One of the things on Matt’s bucket list was to drink a pint of Guinness in Ireland, so when Peter and I went to Dublin earlier in the year we decided that we would do that on his behalf …
Dublin – August 2017
Day 1 – August 25th
After a short flight, Peter & I landed in Dublin at the beginning of the August bank holiday weekend. We caught the coach from the airport, and got into Dublin quite late and set off to find our accommodation – we were staying at Dorset Point, university accommodation open to non-students.
We walked out of the city centre, cases in tow, sat nav open on Peter’s phone – optimistically thinking we would find our accommodation quite quickly. Sadly, as is the way of things sometimes, the sat nav took us the wrong way! After walking down a fairly lengthy street we noticed that the numbers which had been in the hundreds and steadily increasing were suddenly back down to single digits. I, of course, immediately assumed that we had been the victims of some internet fraud that had taken our money but sent bogus address details, Peter was a little bit more pragmatic and insisted that we simply walked the other way! As usual I had worried for nothing, and he was right. We finally got to our lodgings, checked in, and gratefully went to bed.
Day 2 – August 26th
The next morning we woke to beautiful sunshine, and went to a little cafe that we had noticed the previous evening for breakfast.
We decided that we would visit Trinity College today.
I was particularly keen to see the Book of Kells – an illuminated manuscript dating to c. 800 AD. It was just as beautiful as I had imagined, but sadly photography wasn’t allowed so I can’t share any images, but I’d definitely recommend a visit. After viewing the exhibit we went upstairs to see the Long Room, which was amazing.
We spent the rest of the day wandering around the centre of Dublin,
and finally ended up at a restaurant in Temple Bar for a delicious bowl of Irish Stew.
Day 3 – August 27th
We woke to another sunny day, definitely not what we usually expect for a bank holiday weekend! After breakfast we headed out to catch a tram to the Guinness Factory. We had pre-booked tickets so walked straight into the building, although to be honest the queue wasn’t too bad anyway.
Displayed in the centre of the floor, surrounded by gift shop stands, is a copy of the original lease negotiated by Arthur Guinness in 1759 – £45.00 a year for 9,000 years, with the added condition that all the water used was free!
The museum itself was better than I had anticipated, being more of an ‘experience’ than a museum. It starts with a massive water feature, highlighting just how important water is to Guinness, and takes you through each step of production – from growing the wheat right through to how Guinness is transported across the world. One room had a multi-media presentation, giving the perspectives of different people throughout the ages of Guinness – as you went up to each display the eyes of the person speaking in the picture would follow you around, as if it were an actual person speaking to you.
The bar on the second floor offered a tasting experience of three types of Guinness, but we wanted a pint so had to carry on a few more floors! We did stop by to watch a display of Irish dancing by the staff though, which was fantastic.
The third floor was all about the famous Guinness adverts, and we spent quite a long time reminiscing about some of the older ones.
Finally we got to the seventh floor and got our free pints of Guinness at the Gravity Bar. The bar was really full, but we were able to squeeze our way to a table near the window – despite my fear of heights. I decided that if we were to drink Matt’s pint of Guinness we needed to go where he would have gone, and of course he would have chosen to sit by the window to get the best view.
I even managed to walk all the way round the bar to make the most of the 360° view, probably due to the dutch courage given me after I had finished my pint!
I couldn’t help but think that Matt would have enjoyed his pint very much.
We ended the day back at Temple Bar, listening to live music in one of the many bars there.
Day 4 – August 28th
For our final day in Dublin we decided to take the train to visit Howth, a little fishing village about thirty minutes out of Dublin. It was very picturesque and well worth a visit.
We stood watching one of the fisherman checking his lobster pots for ages, and were rewarded when suddenly a seal popped up. I suspect this is a daily thing as the fisherman didn’t seem at all surprised, and promptly started feeding the seal the remains of the bait out of his bucket.
We took advantage of one of the many fish restaurants there and had a lovely lunch, but then sadly it was back to Dublin to collect our cases and head off to the airport.
We enjoyed our stay in Dublin, the people were friendly, the food was great, there were plenty of different things to see – definitely worth a visit.