Irish beauty and wisdom in Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher

Finally I’m back to wrap up my summer 2018 Scotland/Ireland trip with Oldest. Apologies for the delay!

After a wonderful three nights in Killarney, we set off on another driving adventure. After a little difficulty rescuing our car from a garage (it wouldn’t accept my Euro note, I had to go back to the hotel to exchange), we headed toward Doolin via the Shannon Ferry (https://www.shannonferries.com). It’s a more direct “as the crow flies” route than driving around the mouth of the Shannon, through Limerick City, and also makes for a p’sretty journey up the Clare coast. The Ferry runs every half hour in both directions during the busier summer months, but we managed to drive up just in time to see one pulling away. The wait was not unpleasant, however, as we enjoyed watching other families stretch their legs along the Shannon as our cars queued.

Shortly after exiting the ferry, we stopped over in the little beach town of Lahinch, where we enjoyed an ice cream and a walk along the beach:

From Lahinch, the winding road into the tiny town of Doolin provided some beautiful views, including this one of Doonagore Castle, with Doolin down below it to the right in the photo:

Our one night stay in Doolin was a return to the friendliest B & B’s at which I have ever had the pleasure to rest. Daly’s House B&B (http://www.dalys-doolin.com) only boasts a handful of rooms, but they are sweet, cozy, with updated bathrooms, and impeccably clean. We were greeted by Susan, who truly seems overjoyed to meet and chat with each and every guest. The first time I stayed here, Husband and I had endured several windblown, rainy days and a treacherous drive through an Atlantic storm to arrive here; Susan’s sunny smile and hot tea made all our crankiness disappear.

This time, with much brighter weather, we were treated to “happy hour” on Susan’s flower-filled patio, with other guests and her tiny dog Ted – short for Teddy Bear, which is exactly what he looked like.

After a brief rest at Susan’s, we decided to enjoy the beautiful day by exploring the little town of Doolin by foot. There are probably less than 25 buildings in the town proper, so this shouldn’t take long.

As we walked further out of town, the land became increasingly bucolic. We met a donkey, and some cows. I had decided not to take my phone on the walk – vacation is all about disconnecting, right? However, this proved to be a serious mistake.

As we wandered, I came across a beautiful scene. On a hill upabove us, stood a mother horse and her foal. With a cloud-streaked sky behind them, they appeared to be “kissing” nose to nose. I gasped at the beautiful scenery, reached for my phone to take a photo and…. @@#$!*!$# UGH! What was I thinking? I watched the scene for just a few more seconds, wanting to soak in the image, and then … you guessed it…. sprinted (as best a middle aged banker can sprint) back to Susan’s for my phone, and then back again to the hill with the horses.

You can probably guess how this story ends: by the time I returned, the horses had moved out of position. The foal was lying down. Mom was still on the hill, but at a different angle:

Sigh. I’m glad I was able to capture this photo, at least. Time for a multiple choice quiz: What was the wisdom gained from this experience?

A: Never leave your phone/camera behind

B: Enjoy the moment, because it will pass quickly

C: Appreciate something, like the photo above, even when it isn’t “perfect”

D: All of the above

Go to Ireland to find the answer ūüėČ

We enjoyed the rest of the evening at O’Connor’s pub, where we dined on traditional fish and chips and enjoyed a trad session in a bar full of Americans:

The next morning, we woke early to the sound of birds tweeting, cattle lowing, chickens clucking, and horses neighing to herald another beautiful day. After a delicious breakfast at Susan’s, we headed out for our day’s activity: The Doolin Cliff Walk with Pat Sweeney.

Meeting outside of O’Connor’s pub, Pat leads a group of explorers from Doolin town south and rambling up, up, up along the coastal cliffs to the towering, 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. http://www.doolincliffwalk.com . Pat’s website doesn’t specifically state the distance walked, but the walk does indeed take about 3 hours. I’d guess the distance at about 5 miles.

