Last month I met my best friend Chelsea for a weekend in Dublin! Chelsea and her parents were visiting family in the North of Ireland the week before and were driving down to Dublin to take in some sights and see the city.
When I found out, I thought I would test my luck and see if there were any flights out of Norway that would work with those days. I hadn’t seen Chelsea in months and this is the closest we had been in a long time. I know, Ireland to Norway doesn’t seem close at all. But it’s so much harder when you’re done school and all your friends move away to live in different cities and countries. Plus, a great excuse to do a little traveling though 🙂
The first thing I noticed when I landed was how pleasant the people were! SO friendly. I had a 20 minute conversation with the immigration officer (not because I was having difficulty) because he wanted to talk about Canada. Then when I was short a couple Euros for the bus into the city, the bus driver covered for me. Great first impression.
Once I got into the city I met Chelsea and her parents at their cute boutique hotel. Chelsea and I decided we would try our first time at a hostel together, a few minutes away. So after we met them, we checked into our hostel. Neither of us have ever been to one, so we didn’t know what to expect. But the hostel was clean, the people were friendly and there wasn’t anything to complain about. (Until I got my favorite hat stolen on day 2, but I guess that’s my fault 😛 )
Each day we covered a lot of ground. Dublin is such a great city and you can pretty much walk everywhere, so that’s what we did. We did something like over 10 km each day, which was pretty insane.
Below are a few of the things we experienced and saw during our time in Dublin!
Dublin Castle was the very first thing we did on this trip. It is a working Irish Government building, but there are also tours.
Most of the rooms have been restored and have kept most of the original detailing in tact.
Not much else to say – we had our fun.
Now, when you’re in Dublin for the first time I think it’s a rule that you have to go to the Guinness Storehouse.
We did the tour, which lasted about an hour or so. It goes through the entire process of how they make their beer. The ingredients, how they make their barrels to store them in (seen below) and more.
At the end of the tour, you get a complimentary Guinness! I’ve tried Guinness before and thought it was ok, but I don’t know if it was because I was super hungry or the beer was just amazing – because I really enjoyed it.
Random fact: They say Guinness tastes different if you’re not in Dublin and I’d agree now that I know what ‘real’ Guinness tastes like. Apparently, the biggest factor is the temperature. At the Storehouse and in most pubs in Dublin, they keep their Guinness at 5-7 degrees C. If the temperature is any higher or any lower, it will alter the taste. And because most pubs in North America and elsewhere don’t follow this ‘rule’, the Guinness ultimately tastes different. Pretty cool. Below you can see us having our pints and Chelsea’s dad, Rob, having a little spill 🙂 .
Old Jameson Distillery
Another must-see if you’re in Dublin is the Old Jameson Whiskey Distillery. There’s a type of whiskey that you can only buy at this distillery, which the Campbell’s decided to try and take home.
Whiskey. Not my cup of tea.
We skipped the tour (it was completely booked) and went straight to the Whiskey Tasting. As you can see below, I wasn’t the biggest fan :). But a good experience in trying to taste the different ‘notes’ in the whiskey. One tasted like straight pepper. That’s probably the one I’m trying in the picture.
Trinity College and The Book of Kells
Trinity College. I can only imagine what it would be like going to school there everyday.
And on the Trinity campus is the the Book of Kells. For those that aren’t familiar with the Book of Kells, it is a manuscript that contains the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It is believed to be created in c. 800. It contains lavish artwork with vivid color, which I thought was beautiful!
We weren’t allowed to take photographs of the book itself, but the colors are still so vibrant to this day, which is pretty amazing considering they had to use charcoal and dried leaves etc. for the color. Also – they didn’t use paper, as this wasn’t invented yet. The pages are actually made out of shaped and stretched cowhide (that has had the hair removed). Looking at them, I wouldn’t have guessed that. They had to use something like 180 calfs for the pages. That made me squirm a little, sorry if it did the same to you!
Have you been to Dublin before? What was your favorite place or experience? I’d love to know for next time 🙂