This is part of a series of posts about my recent trip to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, planned in celebration of finishing the bar exam and our third wedding anniversary. There will be a post for each of the 13 days of the trip, from Edinburgh to St. Andrew’s to the Lake District to Liverpool to Dublin to Northern Ireland to Stonehenge to Oxford and finally, to London. At the end of each post, you’ll find a summary of where we STAYED, ATE, and EXPLORED each day. <3
On Day 5 of our trip, we woke up in the Lake District and had one more delicious breakfast at Cumbria House (cinnamon and apple porridge this time for me!). We decided to get on the road for our big travel day — we had a 2 hour drive to Liverpool, where we needed to return our rental car and catch our evening flight to Dublin.
Arriving in Liverpool, we knew we only had an hour or two to spare. Instead of battling the traffic and crowds to see the waterfront, we decided to drive to Penny Lane and take a small Beatles tour. Penny Lane is surprisingly unassuming, still playing host to a humble and crowded residential neighborhood and many local shops. We stopped in at the Penny Lane Development Trust to snag a snapshot of the Song Map of Penny Lane, and admired the Beatles-themed murals the Trust has installed. We walked by the same Fish & Chips shop that was open when the Beatles were teens (“a four of fish” from the song named for the Lane). We checked out Dovedale Towers (now known as “The Dovey”) where John Lennon’s original band the Quarrymen played. We walked by the beautiful St. Barnabas Church where Paul McCartney sang in the choir as a boy. After strolling the Lane at our leisure, we drove by the childhood homes of Lennon and McCartney, and then headed to the airport.
We took the first of two Ryanair flights from Liverpool to Dublin with no fuss. Arriving in Dublin after dark, we took a shuttle to St. Stephen’s Green and walked to O’Donoghue’s Pub, our home for the next two nights. Staying on top of a bar in Dublin was exactly like you would expect it to be. To check in, we rolled our suitcases through the crowded bar and flagged down the bartender. He checked a binder, gave us our keys, and had a member of the kitchen staff escort us upstairs. There was live music playing all night — not in the sense that they had a local band performing a set, but in the sense that there were 2-3 groups of old Irish men sitting in booths throughout the restaurant, playing the guitar and singing whatever they felt.
After experiencing the bar downstairs, we went up to our rooms and crashed with a feast of convenience store wine, cheese from the deli in Keswick, and a few baguettes. We just so happened to be in town during the Rose of Tralee International Festival, a kind of Irish beauty pageant which we watched live and became slightly obsessed with. We went to sleep with visions of Irish roses from across the globe and the sounds of Irish music echoing in the alley, ready to awake to our packed day in Dublin.