I literally have no excuses for why it has taken me almost 6 months to write this. I’ve just been doing other things!
The last time I was in Dublin was my first year here in Spain, during Christmas time. We were naïve and didn’t realize that everything closes during December 24th-26th in Europe. Of course our time in Dublin were those exact days, and in the end we didn’t see much site-wise but we did get a great tour of the bars there! So when my boyfriend wanted to go to Dublin for a weekend, I was super excited to actually experience Dublin! Unfortunately we really only had 2.5 days to explore.
Of course our trip started off with a hiccup…Ryanair “couldn’t” find us an airplane to take us to Dublin. So our flight was delayed 7 hours, which got us arriving around 1 AM to Dublin. BUT Ryanair actually stepped up and gave everyone a 10 euro voucher to eat…however we spent that on pints of beer. HA!
We arrived at our Airbnb, literally we chose it as a place to sleep, and started making our game plan. Since it was Cris’ first time in Ireland, and let’s be real my first time as well, we wanted to hit everything we could. I was even hoping for a street sighting of Bono from U2…but alas it didn’t happen. The major places to see in Ireland are of course alcohol related: The Guinness Brewery, the Old Jameson Distillery, and of course the Temple Bar.
We started our tour out at the Kilmainham Gaol which use to be the prison that held all of the political and religious prisoners back in the 1800’s and 1900’s. It’s more famous during the time when Ireland was trying to separate from England’s rule. At the beginning it was more of a transfer prison for those who were going to be sent to Australia. Remember, Australia was originally the “deserted, waste land” that prisoners from the United Kingdom were sent. I have to admit that my knowledge of Irish history is not so great, but the Gaol has a great museum. You can learn not only about important political prisoners, but also the history of the Ireland during the revolutions. Click here for a link to the little flyer from the Gaol, it explains the history very well.
After we finished our tour, we quickly caught the bus to the Guinness Brewery. Its a little outside the city-center, but easy to find because literally everyone in the street is walking to the same spot. I have to say that the people who designed the renovation did an amazing job. Inside the brewery is the shape of a pint cup!
Once you get your pass to enter, you are basically free to explore the whole place. Warning: It’s ALWAYS crowded, so be prepared to wait. Some of the activities you can do are: learn how to pour your own pint of Guinness, do a tasting of the different Guinness brews, and hang out at the Skydeck that gives you a 360 degree view of Dublin.
The next stop on our list was Trinity College and its library that houses the Book of Kells. First off, this is the most beautiful library I have ever seen. But first you go through and see the Book of Kells. Now there are 4 of these books, each is a handwritten and drawn and contains the 4 gospels. What makes them so famous is that they are the only 4 books that contain a combination of classic Christian drawings with those of the Celtic. Of course you can’t take pictures of the manuscipts, but in the library you can see two of the four books. One of the more interesting things I read was how the monks who did a lot of these works would sometimes take editing into their own hands. That means that sometimes the monks would change a story or take away parts that they felt were “boring.”
When you finish with the Book of Kells, you then walk into the Library. I had no words. It is beautiful. It’s the largest library in all of Ireland, and is the only one that is legally required to receive and published material from the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom for free. THAT MEANS SO MANY BOOKS. It is also home to the last remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamations of the Republic.
Of course a trip to Dublin wouldn’t be complete without a night in the Temple Bar area. Like I mentioned in my first blog post about Dublin, the Temple Bar area is where the musicians and hippies use to hang out. Now its more of a music scene and at least one bar has live music every night. We of course spent time the Temple Bar, the bar, and enjoyed some Irish beers. I had to take advantage of being outside of Spain and having access to more American food and was able to indulge in some WINGS. Now normally I don’t like spicy, hot wings, but these ones were exactly what I needed. One of my favorite stops that night, was checking out a bar that use to be a church. Yes, I’m not making a mistake, it was literally a church converted into a bar.
Our final stop before we headed back to Malaga was the Old Jameson Distillery. Now of course we were super touristy and got tickets for the first tour at 10 AM on Sunday. Woof, now I know that probably even some Irish wouldn’t do that. Distilling whisky is a very interesting process, it’s all about getting the right groupings of ingredients are the right temperature at the right time. A part of the tour was to do a whisky tasting. Which was the last thing I wanted on a Sunday morning.
It was one of the fastest trips, I’ve been on. However, I was finally able to experience all of Dublin! I can’t wait for the next opportunity to explore more of Ireland. Up next: the May puente in Jaen!