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Uncle Pat, where are ye?

Written on: Sunday November 16th, 2008

A journal entry from: Europe 2008!

Just a quick hello to tell you all about what was one of the best nights of our trip so far!

Last night, Saturday, was a huge Rugby match between Ireland and New Zealand. Because of the match, being played in downtown Dublin, accommodation was, well, scarce. We looked at one Hostel and they wanted to charge 330 Euro for two nights in a double room. That's about $450.

Oy!

So, in an attempt not to break the bank, we left Dublin for the evening and booked into a place in Bray, which many of you will remember from our last trip. Bray is a little seaside town, connected to Dublin by the DART (their version of the Skytrain), where my Uncle Pat lived the last time we were in Ireland and became a second home to us as we travelled through the country. Going back there was only a matter of time, and we decided that visiting Bray again is something that should come sooner rather than later, especially considering it has our favourite bar in Ireland.

The place we booked was a nice hotel, run by Best Western, which still cost us less than a crappy hostel (like the one we have been staying at while in the city...) in Dublin would have cost us. It hosts weddings, so it was all done up and fancy like the Dorchester!

Bray is, more or less, exactly the same as it was three years ago. It's still got that charmingly Irish feel of having seen better days, the streets were still full of young soccer hooligans, Bray head was still pretty, and our favourite lunch spot, Molloys, hadn't moved an inch! We were happy to be back, and wandered the streets for a while, but couldn't help feeling like something was missing because Uncle Pat wasn't there!

The real reason we wanted to go there, however, is because of The Harbour Bar, literally the best bar in the whole world. Imagine a bar the size of your bathroom, full to bursting with all the contents of your crazy great-uncle Paddy's basement, rickety chairs and even more rickety tables. Add a few dozen drunk Irish folk (not a tourist in sight besides us), a fair few pints of beer and some of the best live Irish music you'll ever find and you've got a recipe for a damn fine evening.

The music there isn't like at home. Starting at 10pm, random locals just wander on down to the pub and bring their music making machines (drums, whistles, spoons, guitars, or just voices) and belt away, sitting in a ragged circle in the corner of the room. At times there must've been at least a dozen people all joining in on the same song. People talk about doing cultural things while travelling - like going to the Louvre, or paying for a night of Traditional Dancing, or eating a Baguette - but it's the stuff like this that really shows you what being Irish means.

Going to the Harbour Bar was everything we were hoping for, and we were sorry to leave! Ahh well, it certainly won't be the last time we're there.

Now that the fun's over, though, we've got some big days ahead of us... so I think it's time for our beauty sleep!

- Aidan and Courtenay

Aidan's Random Facts

  • Even the water's green in Ireland.
  • Beer is gooooooooooood, but bloody expensive. I miss Slovakia where I could get a pint for under a dollar!
  • The DART is a good place to make friends... even if they are drunk bums up early on a Sunday.
  • I miss hockey.

 

From moms on Nov 16th, 2008

What memories. The place was even better on New Year's Eve! What was even better was that I actually knew a number of the songs they were singing and was happy to sing along. I'll have to tell Auntie Camilla you were back in Bray and had lunch at Molloy's cuz so did we! Too bad you couldn't just stay there and travel aboot from their. How rude of Pat to move to Australia and leave you two stranded to deal with things yourself. dia duit my dears.

From Khauner on Nov 16th, 2008

Aidan, I will be glad to unload some hockey talk with you at any point. Just call or email or even snail mail.

From Natty Moher on Nov 16th, 2008

Aidan -- Hockey is boring, just admit it... therefore you and conor are boring...