This is part two of two posts, on my recent trip to Europe. I went to New York for 10 hours (layover), Barcelona for six days, and Dublin for four days. Read part one.
Over the course of our time in Dublin, we didn’t explore much outside of the city centre. I would definitely want to go back for a trip of the British Isles, maybe exploring the countryside.
We arrived in Dublin to wind and sunshine. Lots of wind (at least that first day) and a surprising amount of sun. We grabbed a cab and bustled over to the AirBnB, where we got settled into a darling little place. We showered, got settled, bought snacks and Guinness, and wandered over to Glasnevin Cemetery. Glasnevin Cemetery is a huge graveyard, filled with millions of people buried in Ireland since it opened in 1832. We were in awe of the immense history, as we slowly walked past gravestone after gravestone.
Each day in Dublin, we would choose one or two things that we wanted to do and begin walking in that direction. Our AirBnB was about an hour’s walk away from the city centre, so we would start early, grab a coffee, and get walking. Dublin was so charming, full of history and cobblestone streets. We would frequently stumble across a randomly significant landmark just by chance: statues, parks, churches — even James Joyce’s childhood home around the corner from our AirBnB (or, at least, a home where he lived for two years or so).
Some of the must-see spots in Dublin: Temple Bar, Guinness Store Factory, the national museums (particularly the National Museum of Natural History), the Brazen Head. We didn’t actually go on the Jameson Whiskey tour, but we walked past it, and that almost counts, right? Temple Bar was a delightful stop for some Irish coffee and live music. Guinness was a wonderful time, and we got some serious Charlie and the Chocolate Factory vibes. I learned to pour a perfect pint, bought a sweater, and drank Guinness in the Gravity Bar with a 360-view of the city. There is so much pride in Guinness, such a delightful culture around it. Every single pub that we passed advertised that they had Guinness — as if that was even a question. It’s supposed to take 119.5 seconds exactly to pour a pint, and you’d best not say the beer is anything but ruby red in colour. I’m definitely a fan of Guinness after my time in Dublin.
I highly recommend a visit to the Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest pub. There we had delicious Irish Atlantic chowder, steamed mussels, and — what else? — pints of Guinness. There are also some second hand bookstores that we spent hours perusing. I ended up coming home with 10 books, many of which I bought in second hand stores in Dublin. If you can find a good play on, we also really enjoyed seeing Waiting for Godot at the Abbey Theatre.
On our final day in Dublin, we were feeling pretty wiped, so we kept it a wee bit quiet: we bought some cups of coffee and had a picnic in the park, reading books. It was so wonderful to just relax with books, tiny bottles of wine secreted into empty to-go mugs, and fresh fruit.
It’s strange slipping back into the reality of work and day-to-day life, but I’m trying to continue carrying a bit of vacation with me: reading books, riding bikes, and having picnics. None of this is too hard to do, as Vancouver slowly ambles its way into summer. Though, I am already thinking about the next vacation. 😉