Pat himself, a local 4th generation farmer, developed the trail, which winds along the rising cliffs through adjoining farmer’s lands, as a way to boost the local economy. Doolin is the closest town to the Cliffs, which are probably the most famous stopping point along Ireland’s “Wild Atlantic Way”, and Pat recognized that higlighting this fact would bring more tourists -and euro – to the town. Over the course of 10 years, he convinced 36 farmers – 36 stubborn Irish farmers – to allow a trail to be built along the western edge of their lands.

In building the trail, Pat heeded his mother’s advice, which is sage for anyone, but especially salespeople:

Take no as a maybe!

(Pat Sweeney’s mom)

He was almost 100% successful … but there are a few, particularly intractable holdouts, which results in some fence climbing heroics for Pat’s hikers. Hence, Pat has dubbed his tour the “ADVENTURE TOUR! to the Cliffs of Moher”. I must capitalize ADVENTURE TOUR! because that is how Pat says it. The description is apt. Here are a few photos from our ADVENTURE TOUR!


looking back North toward Doolin, with Irish Flag in the foreground
Getting closer to the top…

Pat grew up along these cliffs, and told tales of jumping off of the shorter ones, playing in the wild, wavy Atlantic ocean and tide pools as a boy with his brothers. Hence, he is extremely surefooted, and did not hesitate to test the cliff edges:

At one particularly treacherous point, where a farmer refused access, the trekkers on our cliff walk were required to step over a steep crag, with the cliffs plunging over 400 feet below. One of our group had an unfortunate fear of heights (oops!) , so for him this truly was an ADVENTURE TOUR! But as Pat liked to remind us “I haven’t lost one yet! Hee Hee Hee!” His high-pitched laugh – incongruous for a big, burly farmer – really kept us all laughing despite the heart-thumping nature of the journey.

I waited to take this photo until I had successfully navigated the most adventurous part of the ADVENTURE TOUR!
love the graphic

Eventually, we arrived at the Cliffs of Moher Visitors’ Center , where we enjoyed a snack and toilet break. Then Pat took us even further, to the less-visited southern vantage point, looking back goward the Cliffs:

The Cliff Walk was yet another highlight of our trip. While unfortunately not recommended for the faint hearted, disabled, or those with a fear of heights, the walk is certainly accessible for anyone with a moderate level of fitness. And Pat’s stories, told in his lilting Irish brogue and puncutated by his “hee hee hee” high pitched laughter, made it easy to forget I was climbing 700 feet from sea level to the Cliffs (until the next day, when my legs reminded me!).

Doolin was by far the most rural destination of this trip, and I found peace and wisdom in the broad skies, rocky cliffs, pastoral scenes, and welcoming, “living in the moment” personalities of Susan Daly and Pat Sweeney.

The Ring of Kerry: sometimes those “Best of” lists have it right

Any search of “things to do in Ireland” will undoubtedly include a tour of the famous Ring of Kerry. ¬†It’s often cited as one of Ireland’s top sights to see: #6 on this list, ¬†2nd on this one,¬†¬†and at the top of Frommer’s “best scenic drives in Ireland”.¬†¬†What is the ring? ¬†It’s a driving route around the Iveragh peninsula, hugging the Atlantic coast closely and circling through the towns of Killarney and Kenmare, as well as Killarney National Park.

screen shot 2019-01-13 at 10.11.30 am

It’s also offers breathtaking scenery including the ocean, mountains, cliffs, lakes, waterfalls, fields, domesticated animals, and wildlife. ¬†And although I’d been to Killarney before, I had never driven the full Ring around the peninsula, ¬†only the bit near town and the Killarney National Park. ¬†Here is a preview of a few of my photos from the area:

lykv0xp1tyorjjnhuomzng.jpg

fullsizeoutput_439d

rju9ltz8sjug9hwajoqheg

twkmlrsrrjy0dq63pzm%3w

See? breathtaking!

