The Generator Hostel Dublin

With all the hotels (and one hostel) I have stayed in, this one must have been the rowdiest… Ok, look, Miss Pinky and I were on a budget. So I had to pick the cheapest but also near to the City Centre… The Generator Hostel was in our price range and it wasn’t too far from the City Centre (about a 15 minute walk). I can’t remember the price per night as I booked it as a package deal with (but they do mention how much the flight is when pre-booking).

From the airport you can either take a local bus 16 but you will need to change or walk along River Liffey to Smithfield Square. If you can’t be bothered to walk or get another local bus then take the 747 airlink coach. It’s the 11th stop you need to get off. Once you get off, cross the river (mind you the traffic is a little weird because the traffic lights and crossings are not at both ends (if that makes sense)… Anyway, you need to turn right (don’t go straight) and it’s the second alleyway / side street that you need to enter. You will see Smithfield Square right in front of you. It’s a magnificent scene. And you can see that the hostel used to be a factory from it’s massive chimney. 😀

Re-using this picture – I cropped it this time ^^

Generator Dublin flag

The Generator Hostel at night

Once we checked in at reception who I thought were helpful but not really that friendly. I’ve been to a lot hotels and they always have a welcoming face, politely spoken and you can easily ask questions. But at this hostel, I didn’t feel welcomed at all. Sour faces. They seem to be tired and under pressure. (There was only one guy during the evening shift who seemed very friendly and bubbly!)… With a big hostel like this, they should have more reception staff!

When we got to our room the reception staff had given us a room with 2 bunk beds. I had booked a twin en-suite room! Reception never said we would be having bunk beds!! We even checked the bathroom which had no towels… *SHOCK*. I was expecting towels, so I hadn’t brought one with me 😦 … On their website it says twin rooms and private rooms will have towels… Well, anyone staying here, and will be sharing with other people make sure you bring a towel. At reception you can hire a towel for €2 or purchase one for €6… Obviously we hired one each!

Our bunk beds… sorry for the mess, we slept in them before I took pictures 😛

The only good thing about the room was the artwork. The bunk beds were ok since they had their own lights and plugs at one end of the bed… Ah, there’s also something different about this hostel… you need to make your own bed! i.e. put the bed linen on the mattress 😛

I like the artwork!! ^^

If you plan to have a drink at the bar check out the chandeliers. They are so pretty. Also the bar serves the cheapest drinks around Dublin!!

I also like the chandliers made of Jameson bottles! Cool!

If you plan to use the free wi-fi  the best signal you can get is in the lounge area, the worse is in the rooms… You’ll get one bar if you’re lucky!

Lounge area

There isn’t much shopping you can do around the area, but there are restaurants/ cafes, a few pubs and a local supermarket… and a Chinese gift store. You cannot bring any alcohol into the rooms by the way…

The one bad thing about the rooms as well is that you can hear your neighbours. So just be aware of how much noise they’ll be! Plus the thump, thump thump sound of the music from the bar if you want an early night in!

The hostel is suitable for all types of travellers but are probably best suited for young teenagers / adults (I’m young, but not that young)… Plus if you need a good nights sleep, don’t go here…

My geeky rating: 2.5/5

Good points:
– Very easy to get to
– Cheap drinks
– Suitable for the younger generation
– Cheap to stay in

Bad points:
– Unfriendly staff
– Bad wi-fi signal in rooms (you will need to ask reception for the password)
– No towels (as I booked a twin room and wasn’t aware!!)
– Nowhere to hang clothing (a shelf would have been sufficient with a couple of hangers – like in Travelodge) Miss Pinky and I used the back of the bunk beds to hang my coat and towel!
– Noisy nights and mornings 

Other points:
– Be aware of having to share with other people – well it is a hostel!
– Your swipe card lets you enter the building so you don’t have to keep buzzing for reception all the time


p.s. The receptionist marked on her survey form that I was Japanese under the nationality section!! How impolite for not even asking… I’m British!!

