Pre-Ireland Planning.

I’ve begun doing some research for my upcoming trip to Dublin.  We’re going to be spending a week there, and while most of the visit is pretty much a free-wheeling self tour of Dublin and the surrounding area, I thought I’d do a little bit of leg work to make sure that I don’t end up missing anything I might later come to regret.  Of course the first area I’ve focused my attention on is food.  Food tends to be a highlight of a lot of my travel.  Some of my fondest memories from my last couple of trips (Hawaii, and Las Vegas) center around food.  While Ireland for sometime had been considered a culinary wasteland, the last decade or so has seen a birth of fine cuisine in Ireland.  While a lot of it isn’t traditional Irish fare, it is a lot of European fare with an added Irish interpretation, and so far I’ve been liking what I’ve been reading.  I’ve been making a list of places to dine that sound interesting from reviews online.  I’ve been noting their location and their business hours as well.  It isn’t a “this is where we must eat” list, but rather a helpful guide to point us in the right direction while we are there.  Though there is one place that really piqued my interest, and since they strongly suggest reservation (and have an online reservation system), I have reserved a time at Gallagher’s Boxty House.

I also plan on making a list of fine drinking establishments, as well as some historic sites that interest me.  At Niagara University I spent a lot of time studying Irish poetry, and a lot of them spent a fair portion of their lives in Dublin, so I am taking all that in mind with my research.  On an interesting side note I am highly amused how many sites that are considered historic because of the Irish writers just happen to be pubs.  What a culture.

To help keep tracked of all the interesting tidbits and location I discovered I picked up one of Moleskine’s city books for Dublin.  For those who don’t know, the city book is essentially a do-it-yourself travel guide.  Instead of coming filled with information, it is left up to you to write your own travel guide.  They provide several divided sections for notes, places of interest, and several blank pages for travel related journaling.  They also have street maps of Dublin and some random information as well.  This will be the first one I’ve used and from the day it arrived in the mail my excitement for the trip to Dublin doubled.  Its been fun making all these notes before I’ve even left, and it will be even more exciting to be able to use it to record my thoughts and experiences during our week long adventure.