Dublin: the best and worst
As a courtesy to our Irish and US friends Ann Marie and Yogi, all the posts from Ireland will be written in english.
There are several restaurants in the Smithfield area, and today’s breakfast was eaten at Oscars Café and Bar. We were supposed to eat at another place, but when we walked past Oscars we thought we’d try it. It was also closer than the other.
Marielle tried the mini Irish breakfast while Vidar went all-in with the organic porridge. The weather, due to some wind, was a bit chilly, but we ended up sitting outside anyway. We found the place to be quite good and the waiters were really friendly.
After breakfast we continued towards the city center and the City Hall. We had booked a spot on Sandemans New Dublin Tour, a three hour free guided tour of the city. The best part of it all; the tour would take us to the “lesser known” places in the city.
Outside the City Hall we met Brian and he took us for a walk through the city. Brian was an enthusiastic guy from Dublin and he talked non-stop about both the city and the country. He talked about everything from vikings and wars to Guinness and U2. First stop was Dublin Castle and the last stop was Trinity College.
Just to be clear: We would recommend Sandemans to everyone.
Halfway during the tour we took a short break just outside the Temple Bar area. It had started to rain a bit as well, so a warm pub became our first choice. The rest of the group went to a nearby tea shop, while we went in for three pints of Guinness at Bad Bobs.
After the break we continued into Temple Bar, the main bar and pub area in Dublin. If you are looking for tourists, this is the right place to be.
After the tour we followed Brian to O’Neills Bar and Restaurant to get some lunch. Yogi ate the homemade vegetarian lasagne, Marielle had the fish and chips and Vidar got some Irish beef and Guinness stew. Everything accompanied with a pint. Of course.
During the day we wondered where people were. Dublin is a major city but we didn’t see many people around. That was however until we stumbled into Grafton Street. Suddenly we felt the need to run away. Too many people.
Marielle was looking for a bookstore, and ran away while Vidar and Yogi waited in the crowd. Too many people and we wanted to leave straight away. When Marielle came back we started walking back to our apartment.
Back at the apartment we all fell asleep waiting for Ann Marie.
Ann Marie had booked a table at The Market Bar, a tapas place situated in a large red-brick building in the city centre. The atmosphere was buzzing and everything was set to become a nice evening. The food was amazing, and came in large portions. Perfect for sharing.
The meal was just the starting point of the evening. Just outside the Market Bar we found Hogans Bar, a traditional irish one where everyone drinks outside on the sidewalk. It would never work in Norway, but, we are a bit more restricted than the irish. Norwegian drinking culture would ruin the greatness of it all anyway.
We couldn’t go to Dublin without visiting the Temple Bar. Or could we? We are clearly tourists and like all tourists we’ll go where we meet other tourists.
Temple Bar contains tons of drunken tourists in every age. Some more drunk than others, and some younger than others. Way too young.
No irish bar experience is complete without live irish music and we found both at The Quays Irish Restaurant.
When we were looking for available hotels in Dublin we only found really expensive ones. We didn’t understand why until we learned that Garth Brooks was playing in the city at the same time – five concerts in five days. People came from all over the world to attend the concerts.
The week before the concerts mr. Brooks cancelled all five due to the incompetence of Dublin City Council.
The city was now crawling with Garth Brooks fans, including the woman trying to sing a few songs at The Quays Irish Restaurant. Hopefully she won’t quit her day job.
Before ending the evening (we were going to drive the next day), we had to stop by Temple Bar, the bar which gave name to the area. Why? Because we are tourists.