For our honeymoon, we took the trip of a lifetime: three weeks in Ireland with eyes wide open, ready to explore the cities, drink in wild landscapes, and forge friendships with acquaintances from across the Atlantic ocean. As Celtic musicians, our trip was particularly special because we chose places significant to Irish traditional music! Whether seeking out world-class sessions in local pubs, visiting the haunts of famous musicians, or simply locating a city block referenced in a traditional song, our journey dripped with reels and jigs and late nights full of craic.
We took too many pictures and collected too many stories to simply drop them into one blog post. And so, we hope you'll join us for a series of blog posts chronicling the whole adventure.
First Stop: Dublin
We landed in Dublin at 11 am, which felt like the pre-dawn hours back at home. We were feeling it, but...who cares! We're in Ireland! Julie visited the country very briefly about 12 years ago, but this was Josh's first trip to Ireland (in fact, it was his first trip across the Atlantic).
We couldn't check into our hotel right away, so we walked to St. Stephen's Green and opened up our instrument cases to pass the time. What tune do you think we chose to be our first played on Irish soil? (Hint: we had the foresight to take a video...)
Exploring the City
Since this was our first time visiting Dublin, we decided to hit the highlights. We walked down Grafton Street, explored the Temple Bar neighborhood, marveled at the Book of Kells and the Long Library, and enjoyed a fresh brew and a panoramic view of the city at the Guinness Storehouse. As we wandered around, we also stumbled upon unplanned delights: the statues of Luke Kelly and Molly Malone, street art depicting members of The Dubliners, and the beautiful interior of the Church of SS. Augustine and John the Baptist.
But let's not ramble on too much...we have pictures to share!
Our very first session of the trip was at O'Donoghue's Bar on Merrion Row. Glance around at the walls and you'll know why this place is famous: the Dubliners got their start here back in the early 60s. (Did you know we wrote a whole blog about our favorite pubs in Ireland, and O'Donoghue's made the list? Click here to read more.)
We hung out with the musicians at this bar both nights we were in Dublin. It was a mighty introduction to the craic that we soon would find all over the Emerald Isle!