Shut the door on your way out / by Mario Mirabile

My first impression of Dublin was that it felt much like Melbourne, an impression based on driving from the airport through mostly newer parts of the city. Once you get closer to the older parts of town, much as you'd expect, it begins to feel distinctly different. There are still medieval remnants, but most of the great public and private buildings date from the Georgian era, and Dublin is home some of the world's great Georgian architecture.

On a smaller scale, the more affluent areas such as Ballsbridge contain a wealth of Georgian era houses. The geometric uniformity of these rows of houses is interrupted by the highly decorative and often brightly coloured doors, which serves to give each house a unique character. Even the more dilapidated doors are elegant and charming, and speak of a more genteel time. There is a popular theory that the practice originated when someone painted his door brightly to help his drunken neighbour find the right house when he staggered home, but there are too many versions of the story for it to be true. Suffice to say that they've become a distinctive and charming feature of Dublin, and almost become a tourist attraction in their own right.