Ireland Adventures: Drinking and Castles In Dublin

by - Wednesday, June 01, 2016

At the rate I'm going here, I'll finish blogging about this Ireland trip by Christmas time. But seriously, it's summer and I just don't spend a lot of my free time at a computer, so apologies for the super delay between these posts. I'll try to be better about making time to write the rest of them.

Anyway, we're now on day three of the trip, which was our last day in Dublin, and also the day everyone else got to Ireland.

We sort of went on the trips in waves. Four of us flew over from DC together and landed Monday morning. Alex joined us Monday night. Erin and Hadass both got there on Wednesday, rounding out our group of seven.

I was excited about Wednesday because it was the first (and only) day that I would get to do a run in Dublin. I set my alarm nice and early and went to explore parts of the city I hadn't seen yet.

I ran along the river and then up O'Connell Street to the Garden of Remembrance, which is a memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives fighting for a free Ireland.


After a quick shower, Emily and I headed out for the morning to Kilmainham Gaol. This former Irish prison was one of the things on our list that we definitely wanted to see while we were in Dublin. When it was operational, it housed all the major Irish nationalist leaders, and it's where Britain executed many prisoners.


Unfortunately, after our nice long walk out to the prisoner, we were told by some very friendly guards that the prison was closed for a special event in the morning, and that all the afternoon tours were sold out. Apparently you had to buy tickets in advance (which Rick Steves did NOT mention in his guidebook, and we were pretty disappointed about that).

Me and Emily with our guidebooks. And Rick Steves letting us down.

So Emily and I strolled through some other parts of the city before meeting the rest of the group of the Guinness Factory.

I don't even like Guinness, but I feel like when you're Dublin, it's one of those things you have to do. And apparently Guinness knows it too because they charge you a ridiculous amount for a really, really stupid and waste of time tour, and the chance to get a free pint in the bar that offers views of the city.



I guess the views were kind of cool, and I did feel like if I hadn't gone, I would have felt like we missed out, but man, it's really not worth it.


After our disappointing Guinness tour, we grabbed some lunch at the pub before heading over to tour Dublin Castle and the Chester Beatty Library.

The library was actually super cool and was basically a museum of all these old religious documents. There were pages from several ancient Qurans and then a whole section on Judeo-Christian writings. I thought it was fascinating to see some of the Letters of Paul dating back to 180 AD. No pictures allowed though. Sorry.

The castle itself was pretty neat too, but it's not what I would have thought of as a traditional castle. As Hadass pointed out, there was no dungeon. It actually looked more like what you'd think of a royal palace to look like.


Lots of elegant rooms for living and dining.

And of course, a very fancy throne.


When we were there, there was a special display dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising and we got to see the original Proclamation of the Irish Republic signed by Thomas Clarke, James Connolly and others.


I actually thought that display was the coolest part of the whole tour. Otherwise the castle itself was only meh.

We finished up our last day in Dublin by touring the Jameson Distillery. This actually ended up being one of my favorite things we did on Wednesday. The tour was super informative and you got to do a whiskey tasting.


I'm not even that big of a whiskey fan, but even I could tell the difference between the different whiskeys we tasted. I obviously liked the Jameson the best because it was the smoothest. (Yes I'm sure we got really good Jameson and less awesome other whiskeys).


The tour also wrapped up with either whiskey on the rocks or whiskey gingers for everyone. We obviously picked the whiskey gingers and enjoyed hanging out in the distillery while we drank them.

Sipping our Jameson. #ProTip: When in Dublin, skip the Guinness brewery. Go straight to the Jameson distillery.

Then we relaxed the rest of the evening in a pub listening to some Irish music.

And that wrapped up our couple days in Dublin. On Thursday, we hopped the train for County Cork, but we'll cover that excellent day in the next update.

For now, here's the day three Snapchat:

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  1. Melissa4:47 AM

    The more I hear about people's recent trips to the Guinness brewery, the more I'm glad I went 8 years ago. You got a full size pint in the tower or with lunch, 2 half pints during the tour/tasting, and an AWESOME ticket - a plastic medallion that has a few drops of Guinness in it. It was about 10euro for the tour 8 years ago.

  2. Wow!!! Your tour was a million times more awesome! For 20 euro, we got the tiny tasting glass that I have a picture of and then a regular pint in the tower and that's it!

  3. Fred and Tina8:31 AM

    Very informative! You would think that Guinness would provide a better tour. :( Glad to see that Dublin was otherwise very cool! :)