Don’t feel too sorry for me. The reason my Dublin time was limited is because I went to a U2 concert at Slane Castle and that took up a lot of the long weekend. U2 backed up by the Chilli Peppers and Coldplay. So yeah, no need to cry for me.
But how to make the most of my day in Dublin? How to pack in my obsession with the poetry of WB Yeats and other Irish literary giants, my fascination with Irish history, and of course a desire to experience the famous Irish craic.
The answer was a city walking tour with a difference. A literary pub crawl. It had singing, poetry, and a warm enthusiasm that made me fall in love with Dublin at first sight. And it had pubs, lovely brown cosy Irish pubs.
The starting point is The Duke pub and starting with a pint of Guinness seemed entirely appropriate at 10.30 in the morning. An extract from Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ was the launching point of the tour in a pub that was frequented byBrendan Behan and Patrick Kavanagh.
A professional actor leads each tour and bringing famous literary works to life was the order of the day as we wound our way through Dublin’s historic streets, including Trinity College and St Andrew’s church.
I was excited to stop by the statue of Oliver Goldsmith in the grounds of Trinity College writer. Nobody else in the tour seemed to have heard of this 18th century writer but I was happily reminded of reading the Vicar of Wakefield as a teenager.
We stopped at four different pubs, which were once frequented by writers such as Joyce and the Davy Byrnes pub is actually mentioned in Joyce’s Ulysses. However, the main purpose of the pub stops after The Duke were more about taking a break to absorb what we had just seen and heard.
I never felt overwhelmed by the amount of information imparted as there was a good balance of walking, lecturing, laughing and watching what was essentially snippets of live street performance.
And live street performance in the very places where the writers would have lived and heard all the language and music of the streets of Dublin.
The Literary Pub crawl is laughter and poetry washed down with a few pints – what more could you want from a day in Dublin? As WB Yeats wrote in his ‘A Drinking Song’:
Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.
Apparently Dublin has been named runner up for Europe’s Leading City Break Award in 2015. I would definitely recommend spending at least some of your time in one of the world’s friendliest cities on a literary pub crawl and you can see some other great reasons to visit Dublin on this video:
By Natasha von Geldern
If you want to read more about my travels in Ireland, check out my post about beautiful Donegal!
This post is sponsored by Tourism Ireland, but all opinions remain my own.
d, but all opinions remain my own.