By Thashvin Muckatira
Ireland has always been on my bucket list, for reasons more than one.
This year, finally, as a part of my ’35 countries before I complete 35 years’ resolution, I discovered the country, which coincidentally turned out to be number 35.
My wife and I planned on driving along the coast of Ireland, starting in Dublin and going clockwise around the Emerald Isle. The basic plan was to drive around the countryside, trek over the cliffs, indulge in local fresh produce that both the sea and land has to offer, and of course, drink a lot of beer and whiskey.
Dublin being a young, fun city full of bars, we decided to stay 3 nights. On our first evening, we went to the famous Temple Bar area – and tourist bars with live music and mostly young Americans enjoying their drinks is what awaited us. Most bars in the area served the usual pub grub and had a line-up of at least 20 beers on tap along with over 100 whiskeys to choose from. Some bars even had their own whiskey distilleries.
Our favourite discovery in Dublin was the Guinness on tap, which turned out to be very different from what we had been drinking through my various trips, and was rather very light and refreshing. You can easily drink 5-6 pints and still have space to eat.
Dublin also felt like the capital of hen parties and every bar had at least 2-3 bachelorette parties going on at any given time.
After having done a bit of the usual, we decided to hit up a few non-touristy bars close to our hotel. The bars, opening into the alleys around, were always packed at 6 pm as locals stopped over for a drink after work. We saw the sun set around 10 pm, and it was an memory for keeps!
If Dublin scores high on spirits, it doesn’t do too bad when it comes to food. The city has an amazing food market held every Saturday in the Temple Bar area with vendors selling fresh food ranging from the traditional Beef and Guinness pie to an Indian vegetarian food truck. We found an interesting stall that served horse meat sandwiches called Paddy Jack.
Away from food and drinks, we discovered the city’s historic past – Dublin Castle, famous manicured grounds of the Trinity college – through a history walk.
This is just a short 30-minute local train ride from Dublin. On reaching this small town of Howth, we decided to trek the coastline route from the harbour in a loop. The trail took us through breath-taking views of Dublin bay, over sea-facing cliffs and through a wild meadow.
With 50 shades of green land and a bright blue sea on the other side, it was a surreal experience. After a strenuous 5-hour walk, we got back to the town harbour and were ready to eat!
We found a quaint seafood place called Octopussys Seafood tapas and dug into fresh oysters, that were harvested just 100 yards away, a platter of mixed seafood, accompanied by Guinness on tap.