Dublin – Day 4 The Worse Journey Home

Monday 22nd October – Our final day in Dublin!!

Miss Pinky and I woke up on time and left the hostel before 10am… We saw the Norwegians who were drinking the night before, and they looked hangover! ^^ As we were early we walked all the way into the city centre, and at one point I spotted this lovely piece of streetart!

‘Labelz are for jars not for people’. I like that phrase. It seems whoever designed this was labeled as something that he / she did not like. I don’t blame them!
‘Labelz are for jars not for people’

Trying to find breakfast wasn’t hard, but we went along Temple Bar Street to see what was to offer and remembering that we were on a budget… We ended up in a newsagents / cafe (can’t remember the name of it, but it’s near Quays Bar). It was an awful breakfast for €5. The baked beans were sweet. The toast was tough. Bacon looked burnt. Mushrooms looked like mush… The only good stuff were the half-warm scrambled eggs and the sausages… It’s probably my first worse breakfast in decades!! So my geeky rating is 1 out of 5 (1/5).
Horrible breakfast!! >.<
So, straight after breakfast we went to the bus stop to the airport. There was an airlink coach we could have taken, but Miss Pinky spotted a local bus (no. 16) that goes directly to the airport (well done Miss Pinky). It was cheaper to use but took longer to get there (about 45 minutes to an hour) compared to the airlink coach…

Once we got to the airport, it was a little difficult finding departures but we got there in the end. We queued. But once we got to the desk, they said OUR FLIGHT IS CANCELLED! What is going on? The lady at the desk didn’t tell us… I only found out from a friend online that London was full of fog and that flights were being delayed or cancelled… WHAT?! This all angered me… but it fizzled out quite quickly, although Miss Pinky’s anger seemed to have flared up because the airline didn’t say anything and didn’t like the fact that we were sitting ducks waiting for a flight to appear…

A new flight suddenly appeared. Unfortunately there was going to be a delay – about an hours delay from our original flight… So we went pass security (which was frigging long), they even have the cheek of getting you to pay for plastic bags for your liquids… what kind of airport is this? … Well, duty free didn’t help either… they were doing offers on whiskeys, 2 for €22. The only problem was, was that you had to pay a certain amount of VAT on top! That’s a cheeky marketing scheme, and shouldn’t be allowed at airports… And so it was time for me to have a whiskey and pepsi (no coke available)…
Whiskey and Pepsi at Dublin Airport
Well, an hour had passed by. Miss Pinky was on her laptop looking at her work emails and I was bored, so I went to the loo and took some pictures of the airfield…
Dublin Airport

The Airfield
Our two hours of waiting were up, but we were again delayed with getting onto the craft. Once we got onto the plane the captain then explained that there was a possibility that we will be grounded on the aircraft for either 15 minutes or 55 minutes before flying… OMG, this return flight wasn’t going well… 😦 But we left in 15 minutes. Miss Pinky felt sorry for the people who were connecting flights from London… that was a shame…

Finally we arrived at Heathrow, and I think we were in Terminal 3 instead of Terminal 1… I thought we were supposed to go through passport control, but that never happened (when did that change?)!! Instead we ended up at the luggage area… It was a long wait. A very long wait. All the passengers were not happy. We were all an hour and a half behind schedule as well… Not flying with BA for another decade! My BA experiences is always a bad one. Other flying experiences always seem to be a good one! 
Where’s our luggage?
It was time to go home. It was a long trip via the Tube and I had to work the next morning… (I almost fell asleep in my Tuesday meeting… -_-zzzzz)

Next holiday = April 2013. Watch out for more holiday adventures with Miss Pinky! I must remember to buy myself a tablet or bring my netbook with me in case I get bored when Miss Pinky decides not to do anything too!! ^^

p.s. Sorry Mrs Hen, I bought you these shamrock chocolates (it was 3 boxes for €10) and I started eating one of the boxes… So no present for you I guess ¬_¬”””.
Shamrock chocolates – yummy!!! ^_^
Top tips for going to Dublin:
– Bring enough spending money (I would say €100 per day – depending on your eating and drinking habits)
– Take the local buses
– Walk to the city centre
– Observe some of the streetart
– Go to a pub with live music!!
– And ENJOY! ^^

