There’s nothing quite like a traditional Irish pub scene, especially when you are an Australian looking for a Guiness beef pie, lager and sweet Celtic music. When in Dublin the popular first place to visit is the Temple Bar, a busy riverside neighbourhood spread out over cobbled lanes. What attracted me to this place was the red buildings and men standing around having a chat. On Talbot street there are more pubs, Seans’ Bar, Moloneys, and Crosskeys Inn, Molloys. Not only is the food decent, it’s the lively conversation and friendliness that is so attractive. Pull up a stool and order a pint. One gentleman with his wife who I spoke to was having his 10th pint!
While in Galway, Bill and I found ourselves immersed in listening to contemporary guitar music with great rhythms and vibes. People eat, talk, sing and drink. You would be surprised that someone else in the room also has travelled from suburbs in Brisbane that you may know. It’s a small world.
Dingle offered a unique experience when our Backroads group ended up at 9pm in the Dingle Pub listening and watching world class Irish dancer David Geaney toe tapping and jumping on his wooden board. Lively. Fantastic! Brilliant. Such entertainment and for little cost. And David’s danced on Broadway. There are haunted pubs like Grace Neills, McCarthy’s in Tipperary, Dick Mack’s in Dingle, The Brazen Head in Dublin, The Filthy Quarter in Belfast, Kelly’s Cellar also in Belfast offers traditional music. Some pubs are named after poets like John Hewitt. Pub crawls and Guiness are popular. Fiddled trad tunes hang in the air.
Moving on from the pub scene is the sheep dog trials. Our Backroads group were so fortunate to watch a brilliant trainer and his 3 gorgeous, well tuned border collies, Rose, Lyn and Leigh in action. Swiftly they raced across the fields to round up their sheep to the command of the whistle and voice. The temperament of the dog must be right when training them. We watched as the man gave the orders. Obedience, control and praise are in order for these intelligent dogs.
Apart from sheep and pubs, a fascinating place we visited was the Ulster Folk Museum in Omagh, in Northern Ireland. It tells the story of three centuries of Irish emigration. We wandered through the thatched cottages, the blacksmith, school house and gardens on this historical site. It takes about 2 hours to explore. Not to be missed is the Dockside galley, American Street, West Pennsylvanian Log House, and shop/ cafe. Adult prices are 9 pounds.
Also, the Doagh Famine Village allows visitors to explore one man’s lifetime of models, displays and hands on exhibitions through time. The Isle of Dough is a small peninsula in the north of Inishowen on the north coast of County Donegal in Ulster. This village takes you on a journey through Irish life from the great famine in the 1840’s. There are original dwellings, the Orange hall, Hedge school, and a Republican Safe House. Of interest to us was the Irish Wake room, a traditional send off for the dead. Most of the Village is under cover. Children, families are encouraged to visit.
There’s so much to share about Ireland and our time there. It lingers in your mind and soul long after you leave. So to wrap up, I’ll post a few more pictures to whet your appetite for a perfect holiday in the Emerald Isle. Enjoy.