A Taste of the Emerald Isle

After 6 long weeks of working we were back on another holiday break. This time we decided to go to Ireland. We've always wanted to go and the price was right. We planned the trip with another couple. We met them through the Birmingham Vegans Facebook group and we were looking forward to exploring Ireland together. 

We searched on Expedia for hotels and prices. We decided that staying in the city of Dublin on the weekend was too expensive and planned to be in nearby Bray for the weekend. 

We left on the 9th of December from Birmingham and arrived in Dublin in the afternoon. It was really windy out there so the landing was a bit rougher than we were used to but we arrive safe and sound. Going through customs was pretty simple as there weren't any lines. We found a Tim Horton's kiosk in the Dublin airport which was weird to see since it is a Canadian thing.

Tim Horton's kiosk in Spar store.
We found a bus to Dublin city centre that was 10 euros return trip which was probably cheaper than the price of a taxi. (We googled later, and it was cheaper.)

It took about 35 minutes on the bus to get into city centre.
River Liffey

Samuel Beckett Bridge. Coming into Dublin,


 Our bus stop was literally across the street from our guest house we stayed at which was super convenient. Our guest house was called Hazelbrook House on Gardiner St. We had read some reviews saying that the area was sketchy after we had already made the booking but we didn't find the area to be bad.
The bed wasn't all that comfortable, but we were only there a couple nights.

 After we ditched our stuff at the guest house we went out looking for some food. We used the Happy Cow app and found there was a Govinda's restaurant which is the restaurant that is run by the Hare Krishnas. We've been to one in London before that wasn't too bad.
We walked to the restaurant and only got lost once. Oops, my bad.
 At Govinda's they had a selection of curry. Our friends shared a large plate which cost 15 euros and we split the medium plate which was 9 euros. It's hard to take a good picture of curry. I guess you'll just have to take our word for it that it tasted much better than it looks.
Big Plate

Apple Tart
 After dinner we went to a pub close to our guest house but it turned out to be a dud. There wasn't any live music and it was virtually empty in there. Also, there was a bunch of people smoking in the back room which was bothering us, as none of us smoke. The smoke was spilling out of the back room into the rest of the bar. To make matters worse the bar tender had awful body odor. The only escape was to leave the bar. The bar tender was desperate for customers too so it was hard to leave. He was trying his best to get us to stay. Luckily we escaped that hell hole.

We headed to another place nearby called the Celt which had live traditional music which was fun. The Celt was 100% bettertha
Romantic Candle light at the Celt
The bar was full of tourists, and we were all drinking and listening to Irish folk music. Ireland is known for Guinness but unfortunately it isn't vegan yet. They still use a fish product called isinglass in their filtering process. They are reportedly planning on using a new state of the art filtration system that doesn't use animal products so they will be vegan at some point in the future.



 A few musicians played for us which was entertaining. There was also a group of guys from Spain, I believe, that played a couple songs as well.


There was an Irish couple playing some traditional Irish music, folk songs and songs by the Pogues as well.

 The feel in the bar was fantastic, and a great way to start off our vacation in Ireland. I'm guessing the locals probably don't hang out and listen to Irish music all the time. Do they? It was fun for us seeing as how we were in Ireland and all.

The next morning we set out to explore Dublin. We had a hop on hop off bus map and mapped our route around the city to see some of the famous sights.

We walked through town. It was a cold day but thankfully it wasn't raining.

Tourist shop.

We started our walk through town to find the places we wanted to see in Dublin,
River Liffey
The tourist stuff was on the other side of the river from our guest house. We took the alley into the Temple Bar area.


We love street art



Dublin Castle Entrance.
We found Dublin Castle which was great because we were looking for it.
If you want to go inside Dublin Castle you can join a guided tour. Otherwise you are free to roam around the Castle.


In one of the galleries at the castle they had an exhibit on Irish design. We checked it out and they had some interesting designs on display.


Next we walked to St. Patrick's Cathedral, which wasn't too far away.


 And then on to Christchurch Cathedral.

Christchuch Cathedral

We stopped for tea to warm ourselves up at a Café called Queen of Tarts. It was chilly outside so we needed a hot drink to warm ourselves up a bit.
Next, we made our way to the Fleet St/Temple Bar area. There are lots of neat pubs in that area. It's one of those streets that is iconic so it's a must see for people visiting Dublin for the first time.


We were getting quite hungry, so we googled how to get to the vegetarian restaurant we wanted to check out.

We used our phones to guide us to the Vegetarian restaurant called Cornucopia from Temple Bar.

We successfully found the vegetarian restaurant. We had heard many great things about it.
8.95 euros. Soup, small salad selection, bread and vegan pate.
And, it lived up to its reputation. The food is excellent there and the lunch deal is reasonable for what you get.

After we ate, we walked around a more before heading back to the guest house.




The sun was starting to go down.



