I follow a lot of Irish pubs on Facebook, and have seen many posts this week about how they’re now allowed to open with no restrictions. After two long, limitation-filled pandemic years, the fact that Irish pubs can once again be full-on Irish pubs makes me feel like, maybe for real this time, things are finally getting back to some semblance of normal.
It’s like awakening from a bad dream. Like water in the desert. The sun coming up after a long, dark night.
A cold beer on a hot day.
And while I’m not quite ready yet to start planning for my next big trip – I’m still not entirely convinced it’s going to happen, after all – I do find myself looking back on previous trips a bit more than I have been for the last couple of years. Thoughts of travel, which has been so far from a reality, have been a bit hard, so I just kind of stopped doing it for a while.
But now I am again. Especially, with the news out of Ireland this week, of my trip to Dublin, and one of my favourite stops from that journey: The Temple Bar.
Almost immediately upon arrival, Ron and I were told not to bother visiting The Temple Bar, as our cab driver from the airport told us it was ‘too touristy.’ We nodded and smiled and made a mental note to be sure to check it out. We were, after all, tourists, and sometimes it’s the touristy things that end up being trip highlights.
The Temple Bar was one of those things.
To me, it’s the perfect kind of pub, full to the brim with people having fun, but not being obnoxious about it. The air is filled with the sound of live music and the chatter of dozens of surrounding conversations, but none of it so overpoweringly loud as to make having a conversation of one’s own too difficult. Except, of course, when talk is suspended to sing along. (I only wish I knew the name of the duo performing.)
Our original intention was to stop in and have a quick beer, just to say we’d been to the famous Dublin landmark, then continue on our traditionally meandering way. But we were both so taken with the place, one beer became two became more became lunch.
This in turn became two visits, then three, as The Temple Bar was very near to our hotel, and we’d either start our day or end it there.
I can only imagine what the atmosphere is like there this week. I’d guess it’s quieter than when I visited, as people feel their way back into the world. Although who knows? It could be a huge party, as people blow off steam after the last couple of years.
Whatever level of celebration it may be, I will happily participate in it in spirit and raise a glass from across an ocean, until the next time I can visit in person.
To read more posts in the Pub Crawl series, click here.