Monday, July 8, 2013

Dublin

What fun – and in an unusual twist for us, we had absolutely amazing weather. In fact, Dublin experienced a tiny heat wave while we were there. It was so sunny that even I got a bit of sunburn. I never expected to get sunburned in Ireland.

So here’s my travelogue run down:

Friday:

  • Hop On/Hop Off (HOHO) bus passes: cheaper if you buy in advance and we had, and the passes are good for two days. You get narration about the sites you pass, either by the bus driver or by tape (we far preferred the bus driver narration) . 
  • James Joyce’s house: Walked there and didn’t feel at all interested in going inside. 
  • The Writers Museum: Well worth seeing and it covered James Joyce too. It’s in one of the Jamison’s former houses (I forget which one and the museum website doesn’t say) and although I majored in English as an undergraduate, I had either forgotten or never realized how many famous authors came from Ireland. In the first room, there’s a description that says something about the country being very small and not heavily populated yet it’s over-represented with such important, influential authors.
  • O’Neil’s Bar: We had lunch there, just sandwiches and potato salad, which was probably the best potato salad I've ever had in my life. 
  • Killmainham Gaol: If you ever go to Dublin, make this site a priority. We learned so much about the Irish struggle for independence and also a lot about ordinary living during the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s well worth the time and money. 


Water in our room;
the name amused me

Beautiful stairway at The Writers Museum
Happy Kent at lunch
Saturday:

  • Jamison Distillery tour (I'd link it but it will make you enter your birthday to show you're of age; you can Google it if you're interested in more information): We opted not to tour Guinness but figured we should at least do this one. Although no distillery operates there any more, they do a good job with the exhibits and information about how the distilling takes place. Bonus for me, I got selected to be one of the “tasters” at the end (the only woman I might add), which was a lot of fun.
  • The Bank: We didn’t have much time to grab lunch so we took the recommendation from our hotel and stopped here. The building is beautiful inside, which you can see on the website. As a side bonus, our bartender learned from us that what the Irish call rocket is what we call arugula. He was glad to know that because he said he gets asked all the time. 
  • Historic Walking Tour of Dublin: Oh my goodness, this was amazing. The tour filled in any gaps over what we’d learned at Killmainham. Our tour guide, Donal, is a PhD student at National University of Ireland (1930s Dublin, I asked) and was clearly passionate about the history and about sharing it. Our tour lasted half an hour longer than the website said it would and no one grumbled. 
  • Temple Bar: Well to be honest, we avoided Temple Bar on the advice of our first cabbie and the historical tour guide – except Donal did say on the one end of Temple Bar, we could find bars that weren’t tourist traps. So we had dinner at Porterhouse and I don’t think we saw any American tourists. 


Only woman and only American!

Loin of Bacon (Kent's dinner)

We ran out of time and weren’t able to see The Book of Kells (although we saw two reproductions, one at The Writers Museum and one at The Bank where we had lunch) and we couldn’t really tour all of Trinity as we’d hoped to. But we saw a lot and had a really wonderful time.


4 comments:

Jeanne said...

I love your smile, with the rest of the guys looking a bit skeptical.

kittiesx3 said...

Yeah the guy to my left looking all glum is British and was about as talkative as a stump. The one to my right is also British, but he was a lot of fun. His name is Derick and he was on holiday with his partner -- he was nice and didn't finish his three tasting cups so she got a sip of each. I, alas, didn't save any for Kent. Oops.

Harriet said...

I can't imagine going to Ireland for a weekend. I was there for two weeks and I didn't want to leave. But it looks like a marvelous time!

kittiesx3 said...

Well, let me be clear. We don't think we visited Ireland as a whole. We do consider Dublin to be checked off the list for the most part.