samster's adventures

An adventurous girl cooks, eats and explores in Europe.

Trad Fest and some sight-seeing in Dublin

For the last month, there have been signs all over about Temple Bar Trad Fest. Every year, they have a week focused on traditional music and culture. There are so many events going on all over, including a music trail with live traditional music from the afternoon on in over 15 pubs around Temple Bar. They also have music in the streets, vendors with food and crafts, traditional dress and dance, and even cooking classes. There are so many events it was actually a bit difficult to navigate what was going on at any given time, but we were able to make it out to a good amount of activities.

Wednesday night after dinner, we headed to the Temple Bar pub to listen to traditional music by Jim Kelly and Pat Goode, the act on at the time we wanted. I was happy we went to the Temple Bar, as I have been once before on a weekend evening when our friends had guests in town. It was so crowded; you couldn’t see a thing in the bar. We were standing outside of it the whole night. It is a huge tourist stop so it gets really crowded for no other reason than that. Even on this Wednesday night it was pretty crowded. Nearly every seat was full and there were plenty more people standing around. It was Trad Fest, sure, but live music is pretty common regularly at the pubs in this area. Still, this was really the perfect time to be there. It is a cool pub, similar to all others, but the music was great that night. Everyone was singing along to old Irish songs and having a great time with it. One of the last songs they played had a chorus everyone knew but the verses were spoken to tell a story that must have been his own writing. The song was a humorous take on the recent meat scandal in Dublin, where it was revealed that local super markets had been selling imported beef that actually contained horse in it as well. Typical of the Irish, they had to joke of it and the last month or so has been filled with comments of horse burgers and the like. It is fun that much of the live music here is a bit comical.

IMG_0942Hoping to see more of Trad Fest after that performance, and the quick sheep spotting on Saturday, we went off to Temple Bar after breakfast and started to walk around. As soon as we made it to the heart of the area, we ran into a marching band of bag pipers. We stopped to watch and listen to them as they reached the end of the block and stopped to play a few songs. It was fun to see and hear; they were dressed up in full outfits and played quite well. The drummers had some fancy moves, spinning their sticks in the air between beats. It was very well timed for us just wandering in to them, though they did come around a few more times throughout the day, as well.

We continued on, spotting a few tables selling jewelry, hats and kitchen items. From there we saw a bunch of food stands and the main stage with live music going on. There was a decent size crowd listening to the band and we stopped for a song or so to hear them before moving on. We walked down to Christ Church Cathedral where they had a small event going on with a mini village in traditional Irish theme. They had live music from a large band of adults and children, a giant bodhran (Irish drum), a bunch of IMG_0963booths made to look like mini cottages, and lucky for me, a petting zoo. We first saw a prize-winning turkey, and I must say it was a good looking bird. There were also two prize-winning chickens. The petting zoo had some more chickens, two goats, a sheep and two llamas. Unfortunately we went over after it was pouring rain so the poor sheep was rather soggy (he did not seem nearly as concerned about his wetness as I was). I still pet him of course; got to pet as many sheep as I can while out here!


During the burst of rain that hit, we decided to go in and see the cathedral. We had never made it before, and it was gorgeous from the outside so it was a great time to stop in. Though a bit pricey at 6 Euro for entry, it is really beautiful. The stained glass window had amazing detail. The ceilings were gorgeous, and the stone walls were just to my liking, as I love the simpler and less ornate look. After walking around the church and chapels, we headed down to the crypt, filled with old items relating to the church. There were many interesting and very old items down there, with books, alter cloths, platters and an older tabernacle on display. I am so glad we went, and would recommend it as a stop if you are at all interested in churches or architecture. It is such an amazing building, and I have plenty more pictures up on my Shutterfly account, in the Dublin folder.

After touring the church, we headed off to lunch. We wanted to find live music and seating, and found both available at the Auld Dubliner. We walked in to a rather rowdy and crowded first floor, with people loudly cheering and clapping along to the music. Not seeing good seats, we went to the next floor where it was much calmer. There were plenty of free tables and you could still hear the music quite well. We sat down and ordered lunch while we enjoyed listening to not just the band, but the excited groups down below. When the band finally left, the crowd took it quite hard, especially one guy we distinctly heard above all the other noise shouting “NO!” over and over. It was about time for me to head out across the street though for a cooking demo at Gallagher’s Boxty House.

One comment on “Trad Fest and some sight-seeing in Dublin

  1. Pingback: Boxty Cooking Demo at Gallagher’s Boxty House | samster's adventures

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This entry was posted on January 28, 2013 by in Dublin Living, Ireland, Playing Tourist and tagged , , , , , , , .

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