Top 5 Things We Liked about Dublin

We had only a brief time in Dublin but there were several things we really enjoyed about our short time there.  Upon reflection, these are the things we liked most: Live music and the Pubs.  Nearly immediately, we embraced the pub culture.  There are so many in Temple Bar, where we stayed, and outside.  The live music is everywhere, from the pubs to the squares to Grafton Street and these musicians are no joke.  Whether they are playing traditional Irish songs, bagpipes, guitars or mandolins or more contemporary tunes the music is everywhere and great to listen to while walking about…

Dublin Ireland on a Saturday

After a rousing welcome to the Emerald Isle we spent our first full day in Dublin touring several of the sights in north Dublin and along the River Liffey. We are big Rick Steves fans and his Snapshot Dublin book was in our Airbnb and is great. This place is not all pubs and Guinness, laddies. We started at the weekly farmers’ market in Temple Bar’s Meeting House Square, just steps from our accommodations. We breakfasted on crepes and purchased Irish cheeses and Irish wine (yes, wine from Ireland, and better than expected) for our afternoon snack.  The market is held…

Pubbing in Dublin on De hAoine

We arrived for a long weekend and, as is our custom, began to embrace the local culture. Which, in this case, meant strolling to the pub for a cocktail. While that concept is foreign to us, we made do. We began by checking in to see if the owners (aka Bono, the Edge, et al) were in at the Octagon Bar at the Clarence Hotel in Temple Bar. They weren’t but we did procure a proper vodka martini. Despite U2’s disrespect for our patronage, we made do and stayed for a second cocktail. We then wandered about and settled upon…

Top 5 Things We Liked about London

There was and is so much to like about London.  So many sites (and sights) to see, so many things to do.  As a recap, here were some of the things we liked best: Getting Around and Transportation.  It is simple to get around.  I mean, really simple.  Readily available, clean, professionally driven and traditional black cabs abound (all we rode in took credit card, but we always used pounds).  Uber is available seemingly round the clock and the Tube is easy to navigate (once you figure out the pay as you go, one way or round trip ticketing system…

Off the Beaten Trail in London

Sure, London has its famous sites. In fact it’s hard to go too far without tripping over one. Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament….  These people aren’t starved for a statue or a monument.  For some less traveled paths we chose a few places which were a bit more obscure and which don’t disappoint. Dennis Sever’s house. Located in Spitalfields on Folgate St. Dennis was raised in Southern California and moved here, to this house, and decorated it like it was the 18th century. He lived in it but also made it a “living painting”. If you visit, you’ll understand. He…

Museums of London

Ok, so there are around 250 museums in London according to this site on Wikipedia, so let’s be honest, you gotta choose. Here are the ones we chose and didn’t regret. Churchill War Rooms.  Well worth it. Fun facts we learned, and maybe should have already known: Churchill was hilarious (we had an awareness) His mum was American He escaped a prison in South Africa while in the military He drank, siesta’ed, smoked cigars, ate what he wanted and lived until 90 years old.  And I fight off every pound, boo! He lost his election after WW II and then…

London touring: the City 

On our second day out, we toured the “City”.  The neighborhood now known by that name encompasses the space which was the original Londinium settled by the Romans around A.D. 50. This spot was ideally located for trade and had lots of water sources, including the Thames River, which made transport easier. The Museum of London has a great exhibit which traces the history of London, which you can hear more about in our upcoming post about the Museums of London (at least the few we got to). We started our day by tubing to Bank station and walking to the…