I have a question for Dublin: Why is your Guinness so expensive? At a pub down the street from the Guinness brewery a pint of the beautiful black stuff will cost €5.50 – it’s only £3.35 at my pub in Edinburgh. What’s going on? On our first day in Dublin we hopped pubs for the afternoon and into the evening, and when we found a place with 3.75 Guinness we settled in for the long haul. Jonathan, the regular at the bar, gave us his ‘favorite bits of Ireland’ tips. The cute Polish bartender let us play Jenny’s ipod until the band with a cello showed up. Jenny was impressed that I was able to navigate us back to the hostel, but luckily it was the same one I’d stumbled back to several times last June with the boys, so I’d had some practice.
Dublin also tends to like to rain on me, it seems.
So as cool as Dublin can be, the two times I’ve been there I’ve always been pleased to get out and into the rest of Ireland. The rest of Ireland is where it’s at.
I was impressed with Galway the second time round. From my last trip I remember mostly lying in the grass, then going out to the pubs, falling down on the dance floor at the King’s Head and stealing most of a pizza from a guy called Eamon.
I forgot that Galway has cute twisty streets full of shops, and hadn’t even made it last time to the wee harbour, the cathedral. Jenny and I had a walk around town, appreciating laid-back Galway after taking the bus straight across from Dublin.
Then, of course, we went to the pubs.
At the first pub we ended up in conversation with an old man who wanted to tell us about all the ‘naughtiest’ places he’d ever been in the world. We were glad when he left.
At the second an entire stag-do took a shining to us. We drank many Guinness.
In Belfast we took a black cab tour; this time, though, from a man who didn’t sound as though his mouth were full of marbles. He was also upfront from the start that he was a Republican, and would be giving us information from a Republican point of view.
It was grand. Jenny has the pictures.
We created our own pub tour of Belfast, because we had to fly out of Dublin the next morning and were catching the midnight bus. To occupy ourselves we drank Guinness in various places. The first place was full of men watching horse races, until a man carrying a pile of plastic bags came in and started demanding to watch Coronation Street. Jenny said she saw him combing his eyebrows. We moved to the other side of the pub for a bit, and when we left, all the other patrons gave us a big wave goodbye.
The next pub played nothing but Garth Brooks, and smelled like a barn.
A few more pubs and even a pitcher of cocktails later, we made our way to the bus. It dropped us at Dublin airport at 3 am, and we made an unsuccessful attempt to sleep on the floor until our plane left. (Our plane to Berlin. Germany.)