I have spent the last eight days on the Emerald Isle known as Ireland. The Boyfriend and I left The Dog in the very capable care of his father and boarded a plane. I cannot believe how much we managed to squeeze in to eight short days, but I am so excited to share it with all of you! We landed in Dublin at about 7am and took a bus to our hotel. Being exhausted and slightly confused we got off at the wrong stop and ended up having a lovely self led walking tour of Dublin dragging our luggage through the city streets at 8 in the morning. A charming man stopped us, told us we looked lost and then gave us directions to our hotel. We were lucky enough to get checked right into a room! So we got to shower and eat a full Irish breakfast. Afterwards The Boyfriend promptly fell asleep not to be woken by anything short of the world ending and so I headed out to tourist around Dublin on my own.
After a few wrong turns and sitting on an out of service hop on hop off bus tour I finally found my way to Trinity College. The campus is absolutely stunning and I would definitely recommend taking a tour should you find yourself there. The tours are run by students, are fairly inexpensive and give you a great idea of the history of the college as well as the wider history of Dublin.
But to be honest, I basically only went to Trinity College to see this. The long room. A bibliophile’s paradise. It smells like old books (aka like my version of heaven) and while you can’t peruse the collection you can stand and imagine the history and the people that have been given that privilege. To get to the Long Room you go through the exhibit on the Book of Kells, which while well protected behind glass you are in fact able to see. It really is breathtaking.
I felt like I was inside of every library I have dreamt of. Hogwarts, Beauty and the Beast, all the magical places I have imagined seemed to have stemmed from this room. Much exhausted from the time change I didn’t manage to get much more touristing in that first day.
The next day was a proper Irish day, and by that I mean it was rainy and windy and cloudy. But that didn’t deter us from seeing as much of the city as we could. We walked down O’Connell street, walked along the river and eventually found ourselves at the Guinness Brewery.
Now, the Guiness Brewery that you get to tour is no longer a working brewery. It is also a self guided tour. To be honest, it was not my favourite part of the trip. But it is worth the price of admission, because at the end of the tour you get a class on how to pour the perfect pint of Guiness and then can take that pint up to the rooftop bar that has stunning panoramic views of the city. I would recommend going just for the view!
The perfectly poured pints. I must say that mine and the Boyfriend’s turned out the best. Although I may be a touch biased.
Not the best view of the city behind me, but I tried! I may or may not be the world’s worst selfie-taker.
In keeping with the theme of the day our next stop was the Jameson distillery. Also, no longer a working distillery but a very cool and informative tour. The tours sell quickly so make sure to give yourself about an hours wait time. I volunteered to be one of eight whiskey tasters and tried the best selling Irish whiskey, Scotch and Bourbon on the market. It was a toss up between the Irish whiskey and the Scotch for me, although I may have been biased by my previous trip to Scotland!
To add a little culture to our day we headed over to St. Patrick’s cathedral.
And finished the day at The Brazen Head. Which claims to be Ireland’s oldest pub, although I saw a couple of pub’s making the same claim! The beer was good and so was the food and there is a definite feel to the place, you can just tell that those walls have seen a lot. All in all Dublin was a lot of fun. My best piece of advice on Dublin however is to give yourself a day without plans to just wander the city. Near the end of our trip, too exhausted to do much we decided to just head out without a plan. We found lots of amazing little shops and side streets we never would have found if we had stuck to the tourist routes. We had beer and whiskey at a craft beer bar, found a great shop to buy some whiskey at and just wandered down cobble stoned streets. It was one of my favourite parts of the trip! Next post will be all about our day trip to Galway!