So you know I’m a planner, ¬†but my plans usually leave a bit of flexibility. I was planning to drive the 111-mile Ring myself; ¬†many tourists do it every day, and although there are ¬†harrowing stories involving oncoming buses, ¬†I figured my approximately 20,000,000 hours of commuting time spent on Rt 287 in New Jersey leaves me well prepared for just about anything. ¬†I even made a map with scenic pit stops and approximate drive times. But, as the day approached, and as I spent as a passenger on the “wrong” side in Scotland, I realized that if I drove myself, ¬†I would not be able to fully enjoy the scenery. ¬†So when Dave, our Corporate Transfer driver from Dublin, offered us contact information for his friend Aidan at Killarney Chauffeur, ¬†I took him up on it. ¬†We booked a day with Aidan and never looked back.

Aidan arrived around 9 am in a beautiful BMW 5 series, which was a nice upgrade from the rattletrap I had been driving. The day started out a bit overcast, but the gloom added to Kerry’s atmostphere (and we eventually found the sun once again). After a brief stop at the Aghadoe viewpoint just outside of Killarney, we drove through the tiny town of Killorglin.

In the center of Killorglin is the statue of a goat, ¬†named King Puck. ¬†Aidan explained that the goat had warned residents of the approach of Cromwell’s army, earning himself such a royal title. There is an annual “Puck Fair” in his honor as well. A very accomplished goat!

King Puck
King Puck!

Just beyone Killorglin, we stoped at a roadside display of crafts that Aidan recommended, and once again came upon the sight of a dog… sitting on a donkey. ¬†I guess this is a thing in County Kerry?

sbigzbfhqlu1ymrd9x%pgq
Dogs + donkeys.  Why?

Next, we stopped by the beach in Rossbeigh, ¬†which looks across to the Dingle Peninsula. ¬†Somehow I’m still surprised to see beaches in Ireland.

rfv9tkvmtuwt2skc8xvbcw
checking out a portion of Rossbeigh beach

Aidan offered us an educational tidbit here and there, including a brief explanation of common town name origins around Ireland:

Kill = church

Bally = Town of

There are a number of ancient ring forts around Kerry,  and we had told Aidan we were interested to see one.  He took us  to Cahergall Stone Fort, which we were able to climb and take a few fun photos:

5lzim9whsa6vjrlxsv3ggw.jpg

ocbdr4a3ramd+ypaajdsbw
I’m the King of the World!

fullsizeoutput_43a1
Please don’t fall

Just outside the fort, I took one of my favorite photos of this trip.  This home is so peaceful looking,  I think I could live here, very happily:

4qcy+is9rpwvbtrwtmpqzw
Serenity Now

Valentia Island was our next stop,  offering dramatic, steep cliffs and views back to the larger island.  Aidan took us by the Valentia slate quarry, bored deep into a mountain:qjs+mnnfqvyncme8hvdmua

You may or  may not have noticed in the photo above, but Mary watches over it all:

qjs+mnnfqvyncme8hvdmua

Beyond the quarry, we stretched our legs by hiking up to Bray Head on Valentia:

el25km4zsrqnix+rhemwmq
Skellig Michael, filming site for Luke Skywalker’s home in “The Last Jedi”, in the far distance

XgMM%1l0RnGVxBA%jT23ig.jpg
Looking across toward Portmagee

After a stop in Portmagee at The Moorings for a very pleasant lunch, we arrived at the Kerry Cliffs.  By now, Aidan had figured out that we like taking photos on cliffs.  We worked off our lunch hiking to the top, which was only about 2/3 mile from the parking lot, but fairly steep. Also, the sun came out while we were at lunch!

