I was really excited about going to the Christmas market in Dublin Docklands. I had been a couple of times in previous years and had always loved the atmosphere. It was one of the top items on my Christmas to-do list.
As I made my way through the frosty night air to meet my friends, my excitement grew. I was on my way to seeing one of my best friends that I hadn’t seen in over a year and a half, since we parted ways on a teary day in Auckland, after spending a year and a half travelling side by side.
As soon as I spotted her standing there, it was as if we had travelled back in time, to the days where we would walk around the cold streets each night, complaining about how strict our parents were and how much we hated school! We hugged and squealed, and then headed down our well-worn path to meet our other friend. When we met her, and after more hugs, we got the bus into town where we were meeting our other friend.
Walking towards the Spire on O’Connell Street I felt my excitement grow even greater. The lights, the crowds of shoppers weighed down with their shopping, and the crisp air was giving me butterflies, as was the joy of knowing we were all about to be reunited again. After more hugging, we were four. It felt great to be back together again. We walked towards the quays, revelling in the fact that there were now four of us. We didn’t forget the final member of our gang, who is spending Christmas in Perth, and we all wished she was there with us.
As we neared the Christmas market, we stopped to look out onto the Liffey, with a brightly lit ferris wheel turning behind us. Then we crossed over and entered the winter wonderland.
To our amazement, the first thing we saw was a wand stall. Two of us are Harry Potter fanatics, but we resisted the urge to run over as we decided to explore the rest of the market first. We laughed at how the carousel was filled with adults, and couldn’t believe how fast it was going. Maybe they turned it up at night for the adults? Either way, it looked like a risky idea because most of the people spinning around had been sipping on the very strong hot whiskeys, and bellies full of alcohol do not mix with horses spinning and bopping up and down.
We sussed out what food places the Christmas market had on offer, and then headed straight for the bar. We couldn’t decide what drinks to get, it was a tough choice. I had been looking forward to a hot whiskey for a long time, so I felt I had to get that one, but two of the girls went for hot apple rum. It was nicer than the hot whiskey, which was a bit strong and lacking sweetness.
We walked around cupping our steaming cups with grins on our faces, and found a section of wooden benches in a tent. We sat down and got chatting. We had another round, this time I got the apple rum. A got a butter rum, which was made with a concoction of butter, spices and sugar that was melted down. It was really sweet. I think the apple rum was the best of the three.
As usual, talk soon turned to food. We got up to get something, but saw that a lot of stalls were closing up. Then Eddie Rockets was put out there, and so we set off back to O’Connell Street to the delicious diner.
We were freezing at this stage and squashing into a red booth was a relief. We all ordered burger combos, and I had my second Smokestack burger in as many days, even though I wasn’t the least bit hungry! But I knew there was no way I would be able to sit and watch the girls all tucking into burgers while I only had chips!
After we were well fed, we headed back outside. We were about to go our separate ways, when we realised we hadn’t done our Kris Kindle. So we used A’s tobacco papers to write our initials and did the Kris Kindle there in the middle of O’Connell Street!
It was a perfect night with my perfect ladies! Christmas, food, hot drinks and being back in Dublin, what more could I ask for?