Browsing: Dublin



Sister #3 is a “Somebody Feed Phil” fan and researched what restaurants in the central area had been featured on his show. She knew that Gallagher’s Boxty House was included in Phil’s Dublin Itinerary so we had a reservation for later that day. Turns out though, that after our bus tour, we were hungry, cold and getting weary from our weeks of travel so we showed up on their door step a couple of hours early. And were welcomed with open arms.

What is Boxty, you might ask?

Traditional Irish boxty are the epitome of pancakes for potato lovers! Combining mashed and raw potato with buttermilk they are as versatile as a tortilla or crepe.

But first things first. This was our last meal in Dublin so of course beer was our amuse bouche.

Our meals had not been vegetable rich in Dublin so Sister #2 started with a salad of pear, pecans and blue cheese salad.

Boxty dates back to the 1700s in Irish households where potatoes were relied upon to survive. There are actually three types of boxty: boil, baked and pan boxty. The word “boxty” comes from the Irish phrase “aran bocht ti” meaning poorhouse bread. One of the sisters had a boxty filled with chicken in a leek cream sauce

and the other steak and a mushroom pepper sauce.

Since this was my last holiday meal, I opted (again) for fish and double fried chips. I just couldn’t get my head around around a potato pancake even though I love Jewish Latkes and Norwegian Lefse. The sisters offered me tastes and I was pleasantly surprised but then I tasted one of the most delectable things ever….

Boxty fries are made when they slice the pancakes into strips, season them and fry them to a crispy, crunchy golden brown!

But the other hit that afternoon was our waiter Giorgio. He was efficient and so sociable. I felt bad when I didn’t order what he recommended! He had so many stories to tell of his life back home in Croatia and his Irish life trying to put his son through university. We were fascinated.

And of course, he had met Phil Rosenthal so Sister #3 had to rub shoulders with him! She thought that she might post this photo on Phil’s website. It was so wonderful to see her so happy and a fun place to end our European eating adventure.

Kath’s quote: “Well, did you ever take potato cake and boxty to the school. Tucked underneath your oxter with your books, your slate, your rule?”

Love never fails.

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Dublin-Bus Tour


By this time we had gotten the hang of the Luas and agreed that it was a great way to get in and out of central Dublin. We met lovely people on our back and forth route to the hotel.

We had also figured out that we should delay our first meal of the day until we were in Dublin’s City Centre. On this day we were in for a special treat-vegan doughnuts from the Rolling Donut.

It was the morning of Hallowe’en. We saw costumes wherever we went, but the gang at the donut shop were our favourites.

We walked in the cold and rain to the Hop On and Hop Off Bus (we hopped on and stayed there). And enjoyed the sights from the warm bus. This was our first glimpse of Trinity College home to 18,000 students and alumni of Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and Edmund Burke. Trinity is one of seven ancient universities of great Britain & Ireland founded in 1592. I longed to visit their famous library but it was not to be on this trip.

I love the doors in Ireland and had once written a blog post in their celebration.

I also loved their vine covered buildings.

This beautiful stained glass also caught my eye. The original theatre now called 3 Olympia Theatre was opened in 1879.

Three Sisters on a bus after we had wiped chocolate doughnuts off of our faces.

A quick glance of St Stephen’s Green.

As the largest cathedral and one of the most important pilgrimage sights in Ireland, St Patrick’s has been at the heart of Dublin and Irish history for over 800 years.

This next stop was self explanatory. Everyone who knew that we were going to Dublin asked if we would tour Guinness. I already know what the inside of a brewery looks like and I don’t care for stout so I was happy for a quick glimpse of it from the bus.

This is the Wellington memorial in Phoenix Park. It reminded me of the the Washington Memorial in Washington DC.

This beautiful example of old Irish Architecture was one of our last tour stops. Detailed in my favourite colour, I wondered what it would say if these walls could talk?

Kath’s quote: “May your heart be light and happy, may your smile be big and wide and may your pockets always have a coin or two inside!”

Love never fails.

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Dublin-The Brazen Head


We caught a glance at The Four Courts building

as well as Christ Church Cathedral also known as Dublin Cathedral. It is an Irish Anglican church founded in 1038 by Vikings who occupied the city! In 1539 King Henry VIII mucked about with the building too.

When we saw this sign, we knew we had arrived at the right place. The Brazen head claims to be Ireland’s oldest pub and meeting place for historic rebels. There has been a hostelry on this land since 1198. The present building was erected centuries later in 1754 as a Coach’s Inn however the Brazen Head appears in documents as far back as 1653.

The pub is located away from the Temple Bar area on Bridge Street. This is found on their website: In this area the original settlement that was to become Dublin got its name. The Irish name for Dublin is Baile Atha Cliath- which means The Town of the Ford of the Reed Hurdles. Beside the pub is the Father Matthew Bridge which crosses the River Liffey. It was the very spot that the original crossing of the river was located. Here reed matting was positioned on the river bed which enabled travelers to cross safely at low tide.

The day was dark as was the tiny rooms like this one, where we were fortunate to find a table. We could imagine those rebels from long ago sharing plans and secrets as they huddled around the fire for a pint.

