Dublin: there is something intriguing about this city that made it a priority on our list of places to visit. Maybe its the history; its separtion from the United Kingdom, maybe its the Guinness, or maybe its just the Irish accent and the hope that you will come across a local who will say “top o’ the mornin’ to ya!”. A few weeks ago we spent a weekend in this fabulous city with Matt’s family and here are the events that followed…
This trip had been pencilled in the diary for many months, but being the cheap, last minute people that we are, our flights didn’t get booked until the week before… This meant that we had a 3:30am taxi ride from home and a 6:30am flight! On the plus side, we were in Dublin before 8am, which meant the two of us had a full day of exploring what Dublin had to offer.
We started with the 3 hour walking tour. Our guide was a local who was attending university in the city and he was a rugby fan so we had no problem liking him. He started by telling us about Ireland and Englands difficult past and how the fight for independence started. We saw Dublin Castle, Christchurch Cathedral, Temple Bar including the wall of fame, the Dublin needle and of course Trinity College. The tour concluded at St Stephen’s green with a captiviating story covering the final days in the quest for independence from the United Kingdom.
Next, it was time for some lunch at an authentic Irish Pub and our first official Pint of Guiness in Ireland! We then went to meet up with the family as they had just arrived in the city, and was followed by a quiet evening in our apartment catching up.
Sunday morning arrived and our first stop was Trinity College to see the Book of Kells – an illustrated manuscrpit gospel book in latin created by Celtic monks in approx 800AD. The library always displays two of the four volumes at a time; one showing a major illustration and the other showing a typical text page. After viewing the book you can visit the original Trinity College library from the 18th Century which houses over 200 000 of Ireland’s oldest books. Its absolutley breathtaking with ladders placed along every row enabling people to climb up and reach the books that are metres above the floor.
After spending the morning broadening our knowledge, it was time to expand our drinking skills with a tour of the Guinness Distillary! As you approach the building you can already smell the barley in the air! The main entrance to the distillary can boast that it has, and IS, the largest pint glass in the world, as the glass panels on every floor in the centre of the room are shaped to represent a pint glass. The tour covers 7 floors of the distiallary and begins with the process of growing the barley and then follows the creation process until you reach the 5th floor. Once you’ve reached this stage of the tour you can attend the Guinness Academy class where you learn how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness, and once mastered, you receive a certificate to show it!
The tour then contiues until you reach the top floor, at the galaxy bar which has floor to ceiling windows to provide a 360 degree panaramic view across Dublin. After having a drink here, it was time to head to our next destination and in our “sensible” state of minds decided a horse and carriage ride was the best way to get there. 20 minutes later, our horse pulled up out the front of the Temple Bar where the drinking continued (this time we settled for Irish Whisky). We definitely couldn’t think of a better way to spend our last night together – before we all parted to our homes on different sides of the world – then drinking in Dublin’s most iconic bar. Of course, after all the drinking, the munchies got the better of us, and we ended up across the road at a restuarant called ‘From Rome to Mexico’. Not the most obvious choice for an Irish meal, but a fantastic one nethertheless.
The next morning, after breakfast, it was time to bid farewell! Everyone did well to hold the tears back at Dublin Airport and before we knew it, we were on our plane back to London and already planning our next adventure.