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