Dublin Travel Blog› entry 18 of 19 › view all entries
July 29th, 2007 – by: agarfrerick
We woke up pretty early, had our typical hostel breakfast (toast & cereal), and headed out to explore the city. The first thing we did was go see Trinity College. The campus was very beautiful, and is the biggest college in the whole nation (about 15,000 - almost as big as Tech!). We had a nice guided tour there by an energetic grad student with a very tight fitting shirt, low cut jeans, and stylish sunglasses. Before you get your hopes up, it was a dude. But he knew a lot and it was a fun tour. We then got to go into the old library and see the Book of Kells (a famous medieval illuminated manuscript). We then ventured on over to Christ Church Cathedral, which had a cool museum in the crypts.
That afternoon was probably my most favorite part of the whole weekend. We walked over to the old Jameson Distillery (famous Irish whiskey for those of you not so alcoholically inclined) ofor a tour. It was so much fun! Our tour guide was very funny, we got to taste free whiskey, and the gift shop was fun to look around in. I even bought and tasted some Irish whiskey fudge, much to my mouth's delight. We then grabbed a quick dinner at a kabob place so that we could make to our next destination- the musical pub crawl.
We had heard about the musical pub crawl while in the tourism office earlier in the day, and it looked like a lot of fun. We showed up at Gogartty's pub in the Temple Bar area around 7:30, where the pub crawl was to start. After a beer or so, a group of about 30 people, including us, other pub crawlers (of all ages), and our two musician leaders led us on. What a fun night! The two guys took us around to a few pubs (the ones the locals like), spending 30 minutes to an hour in each, and teaching us about traditional Irish music. One played violin, and the other played guitar and sang. They were so good! The Irish folk music is wonderful, and you can't help but "play the boot" (stomp your foot) while listening to it. It was very cool just sitting there jamming and drinking Guinness, which by the way, tastes so freakin good in Ireland! I was never a huge fan before, but the real thing in Ireland is just smooth, creamy goodness.
Saturday was our day to explore the countryside outside of the city of Dublin. We had booked one of those one-day bus tours, "Wild Wicklow" bus tours to be exact. The bus picked us up that morning, and off we were. It was a lot of fun; our driver was a funny Irish guy and the tour lasted all day from about 9:30 in the morning until about 5pm. It took us all the way down to the coast of Dunleary, into the mountains and lakes of Wicklow, small villages, and even the site of an ancient monestary.
The Guinness Storehouse, if you guessed correctly, is indeed the Disneyland of Ireland. The building is huge, has seven floors, each with different multimedia exhibits to teach you all about Guinness.
That night, we just relaxed and hit up some of the pub scene around town. After enjoying a few beers, we headed on back to the hostel for a good night's sleep. In the morning, it was off to the airport for our flight back to England. The extra hassle of traveling farther was definitely worth it, and Ireland is one of the most unique places in the world.
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