Exploring Ireland - For the Happy Go Lucky Traveler
Tell Me Moher: A Look at the Emerald Isle
Exploring Ireland One Pub at a Time
From walking the scenic and peaceful countryside to drinking a flight of whiskeys at the Jameson Distillery, you can rest assured your days will be well spent in Ireland. Irish culture is of genuine fascination to someone from the United States, this can be said with certainty. Artistic attractions such as music, dance and architecture are abundant throughout the island and leave little to be desired. Your days will be filled with breathtaking (and historical) views, great eateries, unique opportunities to experience locally-based brands that have swept the world, and, of course, drinking!
Yes, it is true what you've heard. As the core feature of the Irish identity, socializing over a few beers is a routine activity; one that brings together the entire nation for a time for camaraderie and fun. Where’s the best place to do this you ask? Pubs! Of course, one pub is not equal to another; while they all have basic commonalities, each comes with its own varietal of audience and atmosphere. Likewise, there are many distinct types of Pubs in Ireland but they all have their own twist. In Cork, Ireland, a city that is near the southeast tip of the island, one of the most frequented Pubs is The Old Oak. This Pub satisfies the query of almost every age group imaginable as it is essentially four pubs in one. There is a large stage for live music and dancing, two quieter rooms for a more intimate setting, and an upstairs event space (this is only accessible through the rear entrance and is usually occupied by the younger, more rambunctious individuals). On the other end of the spectrum, there are pubs like Long Valley, where the downstairs displays a very slow and home-like vibe and the upstairs houses a poetry association. A very wide varietal indeed. Popular pubs in Dublin include the well-known Temple Bar, where you can find traditional Irish music and fun below, and a nice hostel for accommodations upstairs.
Temple Bar, Dublin
While discussing the beauties and attractions of Cork, one would be remiss not to mention the Cliffs of Moher. This natural beauty is truly a wonder of the world. Roughly five miles of breathtaking views stretch along the coast of Ireland at heights of 700 feet or more. There are trails along the entire coast, including some that span over eleven miles to connect this spectacular site to neighboring cities such as Doolin. Along these trails lie fixed towers and viewing areas, like the O’Brien Tower (built in 1836) that allow that supply history and context for thousands of visitors a day. You will definitely want to bring your camera to document these cliffs because they truly are an incredible sight.
Cliffs of Moher
If you find yourself with some downtime but just can’t fathom the thought of wasting time in the Emerald Isle, shopping is definitely something to fill your time with. The city of Cork has fantastic shopping strips down Oliver Plunkett Street and Grafton Street. Stores with diverse style and audience draw in people of all kinds and offer surprisingly low prices for items of clothing, furniture, and much more. These streets are flecked with pubs and restaurants, so don’t worry about trying to find someplace to eat because the food is good everywhere. Dublin houses the Jervis Shopping Centre, which is the most diverse mall of stores you might be able to find. For shopping outdoors while doing some walking, definitely head to the Dublin City Centre, where you are sure to find a plethora of department stores, candy stores, cafes, and thrift stores alike.
Ireland is a place of greenery and mist, but there is definitely something to see, something to do wherever you go. Itineraries are great to have, but don’t be afraid to just take to the streets and let yourself find something to do. There will always be a yummy smell coming from around the corner, a sale in the store across the street, and a memory tucked in the next park. Ireland is a place of beauty and excitement, so definitely do your best to make the most of it. Visit castles, eat great food, and definitely drink a pint of Murphy’s.