Day 7: The Dublin and Wicklow Mountains: funerals, pubs, and even a wedding for good measure

16 09 2013

Morning playlist:

1. The Dubliners – Seven Drunken Nights

2. Ronnie Drew – Dicey Riley

3. The Kilkennys – Galway Girl

4. The Dubliners – I’ll Tell Me Ma When I Go Home

5. The Dubliners – Finnegan’s Wake

Am I the only one that can surgically disable an alarm clock while still mostly asleep?

Well, apparently, that’s what happened because when I finally regained consciousness on Saturday morning, the time was 8:54am, and our Galway/Cliffs of Moher tour was leaving in six minutes. Problem was, I was still in bed, and about a 20 minute walk to the tour departure point. Naturally, I only did what was logical: I muttered a few choice words and fell back asleep.

Upon waking up around eleven, I saw my sister had pulled open the laptop and was desperately looking for some other tour that would take us away from Dublin City. Lo and behold, a half-day jaunt through the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains was available at 3:00pm. We registered, got dressed, and made our way downtown.

After a satisfying lunch of potatoes, meat, gravy, potatoes, cabbage, potatoes, gravy, and more potatoes, we made our way to the departure point and were greeted by a friendly small Irishman named Shane O’Donoghue. Now, I’m not one to put a label on anyone, but if you ever needed to a way to quantify being Irish, Shane O’Donoghue would be your man. He was friendly, jovial, loved to tell stories (which he did all night long), sang along to classic Irish tunes (see playlist above) while (safely) careening along the small mountainous roads, and loved himself a pint of Guinness. Sadly, as El Capitan of our tour bus, Shane was relegated to only reminiscing about Guinness –but boy did he have a cool story to share at the end of the night.

To sum up the more straightforward parts of our tour, this wasn’t your typical ‘scenic’ romp through greenery, no. In fact, this was simply an Irish pub crawl where the designated driver was also a pub, beer, and Irish history expert. Our destinations over the 9 hour tour were 6 famous pubs in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains, namely “The Blue Light Bar”, “Johnnie Fox’s” (also known as Ireland’s highest bar), “An Tochar House”, “Glenmalure Lodge” –where I had a Lamb steak that was so fresh it was still ‘baaaaa-ing’, “Ta Ses” –an Irish grocery market the size of a bedroom where the checkout counter is a bar with multiple beer taps, and last but not least, “Harbour Bar”, a fantastic pub with traditional Irish music in one bar area and in the other half of the bar (which used to be a funeral home), a small stage with full band performing original music.

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What started off as being a disappointing morning turned into a fantastic evening of Irish greenery, new friends (our group comprised of friends from Chicago, Wisconsin, and… Stockholm, Sweden), the BEST pour of Guinness in Ireland and the whole entire world (yes, even better than the Guinness Storehouse, me thinks), and Irish music ‘stuck in me head and oozing out of me skin.’

So, you’re all probably wondering what the cool story Shane shared was… well, no less than 10 days ago, Shane stopped by The Blue Light Bar for a pint when he recognized some out of town visitors. Apparently, Adam Clayton Jr. was just married that day and since he grew up in a town just down the road from there, he stopped in for a pint as well. Cool story, right?

If it’s still not that interesting to you, maybe this will help: here is a picture of Shane and one of Adam’s friends from the wedding:

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Still not cool enough? The man with Shane, Adam’s friend, goes by the name of ‘The Edge’.

Still not enough?

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The man with the sunglasses is also Adam’s friend. His name is Paul David Hewson and sings in a band.

Ok, time’s up. Paul Hewson goes by the name of ‘Bono’ and is the lead singer for a small Irish band called, ‘U2’.

Oh, and Adam? He’s the bass player. 🙂

Slainte!

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