Back by popular demand….. me!
After a few comments from various friends and family, I’m picking back up where I left off last fall with various (mis)adventures, some partially written.
Another day another long weekend where I ditch my husband to go visit my friends.
While poor Frenchman has some projects that are keeping him chained to his desk, I on the other hand happen to have free time and some friends located in interesting places. A good friend recently [September 2017] moved to Dublin for grad school and, never having made it to Ireland before, I decided to be such a good friend and visit her to help her get settled into her new home.
On the Must Do list:
- Guinness – drink some, visit the brewery
- Scones – eat some, preferably with delicious Irish butter
- Tea – to go with the scones, naturally
- Fish & Chips – eat some, probably with Guinness
- Oh and I guess visit some of the city…
Clearly I have my priorities straight.
Jenny picked me up from the airport and took my straight back to her very adorable Dublin row house, which I immediately fell in love with. Maybe I watch a bit too much Call the Midwife, but these little places are so cute. We went for a nice walk along the water before heading to the pub to check off two of my crucial to-do’s: beer and fish and chips.
We finished the night by meeting up with an old colleague of mine who had moved to Dublin a few months earlier for some very excellent cocktails.
Day 2! Trinity College and the Book of Kells
As TripAdvisor will tell you, one of the major things to visit in Dublin is the historic Trinity College, and its even-more-historic library. Conveniently for me, Jenny is doing her master’s at Trinity, so while everyone else is lining up for entry to see the famous Book of Kells, we get free entry and can just waltz right in.
Also on display in the library, alongside the most amazing bookshelves, is the Brian Boru’s harp, the oldest harp in existence dating to the 14th century, the national symbol of Ireland (and the inspiration for the Guinness logo).
Afterwards, we walked over to, and through, St. Stephen’s Green gardens, which was lovely, before finding some lunch. Lunch came in the form of a hearty Irish stew in a pub, which was very welcome on a chilly, damp day. Next, we just happened to be a convenient walk away from the Guinness factory, so of course we went. It was excellent. We did the tour, got a free pint at the panoramic bar, and explored the history of Guinness advertising.
Day 3: Visiting St. Patrick & Jameson
For Day 3, I was on my own at least for the morning. Jenny (understandably) had school things to do, so I set out on my own plan: wander over to St. Patrick’s cathedral and, on the way, find a scone.
I google-mapped a route towards the cathedral and highlighted a few well-reviewed scone spots along the path and headed out into a beautiful sunny day. It was a very, very long walk – including passing Merrion Square and the Oscar Wilde statue – and I started to feel desperately hungry for breakfast when I finally gave up and stopped at an unassuming little coffee shop that advertised tea and a scone for cheap. I decided it seemed good enough, and, as it turns out, it was. I had a very excellent scone and a little personal pot of tea. It was thoroughly satisfying.
I took my time, then finally finished the trek to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which sits alongside a pretty garden. I managed to catch a free guided tour about 5 minutes after I arrived, lead by a very funny Irish lady who offered some interesting historic tidbits and jokes.
When I finished, I wandered about to see a bit more of Dublin, picking myself up a beautiful Irish knit sweater in the process. This came in handy come Christmas when Boston was negative 300 degrees. But I digress. Jenny was able to join me, so we met at The Brazen Head: the oldest pub in all of Dublin. This warren of tiny, cave-like rooms was awesome, and I found my way to an empty room in the back to wait for her with a beer and, eventually, a plate of bangers and mash.
After having seen much of Dublin’s Greatest Hits already, what else was left to do but pay a visit to the Jameson distillery? While not as elaborate as the Guinness tour, we did enjoy a little walk-through with an explanation of the whiskey-making process and a tasting to compare Jameson to other types of whiskey (Scotch and American), followed by a free whiskey beverage. It was, obviously, great.
Day 4: Escape to Dún Laoghaire
For my last day, we decided to take a little excursion outside of Dublin, but not before stopping for a hearty Irish breakfast at one of Jenny’s favorite places. Once fully stuffed, we took the train to Dún Laoghaire, a seaside town just south of the city. We enjoyed a quiet day walking around the cute town, down the pier, and finished up with a warm pot of tea (and more scones). A lovely finish to a very nice little weekend with an old friend.