AJAx Travel Guide

Or How to get to the European without Getting Lost in Dublin (2001)

Note some routes for travel are no longer valid (eg via Howth Junction).

The IGA web site contains details of the venue for the European Go Congress and even includes a link to a map, though it is a bit hard to find:

Go to the IGA web site euro page and go to registration and click near the top!

It does not give practical advice as to how to achieve that final part of the journey.

I hope this helps - I will buy a Guinness for anyone who uses the info and still gets lost, assuming they get found again!


Irish traffic drives on the correct side of the road, which may cause problems for those of you not from the UK, Japan, Malta, Australia etc as the correct side is not the right. Also the concept of stopping at a red traffic light is an unknown feature of Irish drivers, possibly due to all that Guinness inside them. In fact the best time to cross a road is when the red man is lit up as usually there is no traffic moving then! I will not buy a Guinness for anyone who gets themselves knocked down and killed - so beware…


Walking to the Congress Site

Most people know where O'Connell Street is in Dublin. Knowing your luck though you will ask a random person in the street who will turn out to be an Armenian Go Player whose only English is "How much is komi?" Anyway it's a big street at right angles and north of the river. There is a large statue in the middle of the road (look for the bullet holes). The Go Congress is in Parnell Square which is at the top end of O'Connell Street. It's called a square and geometrically so, but the Irish have filled most of it with a round theatre and a large hospital, so only the top part of the Square is open with the Peace Garden. At the top of O'Connell Street are two large hotels opposite each other. The Royal Dublin is on the west side and the Gresham is on the east.

From the Royal Dublin head to the top end of the street by the statue of Charles Stuart Parnell. Turn left and then next right. You are now in the correct part of Parnell Square. The Teachers' Club is number 36, just before the top end of the square. They had better have a big banner out otherwise you might not find it as the sign on the door is not in English.

From the Gresham, head up the road, past Mr C.S.Parnell and past the Charles Stuart Hotel. Opposite is the Peace Park and the north side of the Square has the Writers' Museum on it. Walk along this side of the square and the Teachers' Club is just about opposite on the west side of the square.

The Square is one-way traffic (going clockwise) so beware of traffic coming from the wrong way and the road is rather wide.

If you come into town by train try and get to Connolly Station. This may seem daft advice if you are coming from the South-west and end up a Heuston station. If you do the 90 bus will take you to near O'Connell Street or on to Connolly Station. Dublin buses do not give change anymore so be ready with some change to put in the red chute.

From Connolly Station descend to the crypt and turn left to exit through the swing doors. Opposite across a road crossing is Talbot Street. Crossover and take this road (under a railway bridge) and follow for three blocks which will take you to O'Connell Street. If you can avoid the temptations of Burger King, turn right and follow the instructions from the Royal Dublin or Gresham.

Getting from the Airport

There are 3 international and several local airports in Ireland. If you land at Belfast International, then you are in the wrong country and will need to take a two hour train journey to Dublin. If you land at Shannon in the far west, then you will be probably stuck with a bus trip, all the way or to Limerick from where the train takes about 2 hours or so. Assuming you land at Dublin Airport then don't bother waiting for a metro train. You will probably have to wait about 10 years as they haven't started building it yet. There is a new bus service to the nearest station (Howth Junction) every 15 minutes and run by aerdart. This is so new their web site is not finished but the fare is rumoured to be 3 IRP but it's not clear how far that get's you.

The Aircoach service (www.aircoach.ie) with bright blue luxury coaches runs every 15 minutes for 4 IRP from the driver. The first stop is Gresham Hotel in O'Connell Street.

Dublin Bus (timetable) route 747 runs every 10 minutes during the day (but only every 15-20 minutes on Sunday) and is the usual way of making the journey. The 747 has a first stop at the Gresham Hotel. If you get on the 748 by mistake it still goes to Dublin and they have been known to stop on route so you can swap buses. The yellowish double deckers take about 30 minutes to the Gresham (longer in the rush hour of course) and costs 3.50 per person (and you may be able to get a discount if you flew Aer Lingus).

There is also the slow bus 16A and, for the rich or luxury conscious, taxis.

Getting from the Ferry

If you travel Stena (without the Sealink name) HSS from Holyhead, then your will land at Dun Laoghaire (pronounced approximately Leery). The new ferry terminal is right opposite the station, though go through the swing doors and up to the new entrance, rather than try the door to the grand Victorian building, as that is now a posh fish restaurant. If you have bought train travel through to Dublin show you ticket to the man and go down on to the left side platform. The cleverly named DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) green electric trains are frequent and often and will take you into the centre in about half an hour. Beware of the bright orange Irish trains as most of these will whiz through without stopping. Get off at Connolly (where there are a ramp and lift to get off the platform if you have luggage)and see walking instructions above, or get off at Tara Street, but the escalator here probably is going the wrong way for you, and cross the river bridge outside to get to O'Connell Streeet.

If you are on the old-fashioned Irish Ferries boat this will land at Dublin port. This is at the end of the river and quite a walk from the centre. Dublin local bus 53A will certainly get you to the centre.

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