Dublin – Day 3

Nothing much happened on Day 3… 😦 I had the whole morning doing nothing because Miss Pinky decided to have a lie in (although she was awake). I tried everything in my powers to wake her up and go out… And she also needed to do her assignment too (she’s studying Housing ¬_¬). I ate crisps, drank orangeade, did my Mandarin homework (Level 4 Mandarin) and started re-packing… Nothing worked… Ugh!

So when she did wake up we finally went out for a walk… A very short walk…
Ireland’s version of the Barclay Bikes

Dublin is really big on streetart!! ^^

As we were on budget, we both wanted a cheap breakfast / lunch… Guess what that was…?

My Texas Beef Roll Meal

Yep Burger King!! ¬_¬”

We did a bit more walking around afterwards looking for a place i.e. cafe or pub where Miss Pinky could do her assignment on her laptop… But that didn’t happen, so we walked back to the hostel and I took a few more pictures…
Post Office of Ireland – Gosh it’s big!

More streetart!

Went back into the Quays Bar for more live music!

High Court of Dublin – there are a lot of solicitors around the area!

Once back at the hostel, we settled ourselves in the lounge area, where the wi-fi signal is the best! And then I sat there bored to death… I Instagrammed, I checked out my block and helped Miss Pinky a little bit… I even redid my Mandarin homework… Bored, bored, bored…

My half pint Guinness

Even had a coffee 😛

Finally Miss Pinky finished! We went out for some fresh air… 

This is for memory’s sake… Never went into the
Jameson Distillery and I really want to try this drink out!

But that lasted 10 minutes and we ended up in the hostel’s bar. We met a bunch of Norwegian boys who were sitting at the bar for a while and the barmaid was babysitting them. One of the Norwegians was a ladies man… He started chatting to us (and then some other women later)… Apparently he’s a Chemical Process Engineer… ¬_¬ what the heck is that??!! Miss Pinky and I were amused by his efforts of chatting to all the women at the bar… Hahahahahaha…! He made my evening whilst watching the X-Factor results show!

We were late to order any food from the Reception area (and again on a budget), so I got two dry chicken sandwiches and ate one with my Guinness n’ Blackcurrant… 
Dry sandwich and a pint of Guinness… ¬_¬

That was it for Day 3… I wish we could have done more!! 😦 Next day is the last day.

Dublin – Day 2 (Part 2) Quays Irish Restaurant/Bar and Temple Bar

Hmmm, a lot of choice on Temple Bar Street! Miss Pinky made me decide on what to eat this time. The only problem is, is that Miss Pinky is a very fussy eater and I wanted Irish stew. So on we walked, passed Temple Bar and then finally went into Quays Irish Restaurant (the bar is on the ground floor; the restaurant is on the first floor), which we saw earlier in the day and had live music in the bar next door.
Menu Cover

The top bar area

Some Irish sayings…

Hmm, nice wheels!

Miss Pinky told me to take this shot…

Knowing Miss Pinky so well with her eating habits I suggested that she keeps to eating starters only since she always gets full, and plus we were on a budget! (Plus she was wanted Nando’s ¬_¬ … that isn’t food you’re supposed to have whilst on holiday!). In the end she ordered spicy chicken wings and mussels cooked in a white wine sauce… Yummy! The sauce was bloody good!

Mussels ^^

Spicy Hot Wings – they are really spicy!!

