Bridget and I made it to our first destination, Dublin, Ireland, safely.
Our flight landed early in the morning. Like any good long flight we had a baby and big old dude sitting next to us. Yup, you guessed it! We didn’t sleep on the plane. It may have been the crying, cramped space or building excitement. No one knows for sure.
With a whole day ahead of us, we decided to break cardinal rule number 1: don’t sleep until sun down. We took a two hour nap. Then, we got up and went to explore. First and necessary stop: coffee and WiFi. Alright, now I can think straight with the remnants of espresso lingering on my tongue. Let’s hit the town.
The city of Dublin lines the bank of a river called
the Liffey. Southern side of the river seems to be the more touristy part with people of all different languages crowding the streets. The northern side is more full of large building and the business district. We headed to the southern bank to check some must-see places off of Bridget’s List. (This is first first big trip abroad. So, she has done load of research and planning. But, if you know my sister, her having a plan will not surprise you.)
We went to Trinity College, the home of the oldest library in the country and the Book of Kells. Two things I got from the tour: very beautiful architecture and that this place smells of rich mahogany. To be honest, this was one of Bridget’s picks that she enjoyed. Was it interesting? Yes. Was I captured by the history of the building and the books that lined the walls? Yes. Did I wish I was in a bar? Yes. But hey, that’s what traveling with a partner is about. Compromise.
Anyways, we continued to explore the streets with our trusty map leading us to different destinations in the city. We stopped for lunch at classic looking Irish pub with the promise of authentic fish and chips calling our name. Unfortunately, a large group of old Spanish women felt the same urge. The pub was set up like a lunch line style and there was no way Bridget and I would have satisfied our hunger before going crazy in this line. So, onto the next classic Irish pub: The Brazen head in the Temple Bar district. We wearily walked into the pub and sat at the bar. The bar tender asked how we were doing. I said tired and hungry. He said, “Well, you’ve come to the right place.” I liked this guy already. Fast forward two hours and we are best friends with the wait staff and are sharing stories and Reese’s pieces. Our father would be proud.
That night we hit the town. And when I say the town, I mean all the tourist pubs. It was everything you would imagine and more. Packed with loud people, mismatched glasses and a couple of broken lamps. Most places had live music playing on a mini stage surrounded by bodies all packed in tight. The atmosphere was electric inside and out. The streets were lively and filled with people dressed in all sorts of ways; some groups in super hero costumes, some who looked like super models and some super drunks. Talk about a super fun time!
The next morning Bridget and I slept in a bit before going on another adventure of a day. We had three places on the list today: The Old Jameson Distillery, Guinness Factory and shopping of Grafton Street. Well, we made it to all three but only stopped on the outside of the Guinness factory. Hey, that’s still pretty good for waking up around 10:30.
First up was the Jameson Distillery. Which was a great tour and overall experience. Before we had began, we ate lunch at Jameson in the restaurant upstairs. Their sandwich of the day made my top ten best sandwiches list. It had this tangy sauce with avocado, green apple and magic in it. So interesting and so delicious I wish I ordered another one. Okay… so I got side tracked about food. This happens a lot. Back to the story.
With the purchase of a tour ticket, we got to tour the original site of the distillery, learn about the distilling process and why Jameson has it’s taste and do a comparison taste test between German, Irish and American whiskey. Now, this tour was right up my ally! I would recommend to go on this one. It was an intimate setting with only about twenty people on each tour and just the right amount of time: thirty minutes.
During this tour, Bridget wasn’t feeling so great. My guess was dehydration and Jet Lag. That will get the best of any traveler sometimes. We only made it to the outside of Guinness to take a cute sister photo. Oh well, maybe next time when we are in Dublin.
When she recovered after a bit, we headed back to Grafton Street. Grafton Street is known for its shops, people watching and street performers. It was fun to walk up it and at the end we hit St. Stephen’s Green. This park was huge! I thought of it as the equivalent of Central Park in New York City. Big trees, couple of ponds, people watching: the whole shabang.
Tonight has been a little low key, which I like. I have been able to write, relax and get ready for tomorrow. At the recommendation of our cousin, Mandee, we are taking a two day bus tour around the country side of Ireland (A.K.A. the Paddy Wagon). Stay tuned for more on the Wollak Sister’s European Vacation.