+lazm4l3tx2y+aqfof7ukw
Skellig Michael, closer now, in the distance.

twkmlrsrrjy0dq63pzm%3w

gmjf9dt9tquldjzgckirhg

On our way to put those calories back on at the Skellig Chocolate Factory, I spotted an abandoned cottage that I tried photographing from several angles.  I thought the sky, clouds, and shadows seemed almost surreal.   I do need to photoshop out the antennae, but I love these photos.  You tell me which is best:

baqplwn5tzsfz1u2qbfn8g

5jdd%lewr7k4yarvwsqkfa

rju9ltz8sjug9hwajoqheg

We completed our trip around the Ring with stops in Caherdaniel:

t9888jzysmanttgxi3cw5g
Mary is very popular in Ireland

8xwlgzd+szshrkkvzpzqew
Somehow, we will pass that car, and no one will fall off a cliff

The bright little town of Sneem:

dzxxif4jqvs7gewe6drtvg
Just the cheeriest looking pub ever

And a few views across Killarney National Park:

xxhhfkp2qqqihlza101deg
An overlook known as Ladies’ View, where Queen Victoria’s laides-in-waiting visited in 1861

Now, 111 miles may not sound like a lot – ¬†here in America, ¬†barring traffic, ¬†it’s an easy 2 hour drive. But attempting the ROK in anything under 6 hours is a foolhardy endeavor, ¬†due to a combination of low speeds; windy, narrow roads; and the absolute compulsion to photograph nearly everything in sight. My iphone says I took 133 photos on our trip around the ring – ¬†and it wasn’t enough. ¬†Guess I need to go back!!

 

Dingle All the Way

From our base in Killarney, Oldest and I next headed to one of my favorite spots in Ireland: ¬†the Dingle Peninsula. ¬†While it’s definitely worthwhile to spend more time here by staying in Dingle Town, about 1/2 way out the peninsula, it would have been too many overnight destinations for us on this trip. The drive from Killarney was a surprisingly easy and uncomplicated day trip.

Just past Inch Beach on the R 561 (“R” roads are very ¬†narrow, ¬†twisty, and “interesting!”, only to be surpassed in treachery by “L” roads), ¬†we had to slow down for this lovely lady and her baby, who can barely be seen behind mama:

img_0408
Farmers mark their sheep with different shades of paint

Since my primary goal was to show Oldest the Slea Head Drive, at the peninsula’s tip, ¬†we set our Google Maps directions straight for Dingle town, where one of the first sights we came upon was …. a dog … sitting on top of a donkey. Hey, why not?

1haxnr7lrbi7azw90bvnsw

We wandered around the busy town for a bit, ¬†enjoyed an early lunch, and downed a pint of Crean’s, the local beer. ¬†Crean’s is named after Tom Crean, an Antarctic explorer who hailed from the Dingle Peninsula.

cwphjmvvrbomxn29dt2whg
Heading to the Beer Garden at Danno’s

img_0405
Glad it wasn’t Monday, but this sign is cute!

img_4924

 

Only one, though, ¬†because I was back to driving – ¬†and now the roads became quite narrow. ¬†While it’s possible for two cars to pass, ¬†it’s not necessarily advisable:

dsc_0330
Oldest took this one from the passenger side.

Slea Head marks the end of the peninsula, and, like many points on the west coast, the locals will tell you when looking east “The next stop is America!”. ¬† We continued to benefit from nice weather, so we were fairly active in our exploration of the peninsula, ¬†first walking from the parking area down to Slea Head Beach, at sea level:

dsc_0337
View of Slea Head Beach, from above. The “arrow” in the sand must be pointing to buried treasure. ¬†Right?

p9fqmrvnqeqnuxg2aqensg
This sign did not stop the swimmers

5rfgrltzt4cnyumf7omlfw

Then we hiked back up,  and further up, to Dunmore Head promontory. Nearby signs told us that some filming for Star Wars took place here, although it is not the more famous Skellig Michael island,which is off the coast to our south.

i6iqdpc6q6u2jnmm10m66g

Walking up to the Head required climbing over an old stone fence, ¬†which didn’t work out so well for yours truly, ¬†who lost her balance and skinned my knees in a pretty gruesome way (I’ll spare you the yucky photo). ¬† It was still worthwhile, though, just for these photos, looking back at the peninsula. ¬†It was my 3rd trip to this spot, and each time I want to lie down and never leave these soft, rolling, green hills. ¬†Although I imagine I might feel differently in, say, December.

