Random Observation/Comment #277: I’ve been taking a lot of these long-weekend trips of 3 nights. I think they are the perfect number of days before you stop being productive with your foreign-country-adventure. After all, these vacations are more for my exploration of a new country than the relaxation from any type of stress. What can be so stressful if I’m taking long-weekend trips to Ireland? Damn, I love cushy honeymoon periods.
Ireland is green; many different shades of green on top of more green. The grass is green; the shops are green; and even the sheep have some green spots. There’s a very soothing blend of nature, friendly faces, and Guinness generously spread throughout the country. There’s not much more you can ask for – well, maybe the food could be less starchy and filled with more vegetables, but I’m just being picky.
Anyway, here are 5 things to do:
- Drink Guinness. Drinking is heavily infused into the culture and for a good reason – they have Guinness. Oh, baby, do they have a good Guinness. It will change your life. It tastes like dark ice cream goodness with a perfect after-taste and euphoric sensation in your mouth. If there wasn’t a party in your mouth before, there is now (don’t take that out of context). The interesting thing is that the locals also drink Guinness and enjoy their 5 pints at noon. If an American drank 5 bottles of Budweisers at noon, they would be alcoholics with poor taste in beer; The Irish, on the contrary, are just awesome. Check out Nancy Hands pub by the Heuston train station, it has table taps so you can serve yourself and then pay based on the pints you’ve poured. It’s such a brilliant idea, but at the same time bad news… It’s like an alcohol buffet.
- Cliffs of Moher and Irish castles along the way. Dublin is fun, but it doesn’t exactly capture the green of the country. The best day I had in Ireland was a day-trip to Galway followed by a tour to the Cliffs of Moher. For 60 EUR, we were taken care of the entire day by transportation and given enough time to take pictures and walk around the cliffs. I’d consider driving, but I’ve never driven on the left side of the road, and I feel like traffic patterns would get us into more danger. When you get to the Cliffs of Moher, I should really caution those that are scared of heights to stay away from the edge. There’s really not much of a railing and very rarely do people pay attention to those big warning signs anyway. Trust me – it is unbelievably beautiful, but dying would really put a hamper on the trip.
- Jameson Distillery >> Guinness tour = Fact. There were so many warnings about the Guinness tour that I decided to skip it. There were, however, fewer warnings about the Jameson one, so I went there instead. The tour itself is filled with fun facts and it’s well-presented by the guides. It was also extremely biased towards Jameson being better than any other whiskey in the world, but what do you expect? It’s not like they would market another competitor – that sounds like something Iceland would do.
- St Michan’s Church Crypts. This was a hidden gem and well worth the few EURs. The tour guide, Peter, seemed to know a little bit about every culture and had a very interesting personality. I think he would be a good drinking buddy. His William Shatner way of talking actually made the tour extremely entertaining. The slow pauses made me hang on to every word and all the little interesting stories along the way. It’s really just a tomb filled with preserved mummies, but the tour was fantastic.
- Watch a Rugby game and hear the Irish sing. It wasn’t planned, but we happened to arrive in Ireland for the weekend of the Ireland vs Scotland game. The bars were packed and the people were drinking by 2PM for a solid pre-game. When the Irish and Scottish drink, they’re bound to break out in song at least once. It is a beautiful thing to hear manly men sing loudly their Irish camp fire songs. There are so many verses, and no one messes up a single line (even after 6 drinks). In fact, the songs just get louder and the people just start swaying back and forth. By the end of the night, everyone joins in and it’s like open karaoke. I wonder what songs Americans would sing… Journey? Sweet Caroline? We need more drinking songs.
There are plenty of hotels around the area, but I stayed at a bed and breakfast called Tipperary House Dublin. The owner, Mark, is extremely nice and gives an objective opinion about Dublin. It’s obviously awesome, but he’ll point you in the right direction for a good time. I saw a few other hotels in the area, and for the price, you’ll be extremely satisfied.
The whole weekend trip was incredible, but I’d recommend taking a few more days to see more of the country-side. If you’re looking for a place to escape reality, then go to Ireland for 6 days, get some drinks in you, make some new friends, and enjoy the green.
~See Lemons Love Ireland