Dublin – September 8th, 2014

After a night of rest, our first stop: Guinness Storehouse! We embarked on our journey to the storehouse first thing on Monday morning. We decided to walk alongside the River Liffey to get a bit more familiar with the city. The highlight of the walk was the Four Courts, Ireland’s main court building which included the Supreme Court, High Court, and Circuit Court. After a thirty minute walk, we finally made it to the Guinness Storehouse! The building is surrounded by a glass atrium that is shaped in the form of a pint of Guinness. The self-guided tour was rich with history, effectively introducing us to Sir Arthur Guinness and the process for crafting Guinness. It is evident that Guinness was ahead of its in time in terms of its marketing, production, and distribution. After making our way through a variety of self-guided exhibits, I was incredibly thirsty for a pint! Luckily for me, Kelsey purchased tickets to the exclusive Connoisseur Experience! I highly recommend this to anyone visiting the Storehouse! We were escorted to a hidden exclusive bar with another couple for our exclusive Guinness tasting! It was truly amazing – the decor, the lighting, and all of the Guinness! We tried four different kinds of Guinness and even got to pour our first pints ever, for which we received special certificates! After the exclusive bar, we then went up to the Gravity Bar which offered us with a full view of the Dublin skyline. The visuals were breathtaking.

After the Storehouse, we walked back to the center of the city, passing by a few churches (Christchurch, Dublinia) on our way to Grafton Street. Grafton is Dublin’s premiere shopping street filled with luxury shops, street performers, and tourists. We walked through a few of the stores before making it to St. Stephens Green at the end of the street. The Green is a public park in Dublin, where we relaxed for a little bit and engaged in people watching.

In the evening, we walked down O’Connell Street on the North Side, taking inventory of all of the shops and all of monuments on the Island in the middle of the street. The most awe-inspiring was the Spire. It is a needle-shaped stainless steel metal “statue” that extends 394 feet in the air, commonly known to locals as “the erection at the intersection” and “stiffy at the Liffey.” The General Post Office was right alongside the Spire and was similarly magnificent in its Georgian architecture with its majestic columns and portico. We spent the rest of Monday evening walking throughout Dublin, briefly entering Trinity College to take in its grounds. We walked throughout Dame Street, and eventually had dinner at a wonderful tapa’s place called Salamanca. After dinner, we headed over to the Palace Bar, one of Ireland’s premier literary pubs! This was a traditional bar with an authentic Irish feel. The walls were adorned with photographs of famous Irish authors, and it was a cozy pub to sit, relax, and enjoy a pint of Guinness to close out our Monday evening!

The Four Courts

The Four Courts

Guinness Brewery at St. James Gate

Guinness Brewery at St. James Gate

Guinness: more than your typical beer

Guinness: more than your typical beer

There's poetry in a pint of Guinness

There’s poetry in a pint of Guinness

The exclusive Connoisseur Experience Bar!

The exclusive Connoisseur Experience Bar!

A perfect pour!

A perfect pour!

The Spire

The Spire

The famous Molly Malone - affectionately known as "tart with the cart."

The famous Molly Malone – affectionately known as “tart with the cart.”

A Dublin tradition: a nightcap of Guinness

A Dublin tradition: a nightcap of Guinness

Advertisements

Dublin – September 7th, 2014

After a full day of travel, we arrived in Dublin on Sunday! My first ever European adventure! This city is truly unique and beautiful and is a great introduction to Europe. The city is bisected by the River Liffey and there are beautiful walking bridges connecting the North and South Sides of the city. Our apartment is on the North Side of the River, directly across from the Ha’Penny Bridge. Mostly everything is concentrated in the South Side (Temple Bar, St. Stephens Green, Trinity College, and Grafton Street, among others), however as our apartment is directly across from one of the walking bridges, the location is very central. The streets have a very European feel – narrow sidewalks with cobblestone streets. The feel of this city is different from any other city I have ever been to – probably because this is my first time stepping foot in Europe! The architecture in the city is bold and classic.

Upon our arrival on Sunday, we ventured out to the Temple Bar Area to get acclimated to the city! We had dinner at a lovely restaurant called “The Boulevard.” The waiters were unbelievably nice and friendly. They were engaging us in conversation, and were incredibly helpful in suggesting which parts of town we should see.

After the restaurant, we strolled through the Temple Bar to drink our first authentic Irish Guinness! The streets were packed for a Sunday night as the hurling final was that night and the locals were clad in their jerseys cheering for their favorite team. More importantly for me, I was able to find the 49ers game on television in front of the Hard Rock! I caught a glimpse of the game before heading over to Merchant’s Arch to have our first sip of “the black stuff” in Ireland! We drank a Guinness, listened to the authentic Irish band playing, and fed off the energetic atmosphere in the pub. A great first night in Dublin after a long flight!

River Liffey at sunset

River Liffey at sunset

Irish pub in Temple Bar

Irish pub in Temple Bar

The black stuff

The black stuff