D is for Dublin — a do-over

My first trip to Dublin was disappointing. My travel partner didn’t want to check out the pubs in a city that is known for its nightlife. He said no to a visit to the Book of Kells at Trinity College. He turned up his nose at shopping. I describe the whole trip as D is for Dud.20161203_163544

Last fall, Greg and I decided it was time to give Dublin another chance. His best friend was living there (on a work assignment) and had a guest room. We could visit Chris and his wife in their new home, get something of an insider’s tour and sleep for free. It was a win-win-win.

We exchanged emails, scheduled a few things to do and bought our tickets for the Emerald Isle.

What a difference! Dublin is fun, vibrant and exciting. We arrived mid-day on a Saturday in early December and hit the ground running. img_6757Our hosts took us to the longest, The Hole In The Wall, and oldest, The Brazen Head, pubs in Ireland (both in Dublin). We wandered along the main shopping street and window shopped from pub to pub.

We stopped at the famous Temple Bar and elbowed our way to the bar for the essential Irish pub drink, a Guinness.

20161209_143056Over the next couple of days we enjoyed tasty Irish bar food and a few classics: fish and chips, Irish stew and others.

We checked out Kilmainham Gaol which “symbolises the tradition of militant and constitutional nationalism from the rebellion of 1798 to the Irish Civil War of 1922-23.”.

We visited Osteria Lucio, a favorite restaurants of our hosts for an incredible Italian meal with an excellent red wine. Who knew Dublin is a bit of a foodie town?

img_6792We toured the only Irish Whisky distiller still located in the Irish capital and sipped some delicious gin cocktails.

Bad news struck on Tuesday.  Our hosts grabbed a flight back to the states and we headed to Edinburgh, Scotland for a pre-arranged side trip (stay tuned for a blog about that trip). Back in Dublin, we had a couple days to explore on our own.

20161206_152758We visited the Guinness Brewery and learned how to pour a perfect stout. img_6913 img_6921 img_6924

We went to the library at Trinity College and ooo’d and aaah’d  over the history captured on the ancient volumes. We went to see the Book of Kells (but they don’t allow pictures!).

We revisited The Bank on College Green, a downtown Dublin restaurant converted from a late-1800s bank. The food and ambiance were PERFECT both times, and our server was absolutely delightful.

We wandered a little more, enjoyed the cheerful, friendly people of Ireland and took a local train to Dun Laoghaire. img_6841The Dublin suburb is home to the National Maritime Museum of Ireland. We walked out along the breakwater to the lighthouse in a light mist. It was a classic weather day – just what you expect.

After a week it was easy to admit that D is for Dud was WRONG! Dublin is “d”elightful and “d”arling.

Go see for yourself. There may not be many people who remember me, but you can still say Judy sent you.

There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored. Go see it.

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