I wanted a stew. So I got the Slow cooked beed and Guinness stew… When I saw it, I said to Miss Pinky that it was small… 😦 BUT actually it was very filling! Don’t trust its appearance as there was a lot of chunky beef in there. 😀

Slow Cooked Beef and Guinness Stew

So we finished eating. We paid the bill. We were waiting for a little while because we actually thought that they forgot to bring us our change… Well Miss Pinky was on a tight budget and needed all the coins remaining that she could get…! 😛

My geeky rating: 4.8/5

Finally we went back to the bar area where there was live music playing… Oooo… We missed the start of the guys who were playing! They sounded really cool… But sadly they finished, and we think a new lot were going on… We didn’t stay for long, so we went into the Temple Bar to see what it was like and to check out if there was any live music going on…
Quays Irish Restaurant / Bar

I like these singers ^_^

Audience in full dancing swing!

Once we got into the Temple Bar it already looked fully packed! The singers were just starting up (one Scottish and one Irish), and so we were there just in time for the new lot to come on! Miss Pinky and I got closer and closer to the singers because we couldn’t hear one of the guys singing (the Scottish one) – and I really couldn’t hear the words he was singing! 

Outside Temple Bar

Miss Pinky took this pic of the singers…

The singers were interacting with the audience in between songs… and he was asking where people were from… There were a bunch of people from Amsterdam, the USA and so on so forth… Uh, then at one point, Miss Pinky shouted out “how about London, we’re from London… Hellooo, London” … oh god, hide me please ¬_¬”” really just hide me… I think the guy sitting next to Miss Pinky thought she was amusing, because he started joining in, hahahahah… Oh please hide me!!! But eventually Miss Pinky and the guy sitting next to her who is from Ottawa, Canada starting chatting… I wasn’t paying much attention to them as I was trying to Instagram and listen to the beautiful voice of the Irish singer…(that Clover butter song is in my head now) 😀 Miss Pinky nudged me a few times because she didn’t understand him… The guy was delivering abalone (a type of shellfish which is popular in Hong Kong – Miss Pinky didn’t know what that was) to some person in Dublin and had traveled from somewhere that was 2 hours away. He then baffled her with the word ‘discombobulated’, which I didn’t know either (it’s an American / Canadian term meaning ‘confused’ – North Americans please DO NOT use this word in front of English speaking Europeans. We don’t like being discombobulated!!!). Well, the guy is a Meteorologist-scientific programmer of some sort, and a geek like me can understand scientific minds, but not Miss Pinky… Hahahahah. It was like watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon would just confuse Penny!! 😀 The Canadian eventually left because he had to catch his 2-hour bus ride home…

Sitting next to the Canadian was another guy who’s from Munich, Germany and an Insurance Broker working in a small bank in Germany… He was also on holiday like us and had become a friend to the Canadian too. He was also staying at the same hostel as us but was leaving the next day. He told us he was staying with 7 other guys – one with a broken nose, one who snores and other strange men… Hahahahaha. I think Miss Pinky and I were very lucky that there were no other girls staying with us!!

After listening to a few more songs (we were there for 2.5 hours – Miss Pinky said to me the next day that she has never seen me so relaxed and bopping up and down with music… well I like live music!), we left to go back to the hostel. Bought some snacks and drinks to have in our room… And a guy outside the hostel started playing his violin / fiddle as we entered the hostel… 😀

The fiddler ^^

What happened on Day 3…? Stay tuned ^^

Dublin – Day 2 (Part 1)

After a long walk back to the hostel from the night before and a noisy sleepless night, Miss Pinky and I woke up but didn’t leave the hostel until after 10.30 am… Well the first thing we did was eat breakfast at Christophes, which is next door to the James Distillery… A pretty expensive breakfast it was between €7 – €8 each which included our hot drinks…
Entrance of Cafe Christophes is actually around the corner
– as if you going towards James Distillery

Miss Pinky’s brekkie

My sausage sandwich

We left around 11 am after that and we started walking around. Usually Miss Pinky is great at geography when we’re on holiday, but I think she lost her sense of direction that morning. Well the map we had wasn’t great because it felt like we were south of the river on the map instead of on the north side… Miss Pinky decided to go in the wrong direction and we ended up at the National Museum of Ireland! Hahahahah…!! ^^

