Dublin: Unsurprisingly Delightful

Sorry for the major delay in posting about the rest of my trip this summer! I started graduate school in August and have not had much spare time. With the craziness of the election, I needed to focus on happier times, and that is all of the traveling I did when I was blissfully unemployed and not yet a student. Continuing where I left off, from Africa to Europe…

Dublin was a last minute add to my trip. I actually saw it as an option for a layover from London to Madrid, and thought it would be fun to check out. Amanda had been to Dublin before I went, and I owe her major kudos for her recommendations! Fun fact: when she gave me her must-do list for Dublin, that’s what inspired this blog. I asked my former coworker/friend who lives in London if she wanted to join me on the trip, and was surprised to learn that she hadn’t been to Ireland before! Robyn and I stayed at an AirBNB in the center of the Temple Bar area, which was well worth it. We walked past the Temple Bar, but didn’t go in since we heard it was overpriced and there were better bars.

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We were starving by the time we got settled and found a place that looked like it had a nice steak for dinner. We went in, and they said it would be a wait, so we went upstairs and ended up eating some small plates and playing pool all night. It was a blast! I also discovered an Irish beer (not Guinness, but more on that in a minute) called Smithwick’s that I really liked, which is admittedly unusual for me. The next morning we found a tiny café for brunch that had traditional Irish breakfast with the most delicious homemade bread. We loved Queen of Tarts so much we went again the next morning! We shared a raspberry scone that I think about to this day.

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Robyn (pictured) and I both wanted to check out the city and just absorb it, so we didn’t make any concrete plans. We decided to check out The Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Ireland. We heard from some people that they had live music, and we were excited to discover a group of older Irish men jamming out when we walked in. I bought their CD to give to my step-dad, who is an avid musician (sorry for the blurry picture, it was so crowded in the pub!). I love traveling this way, especially when you can easily communicate with the locals. We did end up going on the Guinness Storehouse tour, and we were not disappointed. It cost around €14.00, but that includes how to pour the perfect pint, and to drink a pint, as well as the full tour. Tip: once you get your pint, head upstairs to the 360 degree bar! It’s an awesome view of Dublin.

Overall, I highly recommend Dublin. The people are as nice as you’d expect, and it was a modern city that still felt home-y and comfortable. Plus the bars are incredible. I look forward to exploring more of Ireland on my next trip to Europe.

-C

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