Everything was decorated for Christmas.
After a little rest, we met up with our friends who were shopping for swim trunks and went to the library to get wifi. We met them at the library on Henry St. We were going to go back to Govinda's for some cheap eats but they turned out to be unexpectedly closed early. It was pouring rain so we wanted to find some place fast.

Inside the shopping centre where the library was located.
We managed to find a Mexican place called Saburritos that had vegan options. Dublin has quite a few Mexican restaurants.

Afterwards, we went to the Tesco and guess what beer was on sale... Molson Canadian. Pretty funny as we haven't seen it anywhere in the UK yet but here it is in Ireland. 
10 euros for Molson Canadian
We bought Molson Canadian. Maybe we were homesick or something. It was only 10 euros. Then we went back to the guest house to have a drink.

The next morning we checked out of the guest house and caught the coach to Cork.

To view the next few days in Cork click here.

When we got back to Dublin from Cork, we made our way to Govinda's for some lunch before catching our next bus to Bray. Govinda's was so cheap and good that we couldn't pass up going there again.
Yummy Curry.
It was a city bus that we were able to catch to Bray.

To view the next few days of our trip in Bray, Click here.

After our time in Bray we made our way back to Dublin,

Waiting for our friends. 
 Back in Dublin we went back to Cornucopia for lunch. We had to get the lunch special again. It's really busy in there but the service is fast. You have to wait in line and order your food at the front. They hand you a tray with all your food on it and you have to get your own cutlery and stuff. It is a cafeteria style restaurant. They have a few floors with seating.

We got the lunch special again
 After exploring Dublin some more we made our way back to the Hazelbrook guest house where we stayed for one more night.
 We had a different bedroom from last time. This room was a little bigger with a more comfortable bed.

 We drank tea in our room with our friends and talked about what a great holiday we had together.

We took a walk to Aldi to see if they had this vegan Christmas chocolate pack we had heard of, but they didn't. We bought Mint Thins instead. They were awesome.

 We went to bed earlyish, as we had our flight in the morning.

We caught the bus back to the airport right outside our guest house. It was very convenient.
 We got to the airport, went through security, then wandered around the airport. We got some falafel wraps for lunch.

Telefon!
Our flight was on time, and we were in the air before we knew it.

 Until next time Ireland.

 We had a great time in Ireland, and hope that we can return soon.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this post, you may like our post "We Heart Praha (Prague, Czech Republic)"

Comments

  1. Nice pics! I really liked Godvina's in Dublin too. That is exciting news that Guinness will finally be going vegan.

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    1. Thank you, Rachelle. We loved Godvina's, theres one in London too! We can't wait for the Guinness to go vegan

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  2. Love your picture! Can't wait to visit Ireland again!

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    1. Thank you. We would love to head back too!

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  3. Dublin is such a beautiful city. Would love to visit someday. Also I love curries :)

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    1. Hope you get there one day! It is amazing.

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  4. I am yet to visit Ireland but can't wait to go one day, sounds like you had a marvellous time! Thanks for all the tips, information and pictures.

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    1. Thank you for reading. Hope you get to Ireland one day!

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  5. I didn't know veganism extended to beer as well. I'm glad I can eat and drink whatever I want wherever so I can truly enjoy a city has to offer in terms of food and drink.
    I've never visited Europe, maybe when I visit Iceland I'll drop by Ireland too.

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    1. We truly enjoyed what Ireland has to offer despite what you are implying. We are able to eat and drink whatever we want. There are a lot of food choices out there vegan or not. This is why we choose to eat and drink things that minimise the amount of animal suffering we cause.

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  6. Sounds like you had a couple of productive days in Dublin! It also, wouldn't be a proper visit without some rain! :P

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    1. We had a great time. We don't mind the rain!

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  7. It's great to know there are so many vegan places in Ireland. Really surprised about the Mexican food as well. What are the other alcohol options for non-beer drinkers? I'm yet visit Ireland and I can't wait. Cheers!

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    1. Hard bar like Vodka is usually vegan. Some wines and most ciders are too. We find mexican in lots of places that we visit. We get them to remove the cheese and add guacamole!

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  8. Dublin looks beautiful.. Especially the Christchurch Cathedral

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  9. OMG! I am so much in love with this place! I remember the time I spend there with my family. It was a great fun! Thanks for sharing this post! reminds me of good times! Cheers!

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    1. Awe, I am glad you can relive your own memories of Dublin.

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  10. Another wonderful post. Great to see that an Indian restaurant has also found its way there. Also like the street art on the walls of Dublin. That city has so much history attached to it!

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    1. Thank you. The street art was awesome in Dublin, also in Cork when we went there.

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  11. Street Art, Castle, Architecture, Rich in culture wow this is everything you could find in Ireland. Would love to visit this part of the world. Thanks for sharing your story,

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    1. Hope you make it one day! It's an awesome place to explore.

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