dsc_0334

o9itr2pvs0skdtvchlu0wq
Oldest with one of the two “Devils Horns” at Dunmore Head

gadlvyowrk61th8mg5g6fq
Beautiful, even when seen with bloody knees

In three trips to Ireland, I have managed to make it to the Slea Head drive on the Dingle peninsula every time.  It is truly one of the most peaceful places I have ever visited, and I truly enjoyed sharing it with Oldest.  I have no doubt I will return again.

Top o’ the Morning from Killarney!

Time traveling back to Summer 2018, I’m with Oldest in Ireland. ¬†After pretending to be part of a medieval adventure with¬†Game of Thrones Tours, ¬†it was time for some real, ¬†2018-style adventure: ¬†driving in Ireland. ¬† That’s right, I’m getting behind the wheel, on the “wrong” side of the road.

First up:  I heeded the advice of the Tripadvisor forums, and rented the smallest car possible. I think a well-fed horse might have been bigger.

ozfhuq+ltqcfdxqnuaxgma

I hired¬†Corporate Transfers¬†to take us from our Dublin lodging to the Hertz Dublin City Centre South location on Circular road; ¬†their Transfer & Pilot Service includes a driver who we would follow out of Dublin city onto the main highways. ¬† I have had the pleasure of meeting Corporate Transfers’ proprietor, Fintan Murray, on previous Ireland visits.

The Hertz location was packed and although we had a reservation, we waited in line for a good hour, while Dave from Corporate Transfers waited very patiently outside. ¬†If you rent a car in Ireland, be prepared for long waits: many people do not do their research and do not understand the insurance options for driving in Ireland (hint: buy it all), which lengthens the process. ¬†Finally, ¬†off we went toward Killarney, ¬†following Dave around busy city streets (eek!) until we reached the M7, a major, divided highway where I felt very comfortable driving. If it’s your first time driving on the left, ¬†I highly recommend this service, as navigating tight one-way city streets is unlikely to be an easy baptism.

The drive from Dublin to Killarney takes a little over 3 hours.  The drive was surprisingly uneventful, and we were thrilled to find a tiny parking spot, to fit our tiny car, right in front of our hotel, the International Hotel Killarney.  This was our biggest lodging splurge of the trip;  I figured that after 9 days of traveling, we were due for a full service hotel experience.  The hotel is well-located in the center of town, and we found the beds to be extremely comfortable.

 

img_1695
Killarney’s High Street. It think that dude is checking me out ;)!

After checking in, we began to make our way into Killarney’s afternoon/night life. ¬†It was the weekend of the annual Ring of Kerry charity bike race, ¬†so Killarney, as the largest town on the Ring, was full of very fit revelers. ¬† We spent most of the evening in and out of O’Connor’s and Tatler Jack’s – ¬†the, uh, fuzzy/crooked nature of these photos hopefully assures my readers that I was having a GOOD time.

img_1171
Tiny car trying to drive through the alley outside O’Connor’s. ¬†Those guys don’t look like they’re getting out of the way, do they?

 

smsysbklqzwuonfk%yfc6a
Fun, mixed-age crowd (who might have had a few drinks?) at Tatler Jack’s

Killarney is an excellent base for touring beautiful southwestern Ireland:  the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula, and other beautiful landscapes.  While not a large city,  there are plenty of lodging and dining options from hostels and pubs to upscale resorts and 5 star dining.  And look:  other Cubs fans visit here too!  Hi Dave & Alex! Go Cubs!

yigopt8tq4qhw0wdierjwq

When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or ….you are really entertained

This was a day Oldest and I had looked forward to for months.  Not long after deciding that Scotland and Ireland would be our graduation trip destination, we also decided that we needed to do a Game of Thrones tour.  In fact,  I arranged our entire itinerary around this highlight.

