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Travel adventures of the Cooks Exploring the UK and Europe, no plans, just each other and our backpacks.

Irish Shenanigans

IRELAND | Saturday, 22 March 2008 | Views [1830]

look im taller!!

look im taller!!

Continuing with our attempt to get to as many of the major events in Europe as possible, we headed to Dublin to celebrate St Patricks day with the Irish! Well one slight problem, it seems the Irish don’t live in Dublin, so we celebrated with half of America instead!

Lynsey had booked two one bedroom self-contained apartments right in the centre of town so Sean, Taff and I flew in to meet the girls (Lyns, Nic and Chloe) who had all been on a tour around Ireland for 5 days. The apartments were fantastic! A nice bit of Luxury for us all. Sean’s mate from home Dicko also came to visit and spent a few days couch hopping between the two apartments!

With only 5 days and plenty of celebrating to be done we were kept very busy. Taffs birthday was on the Saturday we arrived, and then Lyns shared her birthday with Paddy on Monday.

We did manage to get in a few tourist activities, visiting Croke Park the home of Gaelic Football and Hurling, where we had fun exploring the Museum and Sean and Taff had a go at Hurling a ball with a stick, before going on a tour of the stadium. I’m becoming a pro at sporting stadiums…think I might be ready to give a few tours myself after Lords, Millenium stadium and now Croke Park. But it was a good way to spend a few hours.

We managed to spend several hours over the week in the Local souvenir shops setting ourselves up for St Paddys! There was no question about whether we had the Irish spirit!!

St Patricks day we got up early, as someone had given us a tip that you would need to be in a pub by 8 if you wanted to secure yourselves a spot….that was a bit early for us, so we headed out at 10, only to find the pubs were still closed. There were a few less than wise tourists like ourselves hanging around, and we all thought it must mean that the pubs were opening at 10.30, then we thought maybe 11. By 12.30 when they finally did open we were all frozen to the core and ready for a genuine Guinness!! We were the first people throough the door at the world famous Temple Bar. We found ourselves a great table off in a corner right by the disabled toilets which became our private Loo….we realised later this was a godsend, as there was about a 45 min wait in the queue for the toilets. We drank our fair share of the best Guinness in the world (and yes it really does taste completely different in Dublin!!). Sean and Taff dressed as Giant Leprechauns were the stars of the day, and posed for many photos including with the bar staff who were very impressed with their sheer size and Irish spirit….they also managed to perfect their irish accents and over the following days had us in hysterics every five minutes with their niche nche niche niche niche chuckles.

By about 7.30 we were all about guinnessed out and a little weary and decided to head home, feeling a bit like old women leaving the pub before it was even dark, but we reminded ourselves we had started rather early! In our Guinness fuelled wisdom someone decided a meal at a nice restraint was in order so after dropping off some of our Irish paraphernalia so we looked a little less like drunken tourists who had just stumbled out from the pub, we found a nice Italian restaurant and headed for a meal. We were sat at a table next to a group of older Irish women who made us look very sober and intelligent as they sang irish songs (getting many of the s wrong mind you) in their warbled voices until the boys were about ready to launch their knives over their heads to put everyone out of their misery!

St Paddys day was a wonderful day, however we were all a little disappointed that we hadn’t managed to experience anything Irish until the drunk old women. Temple Bar which advertises live Irish bands every day had decided not to play ANY Irish music on St Paddys day, and seeing as though there was not an Irish person in the pub, if it wasn’t for the sea of green you would have thought you were in a pub in New York!

The next few days were spent exploring Dublin, walking around and seeing the sites (not a lot to see, the Dublin needle and Dublin castle, Christ church and of course the Guinness Storehouse Brewery, where we managed to spend a good part of an afternoon! The Brewery was great, really well set up with 7 floors of things to do and see. We learnt how to Pull a perfect pint of Guinness, and pulled our own to get a certificate, and then enjoyed the view from the top level bar over the whole city. After a little more souvenir shopping (Ireland definitely hold the record for number of souvenirs purchased in our travels) we headed off to find a true irish pub meal. After calling into over ten pubs we finally found one serving Steak and Guinness Pie…and I promise it was worth the search!! Absolutely brilliant!!!

Our Last night in town we headed off to the Arlington Hotel which our lovely taxi driver on the way from the airport had told us was a good Craic. They have a live irish music and Irish Dancing show every night. And what a show it was….how those men get their legs to move like that I will never understand! We were all blown away and inspired to go and have Irish dancing lessons (I think we lost a little of that inspiration after the Guinness and Bulmers wore off).

After five days of good fun and wonderful beer we were back home to London, but Sean and I were not too sad, as we were only a few days off going to Spain for some sun and relaxation!


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