Mom and I arrived in Dublin on a late ferry from Wales. The first thing you notice when you arrive in Ireland is how open and friendly the people are. You may not understand everything they say, but it sure is fun trying.
With just a day-and-a-half in Dublin, we set out to conquer the sights (after a good Irish breakfast), beginning our circuit at Trinity College, a must-do in the city. We first took a tour of the campus with Niall, a very cute and congenial recent graduate and then popped in for a look at the storied Book of Kells, a beautifully illustrated Latin manuscript containing the 4 gospels of the new testament created by monks in the 8th century.
From there we walked through the Long Room, an amazing wood paneled, Harry Potter-looking library lined with amazing books and busts of some very smart, famous men, including Socrates, Plato and Shakespeare.
After that, we jumped on the Hop On/Off Bus for a tour of the city with a stop at Christchurch Cathedral where we got stuck due to a torrential downpour. This was no Irish drizzle, but serious heavens-opening-tropical-style rain, which as it turned out, caused flooding and closure of a hospital and a major department store in the city. Crazy!
In a break in the storm we managed to make a run for it to our Hop On bus, for a bit more sightseeing through steamy windows and then a very cool stop: The Guinness Storehouse museum. Don’t like Guinness? That’s okay, it’s still a good way to spend a couple of hours, with 5 floors of interactive displays on the history of the company, focused on how it’s been produced, distributed and marketed since its founding in 1759. The museum is housed within the huge Guinness complex in an old brick building that was once used as a storage house (hence the name), and has been updated to keep many of the original details whilst adding a modern elevator in the center that climbs up to each of the floors inside a giant Guinness glass-shaped structure.
At the end of the museum visit, everyone is invited to the top floor for a 360º view of Dublin and complimentary perfectly poured pint of Guinness.
We ended the day with a fabulous dinner at a place with a funny name: The Pig’s Ear, one of the restaurants that’s helping Dublin establish a serious food scene.
The next morning, we decided to have a leisurely day…walking around St. Stephen’s Green, having lunch in the city and then a traditional Irish cream tea (including scones with clotted cream – yum!) at the Westbury before we took a taxi to our rental car to begin a 5-day driving tour around the country.