I didn't realize until recently that I had stopped my travel photos at Berlin. Dublin was the first stop on the tour-de-Ireland with my mother and we spent 3 days in this incredible city. We stayed in a castle on the outskirts of town, that wasn't quite a castle but a beautiful old hotel with a hideous red castle facade. Despite the bad choice of decor we really enjoyed ourselves there. There was a dark little pub on the lower level with a charming piano player. We happened to see him play on his birthday and what seems like a normally empty little pub was filled with his family and wife, cheering him on. It was very sweet, and he didn't mind taking my request for Piano Man, which I realized afterwards must be the bane existence of every pianist out there. Way to go, Billy Joel.
We did a walking tour while we were there and learned about Ireland's history, which I must say I didn't know much about. The Irish people have endured a lot of suffering, yet this was one of the happiest places I visited on my European tour. You have to love that underdog spirit.
I insisted we visit the Guinness factory of course. With the tour you get a free pint, but my mom wasn't a big fan so I ended up drinking them both. I don't know if it's the proximity to the factory or just the novelty of it, but it tastes so much better there! I ended up having one with almost every lunch and dinner on the trip which I think stretched my appetite 2 fold, because those things can be a meal in itself.
That last picture is of the famous Temple Bar area, where there are drinks to be poured and singing to be done. My mom and I attempted a bar crawl ourselves but the dark, loud crowded pubs weren't really her style. We had some opportunities later in the trip to sit and enjoy the local pubs and actually talk with locals themselves (if we could understand them, at least). But more on the rest of Ireland later.