Logo_black

Originally, I had thought of spending a couple of days in Belfast,  because the GOT sites are all located in Northern Ireland. Between difficulty finding a direct flight between Inverness and Belfast,  and planning for further destinations in southern Ireland, we ended up flying into Dublin and opting for this tour:  Game of Thrones Dublin Winterfell tour Р as far as I could find, the only one originating in Dublin. I promise to return to Northern Ireland and visit Belfast!  This was a very difficult decision.

Oldest and I are both very big GOT fans. ¬†I initially read the books in 2007-2008, during that dark and dreary winter following the banking crisis that seemed to last a dozen years, like in the novels. ¬†Now, ¬†I am a big reader, but I am not generally a fantasy fan. ¬†While I read an average of 30-40 books a year, I have not read all of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, ¬†nor have I read all of the Harry Potter books. ¬†It’s just not my thing; ¬†I prefer historical fiction and crime/murder mysteries. In fact, ¬†I tried at least 3 different times to start the series, ¬†and couldn’t get past the first 50 pages. ¬†Eventually, though, ¬†I plowed my way through about 1/3 of the book and – ¬†ta da – ¬†I was completely hooked. ¬† Finally, after two seasons of the HBO series, ¬†I ended up re-reading all 5 books to jog my memory about the minor plot points skipped over by the TV version. ¬†That’s how much I enjoy it.

**Rant warning**   Finish the d*mn books, George R.R.! **End rant warning**

So, it was quite a thrill to see the setting for Winterfell:

x5xuhhuqt5qk7ctzzwssw.jpg
Castle Ward, the setting for Winterfell. They use a lot of CGI to make the walls look larger

ekpgSHYhS2q5yNbkFjTDhg
The yard at Castle Ward

Dress up like a Stark:

jVIktlYFTnGmsOX++Cim7A
Oldest trying to look mean

zPRd13gXTpaGrBIrGoQKLg
Getting my Stark on

 

and meet two of the beautiful dogs that played the Direwolves Summer and Greywind in the HBO series.

QgfLqhf4Q7O8mG%EJmahyA
BEAUTIFUL, and patient, dogs

IMG_0392
Me and Thor.  He looks a little bored

IMG_0386
Oldest and friend Odin

 

Our tour guide Lady Aenne was extremely knowledgeable about both the show and the settings.

t5reJRCVS9qSRFcXLQ2oOg
Lady Aenne showing us THE STUMP that can is visible in the series’ opening scene

She was also a FAST walker.  Winter may be coming, but I was sweating my butt off, especially with the heavy Stark-esque cape I wore.  I ended up carrying it for much of the walking parts of the tour.

We enjoyed lunch at The Lobster Pot in Strangford,  which hosts the tour group daily with this hokey but fun drink menu:

c4w9vo6lrww634zohprna.jpg

Pretty much everyone on our bus was also a fan (there are always a few bored but willing tag-a-long partners). We played a GOT trivia game, the winner of which was crowned “King in the North”, to whom we later bent the knee and swore our fealty. Of course! ¬†Oldest and I thought we did fairly well on the 20-question quiz, ¬†but this guy was on a whole different level – ¬†he got all 20 questions right. ¬†Impressive. ¬†I swear fealty, milord.

The tour was a long day Р we met at 7:45 am, and returned to Dublin right around 6:00.  There was a fair amount of time on the bus, but the tour kept us entertained with behind-the-scenes videos,  the trivia game, and,  on the way home,  the first two full episodes of GOT.

I highly recommend this tour and ¬†¬†tour company, Game of Thrones Tours– ¬†offering the only GOT tour choice out of Dublin, literally; ¬†when I return to Northern Ireland I’ll eagerly try one of their “Iron Islands” tours from Belfast.

Next up, ¬†we will return to the 21st century and – gulp- drive on the “wrong” side of the road!

 

 

 

Delightful Dublin

After 8 days in Scotland,  now it was time to revisit an old favorite:  Ireland!