National Museum of Ireland

Nevermind Miss Pinky… Anyway, we turned around and walked back towards a bus stop we saw earlier on Day 1. We weren’t sure how far we were from the City Centre so we asked another local what bus to take and how long it would take… Well, I can’t remember the bus we took but I do remember how much a single fare cost – €1.40 per adult! Geek!! ^^ It actually wasn’t that far, we actually walked all the way there the night before… Heheheheh. So here’s just a few pictures I took along the way…

Bank of Ireland

Along Temple Bar Street

On Temple Bar Street

One of the High Streets

Heading towards the Leprechaun Museum

After walking for a bit we ended up at another pub and I had another pint of Guinness!! Woah… Guinnessholic much! ^^ The girl at the bar was very friendly too – she was helping us with our map!

T.P. Smiths Pub

Miss Pinky’s fairy for €5!

We finished drinking, and just before we entered into the Jervis Shopping Centre a fight between a man and a woman was going on in the middle of the street… Blimey, I don’t see this type of brawl very often… especially not in London!

Can you see the people fighting?? O_o

Some of the shops in the Jervis Shopping Centre

Jervis Shopping Centre

We went into Pennys afterwards (that’s Primark to all the people from the UK). It is Primark. ^^

Pennys = Primark

Wow. There’s a tall Spire in the middle of the high street!

The Spire… ^^”

Next we stopped at another pub (don’t be worried we are not alcoholics), this time I had a gin and tonic. Miss Pinky tried to get me to play card games like 21 (Blackjack) and another game… but we both gave up because I haven’t played card games for such a long time and Miss Pinky couldn’t remember some of the rules… Miss Pinky is also very competitive – she even tried to teach me backgammon but it got too heated with our stylus pens!! ¬_¬”

We went into Trinity College next… Miss Pinky overheard some Americans walking behind us that it was a place to experience… ¬_¬ so yep, we went to have a look for it too…

Trinity College

Into Trinity College! ^^


Nice display!

So six hours after eating breakfast, Miss Pinky was hungry and I knew I would be hungry within another half hour, so we walked for a bit more and found the Wax Museum…

The Wax Museum

Then Dublin Castle…

Dublin Castle

And before we went to eat we saw a guy and his massive husky dog. Another tourist / photographer was taking a lot of pictures of them so I took one too! ^_^”

The Geek takes a random shot! ^^

So hungry… To be continued

Dublin – Day 1 (Part 2) – Pifko Pub and Musashi Japanese Restaurant

Day 1 seemed like a very long day… So after the Guinness Tour, we finally became very exhausted (Miss Pinky hadn’t slept for more than 12 hours! I thankfully had 4 hours sleep) and we were both famished… So we went to a pub run by Czechs in the end, and ate like mad people! O_o 

Outside Pifko Pub

Inside Pifko Pub – it started getting busy

Inside Wall Graffiti

Miss Pinky ordered a Czech speciality. Deep fried pork and wedges – Schnitzel “Rizek”.

Deep fried pork and wedges
I had the Classic Burger with wedges… It was definitely 100% beef, and it looked like a burger from Gourmet Burger Kitchen!
My Classic Burger and wedges
There was an Irish family sitting next to us, and the mother of the family was complaining that the chips were too well done… I thought they looked absolutely crispy and fine to eat. Miss Pinky was giving the cold stare (thankfully she was not fully awake yet… otherwise there would be words from her!)…
My geeky rating: 5/5
Afterwards, both of us were full and sleepy, so we went back to the hostel, checked in, found our room and shockingly found 2 sets of bunk beds (when I actually booked online a twin en-suite room!). Uh. Not what I expected…
After having two to three hours sleep and being interrupted noisily by our neighbours next door, Miss Pinky and I went out to find dinner… We both found that being in Dublin was like being in Amsterdam! But in this case, there’s only one long river instead of four round dams.
Outside Musashi ^^
It took us a while that evening to find something to eat as we didn’t know the area very well, but we finally came across this Japanese restaurant…
It seems very popular with the locals and the restaurant itself is actually run by Chinese people as I heard them speaking in Mandarin (but I wonder if the chefs are Japanese). Anyway, we ordered the following food…
Miss Pinky wanted the tempura set, but knowing her sooooo well I knew she wouldn’t finish it because the batter will fill her up…
Tempura set
I ordered the Musashi Ramen soup… It was bloody good… Loved the soup and the prawns!!
Musashi Ramen Soup ^^
And Miss Pinky ordered the Chicken Katsu Curry…
Chicken Katsu Curry!
I found this place a little expensive compared to London prices. But it was well worth the experience. If you want to eat there make sure you book a table. Miss Pinky and I were very lucky as one cancelled their table! Woohoo!!
My geeky rating: 4.5/5 (because of the pricing)
And finally here’s a picture of River Liffey at night ^^
River Liffey at night ^_^

