I'm a bit late in posting about our trip to Dublin. And, so close to our Easter trip to Valencia. Absorbing two vastly different cultures in the space of a month. Yes, living in Europe does have its advantages.
Snow was falling when we left Göteborg. So much so that they had to de-ice the plane before take-off. We arrived in Dublin late Thursday afternoon to mostly sunny skies. It was the weekend before St. Paddy's Day. We were staying in the Temple Bar area, the heart of Dublin nightlife. For more photos of our trip to Dublin, click here.
All signs pointed to the festivities taking place the next week. Lots of shops sold celebratory paraphernalia. TJ eyed the hats and tried a few on. On Saturday, he finally broke down and bought one. Surely this hat is worth the 2.95 euros he spent, don't you think? Note: The images below link to my Picasa photo album with all trip photos.
There are bars and restaurants galore in Temple Bar. Some more festive than others. We did not drink in this puce green bar. Instead we opted for the elegant, red Temple Bar Pub down the road. But, regardless of the bar, you were guaranteed to find live singers and a livelier crowd. The crowds really picked up Friday and Saturday nights. There were a surprising number of Americans running about. A few we spoke with had found amazingly cheap flights to Dublin. So, why not hop on a plane and party in Dublin and tour the Irish countryside? Recession be damned!
We took a sightseeing bus around the city. Personally, I think these Hop-on Hop-off buses are the best way to get around in most cities. Not that I have anything against walking. We did a lot of that as well. We walked around the quiet, manicured lawns of Trinity College. And along the pedestrian shopping mecca of Grafton Street...where elbows push you 'round and buskers sing by candlelight (name that song). Viewed the state apartments in Dublin Castle. Passed through the dank recesses of Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison. And savored the view from the top of the Guinness Storehouse where we enjoyed a free pint.
I was skeptical at first about going to the museum. Neither TJ or I are big fans of Guinness beer. But, the 7-story building is absolutely beautiful. And, the exhibits were very well done. Now, I can see why it is one of the top visitor attractions in Ireland. And, well, there was that free pint of Guinness. Which turned out to be quite tasty.
Overall, the food and drink were pretty damn good in Dublin. Lots of character and taste. And sometimes, unintended humor. We passed by this bar while touring around the city. Wish we had been able to have drink here. I'm sure I would have felt right at home.