Thursday, June 26, 2014

Enjoying the Late Night Sun

The Summer Solstice, the exact midpoint of the solar year, took place in Dublin on June 21st at 11:51 a.m. This is of course the longest day of the year for all those northern-hemisphere-dwellers like us. At high latitudes (like those of Ireland) these long summer days are exaggerated to almost laughable lengths. Of course, this also makes our winter days that much shorter, but for now, let's hear it for the sun!

A few days before the solstice, we went out on the town to celebrate our new extended daylight. We began in Temple Bar (the artsy part, not the tourist part) to enjoy our favorite Dublin pizza from Skinflint.

Chorizo with Pink Peppercorn and Serrano Ham and Leek Pizzas from Skinflint Dublin, Ireland
Chorizo with Pink Peppercorn and Serrano Ham and Leek Pizzas

After Skinflint, we wanted to have a pint of cask ale at The Porterhouse nearby, but the place was jam-packed with after-workers. We had never been to Porterhouse in the evening, especially on a beautiful summer night like this. We needed a backup plan.

...and that was when we remembered Mulligan's pub on Poolbeg Street. We had this pub recommended to us, but we had only popped our heads in the last time we were in this neighborhood. Having the time now, we made our way over for a quick drink.

O'Hara's Pale Ale and McGargle's Ale (Guinness Glass)
O'Hara's Pale Ale and McGargle's Ale (Guinness Glass)

Mulligan's Exterior Poolbeg Street Dublin, Ireland
Mulligan's Exterior

The World Cup England/Uruguay match was on every television, and the pub crowd was really into it. We couldn't tell if most of them were actively hoping for England (the 700 year oppressors... but also Ireland's closest cultural connection to the World Cup) to win or lose. I'll leave the speculation on that one alone...

After Mulligan's we thought we would try Porterhouse again now that the dinner crowd was gone. It wasn't, and live music had started, so it was really jammed.

We still wanted another pint, and Sara remembered that we weren't far from Beerhouse, the trendy craft beer bar with good beers at good prices on tap- including our local favorite Five Lamps! I got the Five Lamps Porter and Sara tried a new Irish craft IPA from Carrig Brewing in Leitrim, in Ireland's northwest.

Carrig IPA and Five Lamps Porter at Beerhouse Dublin
Carrig IPA and Five Lamps Porter

With the sun still streaming in through the windows, we almost had another pint before looking at the clock. It was after ten, and we still had a four mile walk home! On the way, we took some photos of the slowly darkening sky. 

As you scroll through, keep in mind that the earliest of these photos from Grattan Bridge were taken after 10:15 p.m., and they only get later. The sky was still not quite reaching full dark at 11 p.m.

Grattan Bridge View- West
Grattan Bridge View- West

Grattan Bridge View- East
Grattan Bridge View- East

Suffolk Street TI
Suffolk Street Tourist Info Centre

Grafton Street
Grafton Street

We made it home with the sky just beginning to look like full nighttime. With the passing of the solstice, the days can only get shorter from here. It was sure nice while it lasted. Keep reading in December for another whiny post about how dark it is way up here.

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