Sunday the 23rd
Dublin Travel Blog› entry 4 of 5 › view all entries
September 23rd, 2007 – by: mr_brenden
I was on the first tour bus of the day and was excited to see the city.
The bus made its way through some of the city stopping and pointing out neat little bits of history and stories.
My first stop was the Guinness Factory. It must have been about a little past ten in the morning when I started the tour of the factory.
It was nice and peaceful until about 1130 when the bar started to fill up. When I made it back down to the lobby it was crowded with a long line to get in. So my advice is if you want to go, go early.
I got back on the bus and continued on with the tour. The tour buses either have a live guide or a recorded one that you have to listen to through head phones. Wait for a bus with a live tour guide on it. It makes all the difference.
I stopped to eat lunch at the Brazen Head. I knew from the night before that they had live Irish music form 1-4 every Sunday. I got there early to find a place at the bar and I am glad because the room filled up fast. The band was fantastic. The only problem was I could not order something to eat at the bar I was sitting at. I was informed that I had to go to the other room to eat. Not wanting to give up my good seat and the great music I simply stayed and kept ordering Guinness's. Before I knew it I was feeling as happy as can be.
I stayed as long as I could and then made my way back to the city center. I walked around a bit and got a few nice souvenirs. As all good things come to the end I got on the bus to the airport and head back to England.
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September 23rd, 2007 – by: mr_brenden
Having only planned this trip a week in advanced, I found it difficult to find a cheap place to stay in the city centre. All the online booking sites were already booked for weeks and most of them only had a two night minimum stay. However, the luck of the Irish must have been smiling upon me because I found a toll free number to call (UK - 0 800 783 8359 US - 1 888 827 3028). I talked to a live booking agent who had many beds available at the Isaac. I booked it for one night at about 20 euros.
Checking in was easy and after locking up my backpack I was off to the bars. I have heard of the legendary Temple Bar district from many travelers. As I crossed over the RIver Liffey, I was amazed at how beautiful the city was at night. I would have gone straight to the nearest bar to start the night, however; my Irish friend back in Cambridge told me where to go to get a more Irish welcome. So I walked through Temple Bar and made my way down to Merrion Row to a little pub called O'Donoghue's.
I walked in at the right moment to find myself a seat at the bar. There was a live band playing the traditional Irish tunes I have been longing to hear. I had music to my right, the bar to my left, and a Guinness in my hand that never went dry. I had found heaven.
I must have stayed in that seat for a good hour listening to the music, and talking to an old local gentlemen next to me. I then began to hear singing from the back of the bar and decided to go and investigate it. There was another group that was playing some tunes. They were a lot younger then the band up front and a lot more lively (they were drinking a lot). There merry sining and cheering had easily taken over the small room and everyone joined in. I must had stayed there listening and singing for another 45 minuets.
I headed back to Temple Bar were the bars were crowded and loud. Walking down the main street looking into the bars I began to notice somethings. Many of these bars where more like clubs. They had bouncers at the door who only let "the cool" people in. When I found myself in some of them I thought I was back home with the same "clubin" themes. The lighting and music was the same (was that Greenday they were playing?). So I now know that Temple Bar is where the night clubs are in Dublin. I did not travel here for the same experience that I can get back in Tampa (Ybor). So I kept walking in hope to find once again the real Ireland I was here to see.
I then made my way to the Brazen Head. The oldest pub in Ireland estd 1198. There I found more live music and another pint of Guinness or two or three...