Jul 29 2009
After many online searches looking for the best price to get to Croatia, I discovered that Aer Lingus was a relative bargain compared to other flights. I decided that I would stay in Dublin, however, for a 32-hour layover. I had never been to Ireland before and I wanted to see as much as I could possibly see in my jet-lagged state.
Because I had such a short amount of time, I started to research as much as possible. There was no shortage of information available, but a lot of the information recommended places that “were off the beaten path,” or places to be with the “locals” and the “new, more cosmopolitan” Dublin. As I was reading one article that suggested visiting a great wine bar and eating at a wonderful Mediterranean-inspired restaurant I realized that I didn’t want to be “off of the beaten path.”
These suggestions might be great for the well seasoned Ireland traveler, but I wanted see every cliché possible. I wanted to be on the beaten path. After being inspired by This is Ireland, the great children’s book by M. Sasek, I made a laundry list of all of the things that I wanted to see in Dublin. I wanted to see green fields, shamrocks, pints of Guinness, Oscar Wilde, fish-n-chips, pubs, potatoes, James Joyce, the Book of Kells, and if I was really lucky, a rainbow leading to a pot of gold. Cheesy, yes, but I had no idea when I was going to be back in Dublin again.
The best way to check off most of the items on my list was to take a tour; the most appealing tour to me was Dublin’s Literary Pub Crawl. The tour meets at Duke’s Pub on Duke Street and is a two-hour stroll through Dublin’s pubs lead by two actors. Before each pub, the guides performed a short piece and then gave some history about each pub we visited that night. Then we were given time to have a bit of “craich” at the pubs and socialize with patrons of the bar and other travelers on the crawl. We visited four different pubs that night where various well-known Irish writers wrote, were inspired, and–who are we kidding–drank a lot of pints o’ plain.
Tours run every night during the summer at 7ish. Reservations are recommended, but if you are short on time, you can go to the website and purchase tickets.
The tour was a lot of fun. In the short time I was there I was able to check a lot of things off of my list: I saw pubs, Joyce, Wilde, Shaw, smiling Irish eyes, a few shamrocks, fish-n-chips, and a lot of friendly old men in pubs. I didn’t find the pot of gold, but I did find several pints of black gold.Read more: Beer, Dublin, Ireland, Literature, M. Sasek, Tours, Travel
Lisa can usually be found staring longingly at the Eastern European shelf at the Globe Corner Bookstore. However, she really wants to go to Colombia.