We had ¬†a ride to the airport through Inverness Taxi. A cheery, punctual driver picked us up in the morning for a ride to Inverness Airport. ¬†It’s a small, ¬†easy-to-navigate airport, and we encountered no security line whatsover. ¬†The tiny LogainAir plane required a walk on the tarmac – ¬†thankfully, again, it wasn’t raining. ¬†We climbed up the stairs and performed a royal/ presidential wave as we embarked.

 

After a short, pleasant flight to Dublin Airport, we opted for a taxi into the city. ¬†My research told me that this was the lazy person’s way out – the Green 747 Bus would have taken us within 1/4 mile of our AirBnB – but we didn’t care. ¬† The taxi ride almost became embarrassing, however, ¬†when we found out that the driver didn’t accept credit cards, and didn’t think he could make change for my ‚ā¨100 bill. ¬†Having just now entered the EU, we hadn’t had a chance to break our larger bills yet. ¬† Um, ¬†you’re charming and all, ¬†but I’m not giving you a ‚ā¨70 tip! ¬†As I prepared myself to make a big old Jersey Girl stink, the driver magically found change.

Another mention of politics vs. World Cup fandom from the cab ride. ¬†Although our driver was 100% Irish, ¬†he supported England in the World Cup. ¬†This, honestly, surprised me. ¬†I could understand the Scottish having divided loyalties. ¬†His explanation: ¬†“they helped us with cash when we needed it in the recession, no one remembers that”. ¬†I think he is referring to the post-2008 banking crisis. ¬†Oh, and also he is a Liverpool FC fan, and several Liverpool players were on the England team. ¬†Now THAT makes more sense!

We were too early to check in to our AirBnB: AirBnB Sir John Rogerson’s Quay¬†, so we had a pub lunch down the street at the Ferryman pub. ¬†Guinness pie – ¬†always a favortie in Ireland. ¬† ¬†Once again, the AirBnB proved to be a hit, ¬†on the first floor with two nicely sized bedrooms, ¬†and walkable to all our Dublin targets.

Our next stop was the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street. ¬†We’ve both done the Guinness factory before, and Oldest recommended this instead. ¬†We enjoyed the short tour, ¬†which was less cheesy than Edinburgh’s Scotch Whiskey Experience.

 

 

After a brief history tour, we got right down to business with our free drinks at the bar. ¬†There they conconted some excellent and varied cocktails using Jameson’s. ¬†Oh, and the bartenders were cute (whoops did I say that out loud?)

RjQL8D7qT5WGsLESetYz+Q

Drinking having commenced,  we wandered toward Temple Bar.  We got a kick out of finding the famous Temple Bar webcam and waving to Dearest Husband, who we texted to look us up, and then sent us a screenshot of us.  Technology!  Yay!

fullsizeoutput_45c4
Look!  there we are on the webcam!

We enjoyed an excellent dinner at¬†Fade Street Social¬†on Drury street, which Oldest had picked out on Yelp. ¬† It was a definite foodie joint, and a welcome upgrade from the heavy fare we had generally been enjoying. The venue includes both an upscale restaurant and a more casual, loud gastropub. ¬†Since the restaurant was packed, and even the gastropub booths were full, we ate at the tapas bar overlooking the open kitchen and enjoyed drinks while watching the staff prepare the tapas-style meals. ¬† When a man in a leather jacket arrived toward the end of the evening, observing the chefs, having discussions with the manager, tasting the food as it was prepared, and generally seeming in charge, ¬†we googled the restaurant (technology! yay!) and found that he was indeed the restaurant’s proprietor, Dylan McGrath, a star of MasterChef Ireland.

A great day/evening in Dublin ended fairly early because we needed to rest up for …. DUN dun dun dun DUN dun dun dun DUN dun dun dun DUN dun dun dun duuuuunnnnnn

(what the heck is that? find out in my next post ūüôā) ¬†When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or ‚Ķ.you are really entertained