I finally took my first trip out of England since my arrival. Based on the title, you've probably already guessed Ireland, and if you follow me on social media, you'll already know I went to Dublin. This is just an update on that trip + my thoughts on the city.
So before we get to the most exciting part (drinking Guinness beer), let's talk about travel. I will 100 percent recommend that you never take a flight at 10:30 at night and booking an Airbnb that's not at all near the place you want to go. The flight was very cheap, so that wasn't a problem, but arriving so late left us with little transportation options to get to our Airbnb which was in the "city centre" but was really a bus and train ride away. We spend an hour wandering around in the middle of the night looking for this guy's place while he didn't respond to our emails on the best way to get there. It was a relief to finally find the location at 2:00 a.m. Other than the issue of finding the place, it was a very nice apartment and we had the whole place to ourselves.
In my opinion, the most exciting/interesting part of our entire weekend was our visit to the Guinness Storehouse where Arthur Guinness first began brewing his famous stout. I was particularly excited because it was the first brewery tour that I would be allowed to drink. I had high hopes for the experience seeing as both times I toured the Budweiser brewery in St. Louis were very enjoyable, but I was a little disappointed that this was a self-guided tour. I much prefer tours that are led by guides because I feel like you can get in more information and learn some fun facts that they might not share within the written statements along the walls. Like all breweries, the tour mainly took you through the process of brewing Guinness and all the ingredients they use. It's a very fascinating process, even for someone who doesn't like beer very much.
I think everyone can agree that the tasting is the best part of brewery tours. Who can say no to a free pint of beer? Well, I could, but I still decided to test out some of the famous brew.
Out of the now three beers I've tried in my life, I can say with confidence that this one is the best. There's an initial sweetness which makes me think I could in fact drink an entire pint, but then there's a bitterness at the back of your tongue which is what I hate about beers. The tasting room is all-white and you stand around these tables where you're supposed to inhale the fumes coming out of the center and then taste your beer. It apparently enhances the experience, but I personally didn't notice a difference from when I was drinking this in the tasting room and drinking a pint at the top of Dublin basically.
This is what I mean by the top of Dublin. The final room where you can receive your free pint is on the seventh floor of the building and gives you almost 360 degree views of the city. This was the only moment when I found Dublin to be rather beautiful.
The lasses I traveled with. (From left: Me (duh), Sam, Maddie, Sarah and Miranda)
Another section of the brewery that I really enjoyed was the advertising section. Advertising has so much to do with promoting a business and a product and it's an area that I really want to learn more about as it seems very beneficial for what I want to do in the future.
Hands down the best part of the whole experience was getting to pour my own pint of Guinness. I think that I'd make a pretty decent bartender... at least for pouring beer.
While beer made up a large chunk of our Irish experience, we also visited a couple of historical locations in Dublin, one of them being St. Patrick's Cathedral.
No cathedral is complete without several stained glass windows.
Markers from some of the first Christian burials. St. Patrick's Cathedral has six out of eight of these grave markers.
Another historical location we visited was Dublin Castle. the home of the viceroys that served under the English king.
The castle is both a historical sight and home to the state departments. There used to be tax offices above the castle wall. Fun fact for you: Bram Stoker used to work in those tax offices.
Another stop on our Irish tour was Trinity College, specifically the library and Book of Kells. I only glanced at the Book for a minute, but other people stood there staring forever at pages in a language that they could not read. I'm always confused by that.
Our last stop before heading to the airport was to walk around Temple Bar which is the busiest bar area in Dublin. It supposedly is quite crazy on the weekends, but we didn't stick around long enough to find out.
Overall, Dublin had some fun moments, but I don't think I would ever go back. It wasn't my favorite city that I've visited to be completely honest. I would've much rather seen the Cliffs of Mohar in the countryside or gone to Belfast instead to see the shipyard where Titanic was built because I'm a real nerd when it comes to history stuff like that.
I hope you enjoyed the update on my trip to Dublin! Prepare to experience some magical places with me this weekend.
Photos: My iPhone 6 because my camera died and can only charge with a specific adapter that is currently on its way to me.