"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Wee Little Trip to Ireland - Day 4 - Dublin City Pub Crawl

We awoke from our 12-hour slumber fully rested and completely rid of the jet lag that had been hounding us the last couple of days. It now actually felt like the actual time it was in Dublin (six hours ahead of back home). We had a "rural pub tour" scheduled for today that looked like it was going to be a lot of fun, but we were informed a few days before that it had to be cancelled due to lack of participants and the fact that a few of the pubs they usually visited on Sundays would not be playing live music because of a big game of "hurling" on TV that day. Hurling is similar to lacrosse and there was a big championship game being held in Dublin between two neighboring areas. The 80,000-seat stadium was sold out and everyone was excited about it.
We were disappointed not to visit some small pubs outside the Dublin city limits, but we can't say we were really disappointed to not have to climb back on another tour bus after the long day yesterday and another long tour pending tomorrow. So, we decided to conduct our own "Dublin Pub Crawl" beginning in the late afternoon and continuing late into the night. Before wading into our evening of debauchery, we stopped by Trinity College again to take a look at their famous "long hall" library (photo above - not our picture, no cameras allowed) and the even more famous Book of Kells, a beautifully illustrated version of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John dating back to the 9th century (photo above - again, not our picture). The library was amazing and the Book of Kells was fairly interesting. But enough of this refinement and dignity...on to the pubs!!!
Our first stop was for an early dinner and drinks at The Bull & Castle. The B&C is a pub, German-style beer hall and restaurant all rolled into one. It has an extensive beer menu (researched by Rob - see more on the brews he had in his beer blog) including several Irish microbrews. Ashlee opted for their Irish whiskey sampler instead (photo below). The food was delicious with a Guinness Pie for Ashlee (shepherd's pie cooked with Guinness) and Irish wild salmon for Rob (photo below).
We next ventured over to The Brazen Head Pub which claims to be Dublin's oldest. What's great about Irish pubs (or at least all the ones we visited) is that they are much bigger than we anticipated. The Brazen Head, for example, is comprised of 3 separate bars in 3 separate adjoined areas allowing for a lot of people to grab a pint fairly quickly, find a seat and enjoy the atmosphere. The spaces are cozy and divided enough to allow for quiet conversation in one area and boisterous singing and such in another. Other traits we noticed was that all the pubs we visited in Ireland were: (1.) very clean - no filthy "beer joints" here where you are afraid to touch anything; (2.) that the local patrons and staff are extremely friendly - no dirty looks at the tourists invading their favorite watering hole and asking "dumb" questions of the staff; and finally, (3) bright, cheery places that are even family friendly since most serve food as well, and not dark, sullen drinking pits. We encountered no problems in any of the pubs with people who had drunk too much and were unruly in any way. The Irish have long been the butt of many jokes about over-indulgence in terms of alcohol, but to us they seem to have the act of social drinking down to an art form.
Our next stop was at The Porterhouse. This is actually a fairly new establishment and also a chain with three other locations throughout Ireland. Despite no real history, the place was packed and it's a very cool microbrewery serving there own quality beer in many different varieties. The Porterhouse is located in the heart of the Temple Bar area of Dublin. Temple Bar is a festive area down near the River Liffey with tons of pubs, shops and and restaurants. From what we gathered on our walking tour the day before yesterday, the area was. at least up until a few years ago, in a sad state of neglect, but a successful campaign to revive the area has turned it into the real hotspot in downtown Dublin. While strolling through Temple Bar after leaving The Porterhouse we stopped in the Oliver St. John Gogarty (photo below). This pub is seen in many pictures of Dublin and the Temple Bar area thanks to its bright colors and numerous flags adorning the building. It is definitely a "tourist trap" type of pub with piped-in music and a TGI Friday's kind of feel inside, but it made for a nice brief stop for tired feet and we had a great board of Irish cheeses to snack on.
The final major stop on our Dublin Pub Crawl was Messrs. Maguire. This great 3-story pub faces the River Liffey and has tons of nooks and crannies to get lost in while sipping your favorite adult beverage. It is also a microbrewery (do you see a pattern here? Rob says man cannot live by Guinness alone). We arrived here after the big hurling game mentioned earlier and it was full of Kilkenny fans adorned in blue and gold attire. They were in great spirits so we assume that Kilkenny won the game. Things were starting to get a little blurry after our stop here and we did drop briefly into a place called Cassidy's Bar that was supposed to have a piano bar, but the place was dead and there was no sound of the tinkling of the ivories, so we called it a night and took a cab (very reasonable rates in Dublin, by the way) back to the hotel to prepare to pack up our stuff to take a day tour to the west coast and spend our next night in the tiny town out there called Doolin.

1 comment:

Craig and Alison Harris said...

What're you smiling about in that beer pic? LOL