Dublin’s Best Kept Secrets
The capital of the emerald isles, Dublin is the preconception of Ireland embodied. From Guinness to the clandestine atmosphere that the Irish are famous for, Dublin is on the bucket list for travellers from all around the world. However, what to do in Dublin is something many struggle with and coming up with an itinerary is essential to get the most out of such a beautiful city. For some inspiration check out Last Night of Freedom’s list of Dublin’s best kept secrets.
The Blind Pig
Paying homage to the 1920s prohibition era, the Blind Pig offers patrons the change to experience what it was like when you had to be hush hush about alcohol. The secret bar is only accessible through a small door down a brick passage way, but say the password at the door and let the secret world unfold before your eyes. Themed drinks are on offer to customers, simply refer to the menus that are printed on the back of old books and let your taste buds take you back to 20s New York and absorb that remarkable atmosphere the Blind Pig has to offer.
Not something you’ll hear every day, but considering it is something related to one of history’s greatest generals, you should take time out to go and see it. This quirky little item can be found in Dublin’s Royal College of Physicians thanks to one of the little Frenchman’s closest friends, Irish physician Barry Edwards O’Meara. Napoleon gifted his buddy a number of keepsakes including a number of personalised snuff boxes, as well as his famous toothbrush. Quirky, but one you’ll remember.
Claustrophobic yet comfortable, Bagots Hutton is a one for any hidden hipster looking for that niche place to have a drink. Located in the commonly referred to area the ‘Hipster Triangle’, the bar takes inspirations from a mix of gothic décor and Da Vinci style. And if wine bars style still doesn’t appeal to you, the place offers weekly food specials like Meaty Monday and Cheesy Tuesday. With a capacity of just 65, make sure you get there early to grab yourself one of the limited Chesterfield sofas.
The Library Bar
Located inside the Central Hotel, the Library bar is perfect for that chilled out drink in comfortable surroundings. Named the Library Bar due to their strict ‘No Music’ stance, the bars offers its customers the chance to relax and catch up with their days activities. The country-club styled décor which includes high back chairs and crackling open fire is ideal for the morning after recovery, or a central base for those wanting to go out and explore what else Dublin has to offer.
A one for all literature fans, Sweny’s pharmacy has become a must visit for those whom have read James Joyce’s Ulysses. In the story, the main character visits the pharmacy to pick up some face cream for his wife. Coming back to modern day the pharmacy is still going – being run by volunteers who try to recreate that period feel. But don’t expect to go in and get some paracetamol, the ‘pharmacy’ now sells a range of second hand books and lemon scented soaps. It’s basically a period themed Lush.
The Bar With No Name
The bar calls itself as Dublin’s “worst kept secrets” (we don’t think so) but unless you know what to look for then you’ll easily miss it. The bar is located in the middle of Dublin, but the only way to know where to go is to look out for a huge wooden snail hanging above the door. Once you’ve found the place, go up the stairs and be met with patrons sinking into the sofas and sipping mojito’s. Definitely worth keeping an eye out for that big, wooden snail.
Vintage Cocktail Club
Nestled behind an iron door in the famous Temple Bar, the Vintage Cocktail Club is a step back through the ages. To gain access you have to first find the bar and ring the bell. However, one you’ve gained entry you will be taken back to the vintage-age of speakeasy and glamorous movie stars, with a drinks menu to match. The cocktail options make this bar what it is, and where it gains its notoriety, which includes drinks inspired from as early as the 1400s to the Tiki craze of the mid-1900s.
More of a one for the scary list, the Hell Fire Club at Montpelier Hill has a paranormal past. Built back in the 1700s, the building has had a chequered past being built using grave stones which some believe is the reason why it is cursed. After the building was completed, the roof was blown off which was the start of some of the spooky stuff that happened on the hallowed ground. After the owner’s death, the Hell Fire Club bought the property and became their base for their ‘activities’. Rumours are the club used the building for occult practices, including demonic possession, and other paranormal activities. Check it out if you dare.
The Hacienda, much like its Manchester name sake, has a cult following like no other. Not your typical pub, the place is set by the famous fruit and veg marketing and like many other hush bars, you have to ring a buzzer to get in. But once you’re in you will not be disappointed. Favorited by many celebs including Ed Sheeran and Mathew McConaughey, the place only opens at the owner’s discretion. With 80s music on constant loop and good beer with numerous pool tables, this is a must for anyone looking for that salt-of-the-earth style pub.
