As you may already know, my dad and I are on a trip to Ireland! We flew in yesterday, after several long flights from Calgary.
Today was our second and final day in Dublin. After arriving yesterday, tired and jet lagged we went to the Guinness Storehouse, where we visited the museum, and did some taste testing. I really enjoyed the brewery, but it was extremely crowded and really hard to get a good look at the museum because of this. The Guinness however was excellent, and we even got to pour our own pint! Normally I’m not a fan of any form of beer, but for once I actually enjoyed it; it tasted far better than any Guinness I’ve ever had in Canada!
After visiting the storehouse we went for dinner and checked out a few pubs(which were packed to the brim), then proceeded to bed as both of use were quite tired. I didn’t get much sleep since the streets were so loud. It was explained to us that since the next day (Good Friday), was a “dry day”, (day without alcohol), people would party really hard the night before, which was definitely true.
Today was a longer day, first we strolled around a bit before finding a restaurant for breakfast and then afterwards we proceeded to Kilmainham Gaol. If you ever visit here book in advance! We didn’t know this, but were really lucky, as there were only 6 tickets left for a tour later in the day!
Next we went to Trinity College and on a student led tour. Our tour guide was extremely funny and charming! I had a really good time listening to him talk about the university, and hearing him joke about the university’s history! After our tour we waited in a really long queue to see the Book of Kells, an ancient copy of the Gospels. I didn’t really know much about the book, and the building was quite crowded, so I did not find that part of Trinity College too interesting. After seeing the Book of Kells you can enter the old library, which feels like something out of Hogwarts with its dark wood shelves, and old manuscripts. Overall Trinity College was a really fun visit and definitely worth it!
We spent the next few hours walking through Dublin, and taking in the Irish atmosphere. The weather was really weird, it was raining but not really, it felt more like mist. We also visited St. Stephan’s Green, which was full of blooming flowers and greenery! I found the park really nice, it was a good way to break up our stroll through the city. Before we leave Dublin tomorrow I’m going to try to come for a run here, in order to see the park before most people get up.
Afterwards, we made our way back to Kilmainham Gaol, where we took a guided tour. The tour led us briefly through the Gaol, giving us its interesting history. It was really enlightening to learn about how the Gaol changed the course of Ireland’s independence, and also explained how famine affected Ireland’s population. During the Great Famine in the 1800’s you could be sent to jail for a week just for stealing a potato! And they didn’t discriminate by age, 5 year olds were also imprisoned due to food theft. While the tour was really short, I did find it interesting, and our tour guide really knew his facts!
We spent the rest of the day walking around, and seeing the various unique shops, pubs and restaurants that line the streets.. I really enjoyed our short stay in Dublin and hope to come back again! The locals here are extremely friendly, especially the cab drivers. They seem to really enjoy telling visitors about their city, and taking a cab was almost like getting a short tour. Tomorrow we’re headed off on day 1 of the road trip, through the area where my family’s ancestors supposedly come from, which surrounds the town of Tullamore.
Also, our Airbnb has been great! The owner is super responsive, and I really love the location of the apartment! Link to our Airbnb
More to come tomorrow,