Category Archives: Dublin

Dublin… some more

Some more of Bret’s pics.

Literally, we were a step away from going to Octopussy’s.


Our B&B (it was ok, probably won’t go back)


The Bloody Stream


yes, I had a Galway Hooker at the Bloody Stream.

Scenes from around Dublin.

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The conference.


Some pf my pics:

I might have an obsession with all things chicken


and this guy.

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Bret had a conference in Dublin, so I tagged along.  We took the bus up on a lovely Thursday afternoon and settled into our hotel, the Anchor B&B.

That evening, Bret’s colleague, Rob, joined us for dinner and few pints at the Porterhouse, the Dublin branch of one of favorite Cork pubs.  Microbreweries are a relatively new thing in Ireland, but they are popular with the young folk.  We were pretty lucky to get a table without a wait (think Block 15).  They serve an IPA that actually has some hop to it.

It turned out we were right in front of the stage, so we had great seats when the live music commenced just after we finished our meals.  Bret’s picture of the stage from our dinner seat:


We wanted to branch out a little from the familiar, so we also went to another pub, Farrington’s Pub, before heading for the night.  It was ok… nothing to write a blog about.

Friday, Bret was at the conference, so I had the day to myself to wander aimlessly around Dublin.  The sun was shinning, to boot.  The River Liffey flows through the heart of Dublin separating North from South.  The northside has a reputation for being the rough side… although there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of social class divides ( there are some pretty posh suburbs and shady blocks on both sides of the river).


Anyhoo,  U2 does a cover of a Christy Moore song about the cultural divide if you are interested.  I tried to look up the origins, but all I could find was that most people think that one side or the other is full of knackers.

North and South of the River

Bret met up with me late in the day and we wandered over to the Guinness Brewery.  We figured it was standard issue tourist destination and we wanted to oblige.  For anyone who is coming to visit, I would caution that this tour amounts to a VERY expensive pint of Guinness with an incredible view of Dublin.  The place is really just a seven story museum of the history of Guinness Beer.  If your into looking at pictures of the wives of past CEOs of Guinness, you may get more out of it that Bret and I did.  You don’t actually get to see the brewery at all, but there are some fancy exhibits…  we could tell why it was so expensive.  That said, if it is a nice day (which it more or less was… cloudy, but not raining), the Gravity Bar on the top floor has a 360º view of the Dublin and a “free” pint of Guinness.  It may be worth the hefty admission just for that perk.  Also, if you want to wait in a long line, you can learn how to pour a pint of Guinness.  We opted out of that experience.  We actually ended up taking our pint to another location after taking in the view, so we could sit while we enjoyed our beer (the gravity bar was super crowded).  The view was still pretty good.


After the tour, we decided to celebrate our two month anniversary by splurging on dinner.  We ate at the Winding Staircase, a lovely restaurant that doubles as a bookstore by day.  It was the first restaurant we have been to that had an Oregon wine on the wine list, so we were pretty happy.  A Firesteed pinot noir.  It was a little too spendy for a wine we can drink at home for a reasonable price, so we went Italian instead.  The food was delicious! We also really like the ambiance and our expat American server/sommelier.  I will recommend a visit to this place when guest are in town :).

Saturday, we decided to head north of Dublin to the coast town, Howth.  The weather was threatening to let lose, but we decided to brave a hike around the head anyway.  On our way to the trail, we passed by a former home of W.B Yeats.  Our amazing friend, Lauren  (who is coming to visit in June!!!),  read a poem of his at our wedding.  This very same poem was quoted on the plaque commemorating his residency at this home!

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The hike was fabulous!  These are Bret’s pictures from the hike:

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It was also a little terrifying at times (I have pretty intense vertigo), reminded me of some fairly shady hikes (and drives) to study sites in southern Oregon when I was doing field work.  Those cliffs are pretty high up there and the path goes right along the edge.  Also, it was quite windy (I swear I am not a wimp).

After our hike, we rewarded ourselves with seafood at the Oar restaurant.  We were a step away from eating at Octopussy’s, but went with the Oar.


Bret had fish and chips that he rated in the top 1/3 of Fish and Chips he’s had and I had pretty yummy Mussels and frites.  mmm.

The bar next to the train station in Howth is called the Bloody Stream.  We had to stop in and have a pint, so we watched the Ireland vs Wales Six Nations Rugby match and had a pint before heading back into Dublin.  Go Ireland (we’re 2-0)!!!

Back in Dublin, we met up with my cousin, PD for dinner at Enoteca delle Langhe.  I was a little skeptical about this place when I read the menu, because it seemed like they only had meat and cheese platters.  Luckily, we found a small pasta section, and all three of us had really yummy, fresh pasta entrees that rated a 5/5 for both Bret and I.