A Beginner’s Guide to Yacht Charters: How to Choose the Right Yacht and Plan the Perfect Trip
Yacht charters offer a unique and luxurious way to explore the world’s most beautiful destinations. Whether you’re looking to spend a week exploring the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean, or you want to take a romantic trip to the Mediterranean, a yacht charter is an excellent option. Phuket is an excellent location to charter a yacht and is one of the most popular destinations for yacht charters in the world.
However, choosing the right yacht and planning the perfect trip can be a daunting task for those who are new to yacht charters. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make your yacht charter experience a success.
Consider the Size of the Yacht Needed
Yachts come in a variety of sizes, from small sailing boats to large motor yachts. Consider how many people will be traveling with you, and how much space you’ll need for your trip. You’ll also want to think about the type of activities you want to do on your trip. If you’re looking for a more adventurous trip, a smaller sailing yacht may be the way to go. But if you’re looking for a more luxurious and spacious experience, a larger motor yacht may be a better choice.
- Small Sailing Yachts: These are typically 30-50 feet in length and are ideal for more intimate and adventurous trips.
- Mid-Size Motor Yachts: These yachts are typically 50-80 feet in length and offer more space and amenities than small sailing yachts.
- Large Motor Yachts: These yachts are typically 80 feet or longer and offer the ultimate in luxury and comfort.
- Superyachts: These are the largest yachts, typically over 100 feet in length, and are often custom built to the highest standards.
Consider a Place to Discover
Yacht charters are available all over the world, from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, so choose a location that appeals to you and your travel companions. Research the destinations you’re interested in, and find out what the weather will be like during your trip. You’ll also want to consider the time of year that you’re traveling, as some destinations may be more expensive during peak season.
Here are some popular yacht destinations:
Mediterranean: The Mediterranean region is a top destination for yacht charters, with its turquoise waters, stunning coastline, and rich cultural heritage. Some popular destinations include the French Riviera, the Amalfi Coast in Italy, and the Greek islands.
Caribbean: The Caribbean is a popular yacht charter destination for its warm weather, beautiful beaches, and clear waters. Some popular islands include the British Virgin Islands, St. Martin, and Antigua.
Bahamas: The Bahamas are another popular yacht charter destination, known for its stunning crystal-clear waters, white-sand beaches, and tropical landscapes.
Maldives: The Maldives is a group of 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean, known for its stunning coral reefs, crystal-clear waters, and abundant sea life.
Thailand: Thailand is known for its stunning beaches, lush tropical forests, vibrant local culture, and rich history. Some popular destinations for yacht charters in Thailand include the Andaman Sea, Phuket, and Koh Samui
When it comes to planning the perfect trip, timing is everything. Booking your yacht charter early is key to ensuring that you get the yacht and destination that you want. Don’t wait until the last minute to book, as yachts can fill up quickly, especially during peak season. It’s also a good idea to book well in advance if you’re traveling during the holidays, as yachts tend to be in high demand during these times.
Yacht Charter Cost
Another important factor to consider when planning your yacht charter is the cost. Yacht charters can be expensive, so you’ll want to budget for your trip carefully. Consider the cost of the yacht, fuel, food, and other expenses. Some yacht charters may include some or all of these expenses, so be sure to ask about what’s included when you’re booking. You may also want to look for yacht charter deals or discounts to help save money on your trip.
Think About the Crew
Finally, you’ll want to consider the crew. Yacht charters typically come with a crew that includes a captain, chef, and other members. Consider the size of the crew, and make sure that they have the experience and skills you need for your trip. You’ll also want to make sure that the crew is friendly and professional, and that they can accommodate any special requests or needs you may have.
A yacht charter is an excellent way to explore the world’s most beautiful destinations in style and comfort. With a little bit of planning and research, you can choose the right yacht and plan the perfect trip for you and your travel companions. So start exploring your options today, and get ready for the trip of a lifetime!
Medieval Towns with German Castles Near Munich & Frankfurt
Our favorite castles in Germany near Frankfurt and Munich:
We were crazy enough to visit Neuschwanstein Castle on a public holiday. This meant that along with all the Asian tourists, there were an awful lot of Germans. Plus, even though we arrived by 11 am, the soonest tickets we could buy were for the German tour at 2.30 pm, as the terms in English were sold out until 4 pm. So, if you don’t have German friends at hand to translate the tour for you, we recommend booking in advance online. The castle was impressive, and the time was undoubtedly fascinating! Don’t worry, I won’t spill the beans, but the manmade Grotto room made my jaw drop!
