Monday, September 15, 2014

Dublin~A Craic of a Good Time

Dublin~A Craic of a Good Time

One of my favorite things I love about living in The Netherlands is the gift of being able to travel to new and exciting places even if it’s just for a short weekend. As my husband and I planned out the rest of our year, we realized that we have only a few weekends available to just drop everything and get away together. With Ireland being on our bucket list of places to visit, we quickly made arrangements to head off to Dublin.

Flying out on our good ole Ryan air I was pleased to find out that they have loosened the regulations a bit. This time I carried on my one piece of small luggage AND carried my purse.  This is a huge deal as they used to make you stuff it into your bag and then of course the weight limit would be too high causing you to either check your suitcase or question your need for more than one pair of shoes for a weekend. Anyway… thank you Ryan Air for a little more wiggle room.

We landed in Dublin early Friday morning ready to explore the city. On our taxi ride to our hotel, the cab driver was chatting about things to see and do in the city. Cab drivers always have the best info, especially if you want to be with the real people not just the tourists. But my eyes were automatically drawn to the people’s doors. Home after home, business after business… the Georgian style doors were all painted brightly with different colors. As previously mentioned, I have a love affair of doors. This was a fantastic surprise for me as I had no idea that Dublin was famous for their doors. Cab driver number 2 later on that day gave me two different stories as to why the doors of Dublin are painted so brilliantly.




 I’ve since googled and searched and kept coming up with the same stories.. so I’ll go with my cab driver’s stories. Of course the stories begin with two famous writers living next to each other in Dublin, George Moore and Oliver St John Gogarty. They both painted their doors so the other wouldn’t come knocking on their doors after a night of drinking. But my cabbie said… that’s just good common sense. That way all the people of Dublin know which door is their own when they come stumbling home from the pubs.





The second story I love just as well… Queen Victoria of the British Empire had married her teenage sweetheart and cousin at the tender age of 18. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s love for each other defined their  love of their kingdom, their family of 9 children  and presented people with which a way on how to live a happy life. But Prince Albert died suddenly at the age of 42 of Typhus. Greif stricken Queen Victoria was not to be seen in public for 3 years and finished out her life as Queen for the next 30 years only wearing black. She was called the Widow of Windsor. In her mourning of her beloved husband she ordered all the British Empire to paint their doors black to show a sign of mourning. Well according to the story, that didn’t settle well with the Irish who instead painted their doors brilliantly beautiful colors. Both stories are a testament to a people full of life and passion. And I fell madly in love with the beautiful Dublin Doors.

Hard Rock Dublin
We next headed for the Hard Rock of Dublin. We needed a few good burgers before we descended on the Temple Bar area in search of the perfect Irish beer. Here were a few of our favorite beers and bars.












Later that night, we ventured off to see Ireland’s most famous theater show…. Riverdance, at the beautiful Gaiety Theater. 



Featuring mostly traditional Irish music and dance, the show was phenomenal to say the least and I’m so happy I was able to see it in Dublin.


The next day we awoke to a nice drizzle of rain. But that wasn’t going to dampen our spirits… we took off for the Guinness Storehouse. 



The 9,000 year lease signed in 1759

This exceptional experience of the famous Guinness beer is a must see in Dublin. The building is 7 stories and takes you through the history and process of making the famous dark beer. 

You can learn how to pour the perfect pint and then enjoy the panoramic Dublin view from the top of the Storehouse in the Gravity Bar. Now this is the way to start a perfect day!


Happy and a little tipsy we headed for The Old Jameson Distillery. One problem.. we had spent so much time at the Guinness place that all the Jameson whiskey tours were booked. 





No problem.. buy a few gifts and Pub Crawl on to my favorite place of the day, The Brazen Head.



The Brazen Head is Ireland’s oldest pub. Established in 1198… ya gotta love a place that has continued to stay in business for this long. Rooms wind and twist and little corners are filled with delight. At night they feature storytelling dinners and Irish music. But my husband and I love to belly up to the bar and get to know the bar tenders. This is where we really felt at home. Much to my delight they had 

bangers and mash on their wonderful menu. A hearty meal and a Bulmers in the oldest pub in Ireland… truly the perfect way to end a very short weekend to Dublin. 

We for sure will be going back, but I want to get outside of the city and enjoy the country and coastal views.


 Thanks Dublin for a Craic of a good time!