overnight in Dubai.
(There are far worse places to spend an enforced 24-hour layover.)
Other, perhaps more convenient, flights from southern Africa to Dublin leave from Johannesburg via Qatar or Abu Dhabi and from late October, KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) will resume flying from Harare to Schipol, Amsterdam from where there are shuttle flights to Dublin, Shannon and Belfast.
You can always go to Ireland by plane (including the dreaded RyanAir) from Heathrow or Gatwick…or by coach and Irish Sea ferry
Book at your favourite travel agent or online at www.emirates.com/zw
Queries: dustym@zimind.co.zw


The River Liffey, Dublin, by night

The Temple Bar pub in Dublin photographed — judging by the enamel adverting panels — before the smoking ban hit Ireland in 2006

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