Mespelbrunn Castle is located on a pond between Frankfurt and Wurzburg. Unfortunately, we arrived 30 minutes after its closing time of 5 pm, but it looked cool from behind the fence!
Lichtenstein Castle is located on a clifftop near Stuttgart and costs 6 euros per person for a tour in German; however, they did give us a very informative written guide in English. This castle is small compared to Hohenzollern castle, but its story is fascinating. Tanks shelled it in World War II, and today you can still see the cracked mirror from where a small fragment of a tank grenade ricocheted!
Hohenzollern Castle is not too far from Lichtenstein Castle. It is located on a hilltop near Hechingen, and we enjoyed the guided tour. Along with getting to wear GIANT slippers, make sure you explore the casemates and secret passages. One sign made me want to learn more. It read, “Exactly where these steps lead to is unknown. More casemates and secret passageways are likely waiting to be discovered in the heart of the mountain”!
Heidelberg Castle was a lot larger than we expected! Unfortunately, we had spent far too much time at the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim, so we did not have time to explore this castle. But if we get the chance, we will explore the town and its castle next time in Germany.
On our drive from Munich to Frankfurt, we also loved:
The beer garden at Andechs Monastery was just like Oktoberfest but amongst trees and more family-friendly. The beer was cheaper, and the food was great, including the giant pork knuckle, which Moss could not finish. It was also fun walking up multiple flights of stairs to the tower’s very top.
Three hours in Rothenburg was not enough to explore this wonderful medieval town! We recommend getting your hands on a city map from the tourist information office. We enjoyed Roder Gate, walking along the wall and exploring the 17th-century spital bastion, plus Moss lost me in the Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop for over half an hour, and I didn’t even buy anything!
The average person would Google Munich to Frankfurt and see that it only takes about 3 ½ hours depending on how fast you wish to drive on the autobahn! However, we are NOT typical. We took one look at train prices and decided that hiring a car wouldn’t cost too much more.
Suppose you’re interested in traveling to Germany for a damn good deal. In that case, plenty of tour companies have some pretty unique and affordable vacation packages to Berlin, Munich, and Bavaria.
We aren’t going to tell you our exact route. Still, after surviving Oktoberfest in Munich, we did a giant zigzag to see as many castles and medieval towns as possible. So to save you doing so much driving, we have picked our favorite cities and castles. First of all, ‘Ausfahrt’ is not a destination accessible from every off-ramp! It means ‘Exit’! Another word of wisdom to keep in mind is that the autobahns with speed limits do have speed cameras… and the flash is blinding!
Running with the Bulls Video
Our shaky Running with the Bulls Video footage from the Festival de San Fermin in 2012. Experience it first hand in Pamplona. Enjoy.
We recently wrote about our life or death experience of Running with the Bulls this year at the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona. On that run, I carried along with our GoPro video camera and tried to shoot some footage for our running with the video of the bull.
All our travel video shooting techniques went out the window when the bulls’ hooves started to shake the ground beneath our feet.
Once we had lined up for the running with the bulls, there was no escape from it as we were walled in by apartment blocks, shopfront windows, and 3-meter high wooden barriers packed with photographers along the entire length. At one end lay the relative safety of the bull ring pulsating with the cheers of the crowd who were still partying from the night before. Behind me, a dozen wild bulls pawed the stony ground looking for freedom.
Unfortunately, I was standing in their path.
What we ended up with is below. However, I think what we filmed for our running with the bull video captures the chaos, craziness, and complete madness a lot better than if I had stood my ground.
Enjoy it and watch for the guy that nearly gets trampled to death near the beginning!
Running with the Bulls Video
Would you ever consider running with the bulls?
While we are very aware that not all people agree that the San Fermin Festival should be allowed to go ahead mainly due to animal cruelty, we think there are two sides to every story. We wrote a post about the controversy surrounding Bullfighting in Spain and the Festival de San Fermin.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the Festival de San Fermin and whether you would ever consider running with the bulls.
If you want to join the next Festival of San Fermin or any other wild festivals in Europe, such as Sail Turkey, book with our partners Busabout.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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