Monday, February 13, 2006

Things to Do in Dublin When You're Determined

to see as much of the city as you can and there's just three of you, all friends, all easygoing, and you're there for only three and a half days, and you went partly to celebrate Ben's eleven-month birthday and partly just because you could:

  • See the Book of Kells and a play at the Abbey Theatre
  • Listen to traditional music in a pub
  • Take pictures of statues of Oscar Wilde and James Joyce
  • Eat a Roo Burger (if you're Melinda)
  • Watch a rugby game between Ireland and France from the comfort of a warm pub as it's raining outside
  • Visit the Martello Tower, where the first episode of Ulysses is set
  • And walk by Davy Byrnes's Pub, where another episode of Ulysses is set
  • And win a t-shirt in a Literary Pub Crawl (if you're Ben; all this was because Ben loves James Joyce like I love Jane Austen; he even looks like Joyce in profile)
  • Tour the Guinness Storehouse (best beverage tour ever) and Kilmainham Gaol
  • Have your first-ever proper Guinness in the rooftop bar of the Guinness Storehouse
  • Become a Guinness devotee (these last two if you're me)
  • Learn three lovely literary facts: (a) Dorothy L. Sayers wrote jingles for Guinness; (b) the Guinness Book of World Records was first compiled to settle bar trivia disputes; (c) there was an Irish writer named Charles Robert Maturin, described as "eccentric and melancholy" (which sounds familiar as a description for a Maturin), who wrote a book called Melmoth the Wanderer, which provided the pseudonym "Sebastian Melmoth" for Maturin's nephew Oscar Wilde when he traveled the Continent after his sodomy trial
  • Giggle immoderately at a store called "Knobs and Knockers," which really did sell doorknobs and front-door knockers
  • Drag your two friends into every food shop in the city center in search of plain-chocolate McVitie's, which you will ultimately be denied because the city of Dublin seems to have an irrational prejudice against dark chocolate; this will require you to settle for milk-choc instead, but you can live with that if you get stroopwafels too (which you do; all this also if you're me)
  • Drink many pints and talk talk talk
  • And walk walk walk
  • Be happy


  1. Welcome back! So was the Book of Kells beautiful? Was it well lit? Details please!

    And Sayers wrote for Guinness? I knew she was a copywriter at one point. (How else could she have nailed "Murder Must Advertise" so perfectly?) But beer? Wow, gives one hope.

    Happy Valentines!


  2. I never realized the connection between Guiness and the Guiness Book of World Records. Now I can say I learned something new today.

  3. best beverage tour ever

    what?!! better than the whisky heritage tour? ;-)

    (Incidentally, I'd like to point out that I have not been in Dublin since summer 1999. In other words, the Guinness Storehouse was news to me...& is (apparently) a *great* improvement over the old Guinness Hop Store)

    That being said, I'm glad you like stout! I personally prefer Beamish (for an Irish stout) or Young's (for an Oatmeal stout). So creamy! so delicious!

    (Incidentally, I saw stroopwafels in Cardullo's today! and thought of you!)

    (Too! many! exclamation! points!)