All original content © 2011-2014. Photos and Text, unless otherwise stated, are by the author of Pork Bier Belly. If you want to use images or writing, please ask for permission prior to using.

Monday, November 5

Dublin, Ireland

Speaking of Dublin, we arrived safe and sound. We rented an apartment in Ballsbridge through Air BnB and were warned the apartment was 10- 15 minutes from city center, by bus. Having said that, it was a sweet cottage close enough to the city but far enough from the madness. We took the bus daily to travel to the city and back.

The first day in Dublin we did the free walking tour of the city (they’re always instructive in learning about the city) and strolled on our own. Dublin, often cold and dreary, is a great walking city. We were all surprised by how small the actual city is. Although there are nearby areas of the city we didn’t visit, the main tourist attractions are within very close walking distance. In that walking tour we visited the city/town hall, Christ church, Trinity College, St. Stephen’s Greene and the area of National Museum of Ireland. The tour covers Ireland’s history especially to England. We learned about the potato famine of 1800s; many Irish believed the English Rule had an influence on the lives lost and efforts were not taken to prevent or lessen the impact in Ireland. St. Stephen’s Greene was very serene and picturesque in the middle of the city. I thoroughly enjoy these large parks many European cities house.

We ate lunch at O’briens Pub in the city center. Craving fish and chips, this was exactly as we’d expected. The fish was lightly battered and fried and the fries were larger than normal size, both tasty.

Post lunch we headed to Trinity College’s Old Library. The library contains many manuscripts, volumes of books from centuries ago, and the Book of Kells. Until Dublin, the husband and I were not aware of Book of Kells so it was an eye opening experience. The Book of Kells contain manuscripts of four Gospels of the New Testament from the 800. Additionally the Long Room in the Old Library is a gem to see; books from before outlasting its time. There are also busts of famous people.

Dinner that night was at Parnell Street Bar/Pub and as the name states it’s on Parnell Street. This pub is 10 minute walk from the Trinity College area but well worth the walk. Our group ordered Irish lamb stew, Beef stew made with Guinness and a pork dish. Everything was fantastic. The lamb stew was hearty and very well flavored. The husband tried the beef stew from our friend’s plate and he said it was delectable. Although we didn’t try the pork dish, our friend said he liked it very much.

That day also happened to be Arthur’s Day. Arthur Guinness created Guinness beer many years ago and just recently the brewing company started honoring Arthur for his great creation. Arthur’s day in Dublin is like St. Patrick’s day in Dublin. It's free marketing for the brewery. There was a big party inside and outside the bars near the Temple Bar area. All the bars we went to were packed with people partying and celebrating Arthur. We’ve had Guinness couple times before and disliked the taste each time however Guinness from tap is a world of difference. Although we didn’t love the beer after Arthur’s day, it was great to taste it in the country it was created.

The next day we visited the Jameson distillery. The distillery in the city no longer produces the whiskey and is used only for tours and events. My opinion on the tour was it was but slightly cheesy. I was surprised by the videos, they seemed comical instead of informational. I will admit I am the only one in our group of four that felt this way. The others thought it was a great walk through of the Jameson story and educational on the brewing process. At the end of the tour they offer a shot of Jameson for people that are interested in trying it. So all wasn't lost. 

That day’s lunch was at Messrs Maguire, one of the better microbrews we’ve tried in a while. I can’t remember precisely what beers they had on tap but I got the seasonal Pale Ale and it was really good. But more importantly the food at Messrs Maguire is worth mentioning. We split a plate of mussels and wild salmon bruschetta between the two of us. The mussels were cooked in a wine, cream, shallot sauce that I still think about and the bruschetta was made wild salmon, red onions and chives. Many others around us ordered the fish and chips and a seasonal stew (I am guessing lamb) and with the large number of people ordering those dishes, this place deserves a visit while in Dublin.

We visited the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. It is full of archaeological artifacts from Irish history. There is an exhibition on the Vikings and their day to day life as well as the Medieval era. There are some unrelated Egyptian displays so feel free to skip those unless you’re interested. The museum is a good place to be on a rainy Irish day.

There is a large deal of countryside in Ireland that we wanted to see and visit but unfortunately with limited time we could only take one day trip outside of Dublin. We chose Cliffs of Moher with a tour bus company. The bus would depart early morning and stop in couple different places along the way.

One of the first stops on the tour was Dunguire Castle near Galway. A great castle that’s small enough to be someone’s mansion. I wished we could’ve gotten more information about this place but we didn’t. Our bus driver for the day trip was very intelligent and shared a lot of great knowledge about the country and the areas we were driving through but unfortunately there wasn’t much he discussed on the places we visited.

Our next stop was Corcomroe Abbey in Burren which was a monastery in 13th century. Part of it is cemetery now.
We stopped for lunch in Doolin at a restaurant that had famous seafood chowder. The chowder was worth a stop. Finally 30 minutes after lunch we arrived at Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs are 120 above the water, Atlantic coast. They were formed millions of years ago and the formations prove its age from the oldest rocks at the bottom to the most recent on top. We didn’t go to the beach, sea level, but I would highly recommend that for others that have time and interest in seeing the rocks closely. There is a small museum created by the Clare County administration to explain details of the rock formation, thousands of variety of wildlife that live on (and migrate through) the cliffs as well as in the water below. The museum is short and takes 30 minutes and is very informative. We were thrilled to visit this true natural wonder on this part of the world.
Overall our trip to Dublin was memorable and one of the first trips we took with friends. Thankfully we are still friends with them and it was an adventure for all. I highly recommend visiting Dublin for couple days and seeing Ireland’s countryside. Unfortunately our time is limited here in Europe or I would go back to Ireland to see Galway, Cork & Kilkenny and Belfast up north. And I would go back for the fantastic fish and chips, lamb stew and the fresh seafood.


  1. Ok, another comment here: I loved reading about your trip to Ireland! I'll admit I was a bit scared of the driving (manual trans, left side of the road, no shoulders on any of the country roads) but the countryside is really gorgeous! Did you hike the cliffs?

  2. thanks Neeli! We enjoyed Ireland and didn't think our time was enough. I wouldn't call it hiking per se since some of the roads were blocked off for construction.