Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It's been two months since I first mentioned Jonathan and I were going on a European vacation and one month since we got back! Sadly it almost seems like we never went since life has settled back into normalcy. That's still not an excuse for posting photos! I barely managed to post some from New York and finally sharing a recap of our visit to Dublin.

We left New York late Saturday night and had no trouble getting through getting security. Usually I'm pretty stressed in the airport because I'm thinking about all the things that could go wrong but this time was a breeze. We got to our gate no problem and boarded the plane. Only to sit there for TWO hours. The captain finally got on the intercom to say it was for mechanical reasons! Isn't that what everyone wants to here right before takeoff. Sheesh. 

Once we landed in Dublin, gathered our luggage and found a bus that was going into town. One of the employees even showed us where our hotel was on the map. We got off at our stop and had a short walk to our hotel. After we dropped our stuff off and showered we head straight over to the Guinness Storehouse.

The Storehouse contains a walking tour that showcases the history of Guinness and each step of the brewing process.

At this point we were pretty hungry so we had lunch. Irish food is heavy and it was perfect for the chilly afternoon. We figured it was also a good idea to eat before drinking!

Then came Jon's favorite part. FREE GUINNESS! Each person will get a free pint and we chose to drink ours in the 360 bar. The bar is circular and has windows all around so you get a view of the city from there. Guinness is not my favorite but it certainly is one of Jon's. I tried a tiny bit of mine and then gave him the rest. A couple of tourists also gave Jon their beers. They had ordered half pints but Jon couldn't bear to see that Guinness go to waste.

Once we were through we tried to visit St Patrick's Cathedral but it was already closed. Instead we took a nap (we took a red eye but neither of us slept well). Feeling refreshed we headed over to the Temple Bar area for drinks. Temple Bar is popular amongst tourist for its nightlife. I love that it (unlike the rest of Dublin) still has small and narrow cobbled streets that feel very European. We were too busy having fun to take photos but we did try some delicious drinks. Jonathan and I both laughed when the bartender tried to sell us on a craft beer by asking us if we had tried a Sierra Nevada! Jon politely replied that we were from there and had them all the time.

The day we woke up determined to jam pack our day full of sightseeing. We started the day by touring Kilmainham Gaol. Built in 1796 it was originally supposed to replace the old jail (which located right across the street). Its famous not only for the horrible living conditions the inmates were forced to endure but also because it housed a lot of political prisoners during the Irish fight for independence. Kilmainham is seen as a symbol of British oppression and is now considered to be an important site because some many Irish Nationalist leaders were incarcerated there. We took the tour offered and it proved to incredibly interesting and really gave us a crash course in Irish history. Both of us say it was our favorite part of our entire trip.

After the tour we walked over to the Old Jameson Distillery. You take a guided tour throughout the building which used to be the old distillery (hence the name). They save the best of last- free Jameson! You can try it straight (the traditional Irish way) or with ginger ale and lime. Jon chose to emulate the Irish and I opted to try it with ginger ale.

Once we were done we started to walk back to our house but decided to stop at Dublin Castle. Dublin Castle is has been around in some way since the 1200's. Now its a government center and houses the state rooms. The Irish President is inaugurated there and underneath the building you can see ruins of the old turrets. Our tour guide was also really knowledgeable about Irish history and their path to independence. It was sort of the reoccurring theme of the day.

At this point we were a little tired and hungry but as we made our back to our hotel we decided to stop at St. Patrick's Cathedral since we arrived too late the night prior. The location of the church was determined by the well where St. Patrick is thought to have baptized the Irish a looooong time ago.

Now were were really tired and hungry so we went to our hotel to rest. After a quick nap we were STARVING. Our concierge recommend the The Brazen Head, Dublin's oldest pub. We felt much better after a hearty dinner and some drinks.

After a long day of sightseeing we were pretty wiped out. We went back to our hotel to rest and slept through the night. We had plans to get up bright and early to do some more sightseeing but we didn't. We were on vacation and vacation means sleeping in! We lounged around in the morning and grabbed lunch at Leo Burdock's which is the oldest fish and chip shop in Dublin.

And then it was airport time. It was busy couple of days but we felt like we did a ton! As sad as we were to have leave Dublin (and have part of trip be over) we were SUPER excited to go to Munich!

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