I wondered whether beer was once served out of the enameled jugs hanging from the ceiling.

The menu was somewhat limited but we did find Steak and Guinness Stew for Sister #2,

Fish and Chips for me

Seafood chowder for Sister #3 and

Irish Soda bread with that divine Irish butter!

But the highlight of that evening was not the food.

The highlight was squishing our way into the front room of Brazen Hall where the live music was still going strong. Indeed it was not only the best night of our time in Dublin but an evening that we will always fondly remember. A table of locals decided to take us under their wings and squished onto their bench, as well as giving up chairs so we could be comfortable.

This particular group of friends assemble every Sunday afternoon to sing along, clap and stomp with the local musicians. One woman’s late husband played with the group before he died and she attends every Sunday to honour his memory.

The locals were quite fascinated that the three sisters would choose to travel alone to Europe. They thought that we must all have been single. They tried to figure out our birth order which I was delighted with, given that I am the oldest by eight years!

There were many memorable tunes that we valiantly tried to sing along too. My favourite was Galway Bay as I had visited the beautiful little city a number of years before. I tried to raise my voice, smiling broadly with tears in my eyes.

Kath’s quote: “My soul to soar, forever more, above you Galway Bay” from the song by Francis Fahy (1854-1935)

Love never fails.

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Dublin-a Whirlwind


We arrived in Dublin just as the sun was going down. To say our arrival was a disappointment would be a gross understatement: our cab ride from the airport to the hotel cost more than our flight, there was literally no food at the hotel, there was no place in the area to buy food, the first room we were given was not big enough for three and our fun plans for the evening were not meant to be. When the hotel manager (who negatively contributed to most of these circumstances) told us he was going to make it up to us if we agreed to have dinner in the hotel, hit a foul ball. We anticipated a complimentary glass of wine or perhaps an appetizer. What he did was give us a nice table (in an empty dining room). I could fill a couple of blog posts with our many complaints…suffice it to say: the three sisters were not pleased.

We pledged to make the best of it and the next morning we scouted out of the hotel just as fast as we could manage. It was the Dublin marathon that morning and as we boarded the Luas (the Irish word for speed) along with just about everyone else in the suburbs, we realized that all the roads in and out of the city centre had been closed. Once full, the train whisked by many disappointed spectators and was very efficient in getting us downtown. We wanted to go to the Irish Immigration Museum but first: coffee and food!

Quite accidently, we came upon the Arlington Hotel. Actually, we wandered into the their pub, which had recently served Irish breakfast to a mass of tourists and families, downtown for the marathon. When they spied us, they welcomely set us up at a clean table with a carafe of coffee plunked down in front of us. Ahh Dublin hospitality!

This was Sister #3’s breakfast as my plate wasn’t quite so nicely laid out. I selected something of everything, enjoying breakfast sausages along with a bevy of other meats and breakfast items but what delighted me was the Irish Soda Bread. It was set up at its own little table right next to the toaster, jams and marmalades. I politely only indulged in two pieces…I could have eaten half a loaf!

We hadn’t entered through this front door, so my first impression was actually my last impression of the hotel as we left. If only we had found this gem of a place earlier in our hotel search.

Sister #3 had researched our next stop. This is what drew us: Discover why 10 million people left Ireland and explore the impact they had on the world.

We knew the story would be a hard one to hear the details of and it was. We also knew of Irish resiliency and humour, so we set off to discover that.

We had a couple of last reminders of their hardship, when we went past the Famine Memorial on Custom House Quay. Walking amongst these life-sized skeletons made the depth of their despair that much more real to us. In all the facts about the memorial that I have read online, there is no mention of who underwrote the cost of this effective exhibition. A plaque at the site read that the memorial was a gift from Canada to Ireland to acknowledge the important effect that Irish immigration had on Canada.

Just a few steps away from the sculptures is a tall ship moored in the water that is set up as a famine museum. The Jeanie Johnston is a replica famine boat and is a fitting background of the statues.

This is the imposing building that gave the Custom House Quay its name.

As we crossed the bridge to Temple Bar we came upon these real-life marathoners. One of them was married to a Canadian and made us feel very welcome to their country. They were not Dubliners but had made the trip for the marathon. Sister #2 looks happy to meet them in spite of her falling asleep.

We had good fun, wandering the narrow streets of the Temple Bar area, deciding where we should stop for a pint.

Then we came upon the crown jewel of Irish Pubs. Sister #2 took our pictures and I didn’t notice until I was formatting photos that we had gotten photo bombed, and good!

The bar was packed and we couldn’t get anywhere near the live music that we heard in some far-off room, so we wiggled into a space by the window with a couple from Newcastle that once lived in Alberta Canada. They were so lovely and welcoming, and we would have been delighted to have spent more time with them, but they had a brief weekend together and we didn’t want to home in on their time.

With a picture to prove that we had visited, we were off.

I guess we are not as famous as Sean Connery, as the bar didn’t ask for a copy of our picture.

Kath’s quote: Best while you have it use your breath. There is no drinking after death. –author unknown

Love never fails.

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