Ahhhh find your way in Dublin quite a poem!
For the motorist: if you have a GPS in your head, pass this article. For all the others and especially those like me who get lost as soon as a neighborhood has 10 streets, know that the main streets and arteries have names, of course. And so do the little streets, but those names are not necessarily in the satnav of your car. And this happens all the more frequently when the streets are fairly recent constructions. Therefore, a satnav without prior knowledge is not always useful, at the same time if you need a GPS, it is precisely because one has no prior knowledge 🤔
Moreover, it is often difficult to find the precise address of a building with the street number for the simple reason that this number is not to be found anywhere. Even the website of restaurants, shops or hotels often only indicates the name of the street. One trick: spot the nearest street crossing that you can get into the satnav. Otherwise, you’d have to drive around a little, or you switch to google maps, because google maps recognizes precise buildings, commercial, but also individual houses, which often have names here, and these names of individual houses are found in google maps surprisingly. In general, the city was not designed for motorists, the roads are too narrow and in one of the main arteries, an ancient level crossing allows the passage of the DART (a suburban train), which congestions traffic a lot. A tunnel would probably have been too expensive, and the residents opposed the creation of a bridge, hence this archaic level crossing and the regular traffic jam, which for its part is very modern …
For the user of public transportation: There is no subway in Dublin and the public transport system is far from optimal. No fast trains from the airport either, but normally a whole network of buses, airport coaches, whose different lines serve the entire Dublin region and even beyond. There is a tram, the LUAS, which connects the north-south-west axis but it has only two lines.
As for the DART, it is an ecological aberration as the railway was taken from the sea, but for the very same reason, it is an enchantment for the traveler – outside of rush hour mind you. It borders the Irish Sea along the bay that runs from Greystones to Howth and Malahide. A trip is highly recommended to combine the useful with the pleasant!
In fact, the easiest way to get around Dublin is the bus. But then impossible to have a map with all the bus lines: as I asked, I was told it exists but would be available only at the main depot, which is far from the center. Not suitable to visitors, then. By a cognitive dissonance of which the Irish have the secret, the bus stops have a number, but the same stops indicated on the bus have a name, it means the user has to make the link, he is already supposed to know anyway. Taking the bus to Dublin is quite an experience: they are very pleasant, because they are double-decker busses, but I have only one piece of advice to give you: hang on! Braking is generally, how to say … energetic! Two tips for Dublin bus neophytes: first, there are 2 queues to get on the bus, left if you have to pay the ride to the driver (cash only), right if you already have a leap card with you that you just need to tap; secondly, most passengers exit through the front door so that they can say Thank you to the driver (who just missed knocking them down by braking) on their way out: in all occasions, politeness is a cornerstone of Irish society, food for thought..
For the cyclist: 1 good news and 2 bad news. The good news is that Dublin and Council is creating more and more bike lanes, making driving easier.
The bad ones: first, the major arteries have bike paths.. which are also the bus lanes! Quite a number of times I thought the bus was going to jam the cyclist… but I reassure you, it never happened. Secondly: Dublin may be by the sea, but it is not a flat city. So, you have to have good calves to ride your bike in some places.
For the pedestrian: The idea is good: the pedestrian light is only green for pedestrians. No cars that turn at the same time as in France. And when it’s green, it’s pedestrian green for all sides of the crossing, it’s the principle of everyone’s turn: cars that go straight, cars that turn (usually with a green arrow, not just a traffic light) and pedestrians. But then everyone’s turn separately, it also means that you stand at the traffic light for quite some time … which encourages you to cross even if it’s red. But before you do that I do it I advise you to get to know the intersection: the order of passage of the different lines of cars is always the same, and you have to know the intersection before you can save a little time if you really want to cross a the red light, or you will see the cars that turn arrive at the wrong time, and as you may look on the wrong side of the road (because even as European pedestrians we are formatted for cars that drive right) It can become dangerous.
In short, driving in an Irish town is for the Irish, who assume that the motorist or pedestrian already knows where he will go. But don’t panic, I refer you to the article « civilities »: if you are lost do not hesitate to ask your way, there will always be someone to inform you kindly! Otherwise the real time ireland app is very useful to go transport from A to B. As a last resort, you can easily get a taxi in Ireland, as long as it’s not pub’s closing hour!
The next three articles will be devoted to the following question: are the Irish Anglo-Saxons, Celtics or Europeans? See you next Friday!