Dublin – Day 1 (Part 1)

I have never been to Ireland before and Miss Pinky wanted to either go to Cork or to Dublin. We couldn’t decide with which city to go to so we flipped a coin back in May (whilst in Scotland)… and so we ended up booking a trip to Dublin. This time I used Travel Republic – cheap and cheerful and it was less than £140 per person… I needed this holiday after studying so much and Miss Pinky needed a getaway!!

It was an early start on the first day of our trip (and a pretty long day too). The flight was at 7.00 am on Friday. But the only problem was, was that the Tube didn’t start until 5 o’clock-ish and the train didn’t pass the Tube station we were at, until 5.30-ish… so we had to take a cab. We got a good cab price of £41 for 2 people and they picked us up at 3.30 am (it was early and we could have left later but at least we got there on time). And thankfully for the price of getting there early there was no queue at the check in! That was fantastic! So after check in we went to find breakfast and Miss Pinky decided to do some serious work on her company’s laptop! What a bore 😛 (I know she’ll be reading this article – so I’m only joking ^_^).
One of the very few restaurant-cafes that opened at 4 am-ish…

Continental breakfast for 2… The Greek Yogurt could have had some honey in it!! 

After breakfast it was time to find the gate… but after sitting at the gate for 15 minutes or so we got the unexpected announcement that our flight was going to be delayed! Hah! I believe that’s typical of a BA flight. No wonder I haven’t flown with them for more than a decade! So in the end (thankfully) our flight time was shorter of 50 minutes (instead of an hour and thirty minutes) which meant we got to Dublin 25 minutes later than expected… the captain explained that it was because there was no aircraft waiting at the gate…. All us passengers were fuming!
Was this our plane… Probably not 😛

We finally got to Dublin! Woohoo! We were too early and sleep deprived but we took the Aircoach Bus 747 (€6 per adult) to the hostel we were staying at. 

On the 747 Airlink Bus

Check-in time at The Generator Hostel was at 2.00 pm, and so we decided to first get rid of our luggage (by leaving it in the luggage area at the hostel) before having a walk around the city (more about the hostel in a separate post). 

The Generator Hostel Dublin

So the first tourist destination we were trying to get to was The Guinness Storehouse… it was supposed to be a 10 minute walk from the hostel but Miss Pinky and I seemed to have got distracted by the Jameson Distillery which is just behind the hostel (€13 entry fee per adult). We didn’t do the tour because we wanted to see what Dublin could offer… and then we got completely lost so I started asking a few locals with the location… The Irish are so polite and friendly! They will help you if you get lost!! ^_^

Jameson Distillery

Inside the Jameson Distillery Reception

Dublin is BIG on streetart!! ^_^

Liffey River

Some weird mask looking statues…

Finally we got to the Guinness Storehouse (€16.50 entry fee per adult)… It was awesome! I got to pour my own pint and drink it!! Whoopee!! I actually like Guinness – nice and creamy compared to normal beer…

Almost there…

To the Guinness Storehouse!

This contract is old

So many Guinness glass bottles!

Looking up

Looking down

The map… The building is shaped around a Guinness glass!!

With the tour guide

My own poured Guinness!!!! ^^

The day wasn’t over just yet… This is to be continued