Finally I made it to the land of my heritage. Well part of it at least. Ireland had been the one place I had wanted to go since I was a young boy and it didn't dissappoint. Once there, the first thing to do was find the hostel, Jacob's Inn, which was the start of an adventure. I think my friends and I saw the majority of the city before we found it. It is located near the bus station, which ended up being a good thing when we needed the bus, but it is a little out of the way. I wouldn't necessarily recommend the hostel. It was clean and the people were friendly enough, but just nothing special, even though the second time we stayed there we met some great people from France, Denmark, and Germany.
Dublin itself is a great city. The hustle and bustle of the city is due to new growth and the majority of the Irish population living there.
As expected, we had our fair share of rain and even a little sun. We went to Trinity College, which is beautiful, but I wasn't too impressed with the Book of Kells
. I appreciate the history and beauty of it, but I like the idea of it more than the actual artifact. From there we walked to Dublin
Castle which we couldn't get in because they were taping a show, so I can't really give too much info on that. What I can say is they have some creative storefronts on the walk over. They had an entire shop dedicated to condoms and a Kebab place with the most created name ever, Abrakebabra. From there we found ourselves in a nondescript pub, The Pale.
We were the first ones there at about noon and ended up staying and drinking our fair share of Guinness as the locals showed up to watch Gaelic Football, a sport I still don't quite get, but it looks interesting. I would recommend going there, I think it may be due to the level of intoxication I got there, but I would go back.
On to the Guinness factory. It was interesting to find out that Guinness has a 9000 year lease on the land, which they spend 5 pounds a year to keep. The tour didn't wind through areas where you could watch the beer actually being made, but the final leg, at the Gravity Bar, was worth the trip. The Gravity Bar is at the top of the structure and the best view of Dublin. It's a 360 degree view of the city and the place to get the best pint of Guinness.
The other part of Dublin that I would recommend is the Temple Bar area, you can see the most interesting people in Dublin there. My friends and I met some locals at Temple Bar and ended up having drinks bought for us and group hugging weary travelers with the nicest people we met on our tour. It was a fitting end to a great city.