Things To Do In Doing Dublin: Rain or Shine
It is said that in Dublin you can experience all four seasons in one day. After a whole week in this quiet yet vibrant city, I can safely say, they are not kidding! Dublin, is located on the Eastern coast of Ireland which makes it quite windy and often wet (it rains an average of 190 days a year)! Most of our week reminded me of Chicago weather-wise with a fair amount of unpredictability, but that did not stop us from taking in the city streets and countryside.
Ireland has a population of almost 5 million people and ten percent of its population lives in Dublin. With an endless view of the Atlantic, Ireland offers a unique cultural experience that is heavily rooted in history. At this time Northern Ireland is a British province which is currently complicating the politics of Brexit. The future of the Republic of Ireland (Southern Part) along with its Northern neighbor is unknown at this time and it is top of mind for all residents.
Politics and weather aside, the Irish are VERY hospitable and happy people. A full time work schedule is 36.5 hours/week, public transportation is super convenient, and pint of Guinness costs less than a bottle of water…what is not to be happy about!
Since the weather was un-cooperative during our visit and since we were travelling with our kids, we kept our schedule light. We did not venture too far outside of Dublin, we made only one day trip out to see the Cliffs of Moher. In the video below I have highlighted the few things that we enjoyed above all else during our visit.
Cliffs of Moher
Every picture I have EVER seen of Ireland included dramatic landscapes with tall cliffs along the ocean. I knew that no matter what, I had to see them myself. We chose to visit the Cliffs of Moher versus the Ring of Kerry and Dingle purely based on driving distances from Dublin alone. Had the weather been better, and my kids older (ages 7 and 9), I would have loved to have ventured out further. The Cliffs of Moher, however, did not disappoint as you can see from our photos. I am not sure where in the US you can find ANYTHING that looks like this (but this place comes to mind). This stop also has a museum and interactive exhibition that is great for adults and kids.
If you follow us on Instagram (@chicksandsalsablog) you would have caught my journey through Dublin using local transportation like the bus and train line. One of our favorite ways to see a city is through the eyes of a local citizen. My husband and I like to visit hole in the wall cafes and the local library just to really get a pulse of what life in the city is like. I came across a very helpful article suggesting that visitors take the local train line, the DART, up and down its 53 km line with recommended stops. This ended up being an amazing idea that was affordable, comfortable, and fun! We made three notable stops, Killiney Bay, Bray Mountain, and Howth, we also wanted to see Malahide Castle but conceded to the rain.
When in Howth be sure to pop into Wrights FindLater Restaurant and have an amazing cocktail crafted by the bartender, Ben.
Jameson Distillery Tour
Since we are not huge Guinness beer fans we decided to skip the Guinness tour and opted instead to visit the Jameson Distillery. Built on the original distillery site from 1780 on Bow Street, the venue itself is amazing, but paying the 50 Euros for the tour is one hundred percent worth it. They have created a really beautiful, classy, and thorough tasting experience that really makes you understand the whiskey itself. Our tour had ALL Americans in it which the tour guide thought was amusing since the US consumes half of the Jameson exports alone! After visiting I have a new favorite cocktail, Jameson whiskey with a splash of ginger ale and lime, shaken and poured. Sláinte (Cheers) as they say in Ireland.
Visiting Ireland and staying with family truly was a pleasure. There was a little something to for everyone – cousins for the kids, company for us, sights to see, music to hear, and flavors to taste! All in all, Ireland was a wholesome European experience with heritage that runs deep into its Celtic traditions.
Until next time,