We finished up the evening with a couple of pints back at the Porterhouse because, why not?

The next morning, Bret and took a nice stroll around Trinity College Dublin.  Bret took these pictures:

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yeah, the library was actually closed on Sunday.  So, we didn’t get to see the book of Kells, but the close up shot of the poster makes it look like we got in 🙂

After that, I jumped on a bus back to Cork and the kitties.  Bret left for the airport and a week in Plymouth for tank testing…  Super fun weekend.

First Impressions of Ireland

So finally, I get around to adding a bit to Bret and my blog, instead of just relying on him to post interesting pictures.

I wanted to relate some of the pictures to our first impressions of Ireland.  We have been here a solid four weeks now.. wow.  I mostly was working on finishing edits to my dissertation up until the end of last week, but now I am semi-free to start telling anyone who is interested about our journey (except for manuscripts from my dissertation and other research, which just don’t seem to write themselves unfortunately).

We arrived in Dublin on Christmas eve, and walked out of the secured customs area to a live choir serenade (well, christmas carols).  Bret and I were both, I think, rushing a little because we couldn’t believe how easily they let us through customs and we were afraid they might change their minds.  We picked up the car and it was TINY!


I don’t know if you can tell from this picture, but fitting our luggage, the two cat crates, and us in this car required a shoe horn.  Lucky for everyone, Bret was in charge of driving.  I have to say that driving was the most stressful part of all the travels to get here…  that is more stressful than dropping off my 19 year-old cat at a cargo shipping facility, getting grilled by the Manchester, UK customs officer because he didn’t think Ireland was going to let us in with the paperwork we had on us (plus a few hours to stew that around in our brains before we actual went through customs in Ireland), and having our final flight delayed because of crazy high winds (and not knowing if we would arrive in time to pick up the kitties before the 3 day christmas holiday).  No, driving was definitely the most stressful part… streets that are perfectly wide enough for mule drawn wagons, but currently operate as two-way high-speed autoways.

We made it to our hotel in Dublin in one piece and settled in for the holiday.  We were warned that nothing would be open on Christmas day and very little would be open the following day (St. Stephen’s day), so we stocked up on some snacky food (and, of course, wine and whiskey).  Our first pints were at a pub that completely fit the bill of our expectations.  Just a couple doors down from the hotel, a somewhat seedy entrance led us into a cozy, warm nook crowded with yummy beers and food.


We loved that place.

We had a really lovely day on Christmas wandering through a deserted Dublin.  It was a really interesting way to see the city-  not distracted by people.  There were a few others millling about by the time we headed back to the hotel, but it really felt like we had the city to ourselves for a while.


That is us at St. Stephen’s green in the heart of Dublin.

The next day we stopped in a couple coast towns to break up the trip to Cork ( because, again, driving was very stressful), but we made it into town just as it was getting dark and stormy.

Cork is a real city…  I was expecting it to be a little more quaint, but that is probably because I did not do much research.  We realized when we got here just how bad our timing was.  I had emailed probably ten people about looking at houses/ apartments for let and we heard back from one person.  Ireland is pretty much closed between Christmas and New Years we learned.  Luckily, The one house we did get to look out worked out perfectly.  It is a 25 minute walk from Bret’s work and and a 10 minute walk to the heart of downtown Cork.  We debated a little about whether we wanted to find a place that was a little more open (perhaps a small yard) further from the city center, but in the  end we decided to own our year of being city dwellers and go for the downtown location.  Luckily, one side of street is a cathedral (St. Finbarres), so it actually is pretty quiet for the location.

We are very happy with our choice!  The kitties settled right in to the new place and we are really enjoying the access to restaurants and shops.  We returned the car after we moved in, so we are all on foot now (although we should have bikes by the end of the week!).

Cork is interesting.  The weather is similar to Oregon… mostly rain with a cold, sunny day here and there, but the rain has been intense.  No misty, wet days.  When it rains it comes down hard and often in conjunction with strong, swirly winds.  There was some extreme flooding the first few days that we were here, but luckily we are up on a hill.  Also, it seems like these floods happen every few years, so the town can handle them.

Many people told us that the people in Cork are the friendliest in Ireland.  Our experience has been that people are not unfriendly, but we definitely have to engage them to bring out the friendliness (a lot like Pacific northwesterners-  we hypothesize that the similarity in climate leads to a similarity in personality).

Well, I think that is a sufficient start, more on life in Ireland later.

Happy 2014 all!