by corinne iaia

February 13, 2017

Ireland Day 4: Exploring More of Dublin

It always takes much longer than I'd like to get my travel diary posts up, quite honestly because the longer I wait, the harder it gets to remember the names of restaurants and specific places that I want to recommend. Luckily, this time I took notes so that I could share my top picks with you all when I returned. On the fourth day in Ireland we decided to devote more time to see the best of what Dublin had to offer. By the end of Day 2, we had already fallen in love with this easy-to-navigate city and couldn't wait to see more and spend an afternoon soaking up the atmosphere of the pubs and session music. 

We started out the day making our way toward St. Patrick's Cathedral, the national Cathedral of the Church of Ireland, making it the largest as well. It was quite a stunning church with richly colored tile floors displaying Celtic motifs. We spent some time reading about the church's history (which I'd recommend doing if you're at all interested in Irish history) and admiring the stunning architecture and massive size of the vaulted ceilings. We decided afterward to head straight for St. Stephen's Green, which is probably Dublin's most famous park. The park was absolutely stunning and so green - even in the dead of winter - something we don't experience too much of in Connecticut. The park is actually situated right at the end (or beginning, maybe?) of Grafton Street, a major shopping street filled with stunning storefronts and restaurants. We found a cozy spot called Lemon & Duke and sat down for a few drinks and lunch. If you find yourself in the area, this restaurant definitely gets my vote! 

We wandered the city a bit more, weaving in and out of alleyways and purposely getting lost just so that we could see the most possible. Somehow, our wanderings *conveniently* landed us right back in Temple Bar in time for some of the session bands to start. We popped into Temple Bar (yes, the bar is named that as well) and were lucky enough to find to seats right near the band by chance. In such a crowded and popular bar, we were lucky and happily sat down with two pint to enjoy the music. I do have to say that the atmosphere in these pubs is just incredible; people from all over the world are dancing, singing, and drinking together and everyone seems so...happy. It's a nice change from the ordinary and a great place to take advantage of the conversation to learn a bit more about your surroundings - and even pick up some more recommendations. 

We popped into a few more pubs in the neighborhood and then headed to Pheonix Park back by our hotel to watch the sunset. Once there, we climbed atop the Wellington Monument and enjoyed the views over the rolling green hills and the city. Once it got dark we headed back to our hotel to freshen up for dinner. We ate at a great and really authentic pub called FX Buckley's, another place that I would recommend at least for a drink. 

Have you been to any of the restaurants or places I've mentioned? What was your favorite?
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