One of the routes, as you travel to Dublin from the south of Ireland, takes you past the iconic St. James’ Gates of Dublin’s famous Guinness brewery.
Adjoining, is the Guinness Storehouse, a Visitor’s Centre, which graphically details the workings of this world-famous brewery since its inception in 1759. The Storehouse Visitor’s Centre is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Ireland. On this occasion, having already recently visited the centre, we decided to continue driving to allow ourselves time to reach our city-centre accommodation, shower and change clothes in preparation for a very Irish pastime of a pub-crawl.Our first port of call, was the pub known as ‘the Brazen Head’, reputed to be Ireland’s official oldest pub, founded originally in 1198. Irrespective of its antiquity, the quality of its cuisine and beverages were excellent, and we really enjoyed the live music.
We then proceeded to the ‘Palace Bar’, a much younger premises, having been established in 1823 and, as it appeared to us, still retaining its authentic décor and atmosphere. Wishing to get a little closer to our accommodation, we proceeded to Baggott Street, where we were informed that there were two Dublin pubs, that should certainly be visited while in Dublin.On entering ‘Doheny & Nesbitt’s’ we were welcomed by a jovial, friendly bartender, who seemed to know more about the history, stories and workings of Dublin than the Encyclopaedia Brittanica. Fully-loaded with this information (and a little bit of Guinness) we continued across the road to the famous bar called ‘O’Donoghue’s’. Its notoriety is due to the fact that this is the birthplace of the world-famous Irish ballad group called ‘The Dubliners’. This group of musicians used to meet here on an impromptu basis to entertain themselves and the ordinary folk of Dublin. As time progressed, their music and ballads became famous, and now all deceased but one, their music is as popular as ever. As we sat at the counter, one by one, guitar, banjo, fiddle and flute assembled in the corner and entertained the customers. We felt that we were witnessing the birth of Ireland’s next ballad group.
Our accommodation was but a short distance away, and as we had an early rise the next day, we sadly left this lively atmosphere.