November 29, 2012
We woke up on our last full day in Ireland with many things to see. The first on our list was the Guinness Storehouse. Because you can't come to Dublin and not go to Guinness, right? We had considered taking the bus, but ended up deciding to walk. While it was close to 3 km from our hotel, we thought it would be a good opportunity to see a good bit of Dublin.
|The Ha'Penny Bridge.|
We went to Guinness early to try to avoid some of the crowds. It was pretty quiet, so we went through the self-guided tour at our own pace. There are seven floors to navigate, and the shape of the interior is a pint glass.
When you come in at the bottom, you can view the 9,000 year contract signed by Arthur Guinness for the land in 1759.
|The 9,000 year contract.|
|Waterfall near the bottom of the tour.|
A 12 foot tall, carved wooden pint of Guinness. They showed a video of it being hand carved.
However, I can't imagine not continuing up to the Gravity Bar to enjoy your pint up there. The view alone is worth the price of your ticket. Dublin doesn't have a lot of especially tall buildings, so the bar on the 7th floor offers amazing 360 views of the city. There are floor to ceiling windows that you can sit in front of while enjoying your pint. There are even brief notes on the windows to let you know what you're looking out at in that direction.
|The Gravity Bar at Guinness.|
|Our view of Dublin from the Gravity Bar.|
|These were delicious at 10:30am before we had any food. :)|
|You can see a gorgeous view of the Wicklow mountains beyond the city.|
From Guinness, we walked back across the River Liffey to The Old Jameson Distillery.
We grabbed tickets for the next tour. It is much more structured than the Guinness tour, and you stay with a guide the whole time.
They do ask for whiskey tasting volunteers, who get to sample an American whiskey (Jack Daniels) and a scotch (if I remember correctly, I think they had Johnnie Walker) along with the Jameson. I'm not really a whiskey drinker, so I did not volunteer. But those who are should definitely volunteer at the beginning of the tour.
For those of us who were not tasters, we enjoyed some Jameson while watching the tasting. We could choose either straight Jameson or Jameson mixed with gingerale and lime. I went with the mixed drink, which was actually really tasty. I would drink it again.
By the time we finished up at Jameson, it was going on 2pm and we still hadn't eaten anything (though we'd now had pints of Guinness and shots of Jameson). We stopped into a coffee shop for sandwiches. The server kept coming back to me and telling me they were out of ingredients for my sandwich, and was I okay with substituting something else? By about the third time, I just wanted to tell them to make me anything, but bring it before I pass out from hunger.
Feeling happier after eating, we walked down to Christ Church Cathedral, founded in 1028. We had several more places on the list to see before dark, but next time we're in Dublin, it might be interesting to tour the inside, particularly the medieval crypt.
We decided to take a detour to St. Patrick's Cathedral on the walk over to Trinity College. This is another beautiful church, founded in 1191.
|"Near here is the reputed site of the well where St. Patrick baptised many of the local inhabitants in the fifth century A.D."|
We walked through Temple Bar over to Trinity College. By this time, it was starting to get dark, but we were able to walk around the courtyard.
|Campanile at Trinity College.|
I would love to see the Book of Kells the next time. There are so many things to see in Dublin. We tried to pack in as much as we could, but there are definitely many wonderful things that I want to go back and see. I feel the same way about Ireland in general.
By the time we finished up walking around Trinity, we walked back toward the hotel to drop off our purchases and decide where to have dinner.
We ended up walking less than a block from our hotel to The Parnell Heritage Pub and Grill. From what I understand, there has been a license on this site since the 1780's, though it appears to have changed hands a number of times, and has obviously been renovated significantly. Apparently Charles Stewart Parnell frequented the establishment here.
After dinner, we did a little shopping. We stopped into another pub, Madigans, to enjoy a few more pints with traditional music on our last night in Dublin. I had actually discovered half pints by this point, which worked well, as I drink about 1/2 a pint for every pint the hubs downs.
This just about winds up our Ireland trip. I have a couple of more photos of the next morning, but this post is long enough, so I will create one more.