Dublin, Ireland is a city of mystique, its perpetually cool and shrouded in mist. It’s easy to imagine the fairies of Gaelic lore peeking around the edges of castles. It’s also a town of booze and local music. Honey, I’m home!
We flew in to the airport on a budget airline (translated they suck you in with a low fare then charge you out the ass to check a bag, carry one on, and even to pick a seat ?) and checked into the Clarion Hotel. It was a nice mid-range hotel in a great location. We could walk to Temple Bar and the National Gallery. Yes- walking to the bar is important to me.
Sidenote- I could not get enough of the art galleries in Europe. Every gallery had priceless works of art that are regularly studied in schools across the world. The National Gallery in Dublin was no exception.
In Dublin proper, every block holds a new treasure, the summer is gorgeous, and here are some of my favorite things I did.
1. The Old Jameson Distillery- Visit one of Europe’s oldest distilleries, and learn how famous Jameson Irish Whiskey is made. It’s a fun trip through, filled with history and gorgeous stone work. Best part of the tour is free shots! After the tour, they offer a chance to not only taste the whiskey you’ve been hearing all about, but a few lucky people will be able to compare Irish, American, Canadian, and Scotch Whiskey. It’s the best kind of test- start studying! ????
2. Guinness Factory- I don’t love Guinness, and probably wouldn’t order it at home, but I loved the Guinness factory. Your “ticket” is a round plastic chip with a bit of the beer inside it. It’s part of the process that isn’t good for drinking, so they literally have re-purposed their waste into something else. I thought that was so cool. After going through the brewery, we headed up to the Skybar. It lived up to its name with the best views in Dublin. It’s almost 360 degrees of Dublin with bartenders waiting to teach you pour the perfect pint. They even give you a certificate at the end! Naturally, I needed a lot of practice….
3. Temple Bar District- this is one of the heaviest tourist areas of the city, but there is a good reason. There are many bars, each one of them playing live music and have a raucous time- whether its 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning. Do a pub crawl and check out as many as you can stumble to and still make it home. (See, this is why you stay within walking distance)
4. Trinity College- One of the oldest and most beautiful colleges in Europe. The architecture is fantastic, and located with the hallowed walls is the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript believed to be created around 800 AD and describes the Four Gospels of the Bible. The book is small and the work is so intricate its hard to imagine that someone created it without computers, machines, or electric lights.
Dubliners are a wonderfully humorous people who love to laugh, Tell jokes, and drink. Their accents are adorable- I could listen to them all day.
Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle with lush greenery everywhere. However, it is often cool and damp, even in the summer. Bring a wrap or jacket with you just in case….