Dublin, Ireland

[ 0 ] May 20, 2011 |

Arriving in Ireland we were greeted by 40 degree weather, 20 mph winds, and a touch of rain.  Exiting the plane and entering the boarding area at Dublin Airport, Alison and I pulled out every outerwear piece of clothing we had with us and promptly “layered up”.

We got a steal of deal on our Hotel – 30 euros a night with a “full Irish breakfast included” – can’t beat that.  Arriving at 7:30 am, they let us check in and we made our way to check out this so-called Irish breakfast.  Irish ham, a hash brown, porridge (aka oatmeal), egg to order, sausage links, grilled tomato, toast, and the most curious – black and white pudding.  Black and white pudding is a peculiar Irish oddity.  Firstly, it doesn’t resemble pudding, as we know it in the slightest.  It more or less looks like some kind of “herbed-up” sausage link cut short-wise.  Testing the waters, Alison didn’t care for it much but I rather enjoyed it.  Later we realized that white pudding was basically herbs with pork scraps made into patties while black pudding was the same but with congealed blood instead of the pork scraps.  Yum.  Not trying that one again.  Overall the Russell Court Hotel got a B+ in our book, and an A+ if you factor in the value.  But you can’t just stay in your hotel forever so off to Dublin we go.

As far as Ireland goes, the majority of the items on our “to see” list aren’t in Dublin (Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Stone, Newgrange, etc.) but since we are here might as well hit up the tourist destinations.

Stop 1 – Guinness Brewery, B+

The Guinness Gate

Given that the brewery is the most popular tourist destination in all of Ireland, they did a great job for a brewery tour.  Started in 1759, Guinness is one of the oldest and certainly most popular brewers in world thanks in part to the marketing genius that popularized the beverage to a larger world audience starting the 50’s.  Making our way through their various advertising campaigns (which was an entire floor in their tour) was certainly very interesting.  Apparently Walt Disney tried to poach their marketing staff at one point.  We sat inside the world’s largest pint glass.  I was instructed how to pour the perfect pint.  The 8th floor 360 degree observation tower was the capstone of our experience.  It is the tallest observation point in all of Dublin and certainly held some breath taking views of the city – all the way to the ocean.

Stop 2 – St Stephens Green, B-

St Stephens Green

Our hotel just so happened to be right off the corner of Dublin’s most famous and notorious park – St. Stephens Green.  It was sectioned off in 1664 and landscaped into its current state in the mid 1850’s.  Basically a beautiful place where we couldn’t resist taking part in the many picnics going on all around us – so we bought some bread and sandwiches, made our way to the green and had a bite.

Stop 3 – Trinity College, C+

Trinity College

Founded in 1592, its Ireland’s oldest university and it has a really pretty campus.  And while the girls practicing cricket in the main green was pretty entertaining to watch, my favorite part had to be the amazingly old and gnarly trees.

Stop 4 – Temple Bar District, A

Temple Bar & Fleet Street

Our brief stop over in Dublin would not be complete with out a stop to experience some good ole’ Irish food and song.  The Temple Bar district didn’t disappoint us.  While insanely touristy, Temple Bar Street and Fleet Street were teeming with traditional Irish Pubs all spewing Irish smells and tunes from their windows and doorways.  Not to be picky we ducted into the first one we saw, cozied into a booth, ordered up a dozen oysters on the half shell and some shepherd’s pie, and enjoyed the Irish folk tunes for the next couple hours – very fun evening.

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Category: Destinations, Ireland, Pat's Blog

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