Wednesday morning (early morning 7:00am flight) we headed to Dublin. I was invited (semi-last minute) to a team meeting in Dublin, well a bit outside Dublin, a couple of weeks earlier that happened to fall during the time Mom was visiting. She decided she wouldn’t mind tagging along and spending Thursday in Dublin by herself while I was off doing team building events (woohoo). We arrived without complication, cabbed it to the hotel, checked in, then went out to explore Dublin.
It made sense that the best way to see the city and to get around was to get tickets to the “hop-on, hop-off” bus. And so that is what we did. Touring in London you often hear “the building on your right was built by King/Queen XYZ”. In Dublin you hear “the church ahead was built by a.) The Guinness Family or b.) the XYZ company who own/operate a whiskey distillery.” Easy to see where the wealth lies in each city/country. Dublin does not present as a wealthy city. It seemed to me that the economic crisis has hit especially hard there…
First “hop-off” stop for us was the Guinness brewery. It was after all, 11:30am why not stop for an ice-cold beer? The brewery was huge and it was an interesting tour. Arthur Guinness, who founded Guinness, insisted on and signed a 9000 year lease for the brewery and the land, for some ridiculously low price. What a business guy! The brewery is one of the main attractions in Dublin, especially for Americans it seemed. I heard American accents coming at me from every direction.
By the end of the tour we had determined one thing…we don’t like Guinness. A sip or two was plenty for both us. Back to bus!
The bus we got onto had a very enthusiastic bus driver that was singing Irish tunes and giving us a very personal tour of the city. We had to leave him when we reached the Jameson Distillery. We ate lunch a hole in the wall restaurant next to the distillery. It was delicious. Mom ordered Irish brown bread which was like a wheatish cornbread, so good. (During her entire visit we stopped to eat at random places and were lucky to have excellent food everywhere we went.)
The Jameson tour was guided by a nice Irish boy who clearly loved his job. It was interesting to see the process of distilling whiskey. What makes Jameson unique? It’s triple distilled? News to me. Of course, I’m not a whiskey drinker. At the end of the tour we enjoyed a mixed Jameson drink. Not as bad as I thought it would be.
We stopped in the gift shop on our way out and picked up a few gifts for some special people. Then we hopped back on the bus and hopped off when we arrived at St. Stephen’s Green, which is downtown Dublin. At this point it was raining but too early to head to a restaurant to dinner. We wandered in and out of the shops bought Nevaeh a few pairs of socks (random? yes.) and had a latte (I was feeling the jet lag, haha). By six we determined that it was time to eat. We stumbled across a Moroccan restaurant and were brave enough to give it a try. Again, the food was excellent. Service was SLOW but that is to be excepted in Europe. Mom’s meal was especially delicious. I have forgotten what it was called but yum!
Sad but true after dinner we stopped at McD’s to get ourselves some Irish ice cream (so what if it’s the same as is served in the US Irish ice cream has a nice ring to it). Back to the hotel. Up early in the morning for me to head out to my retreat/team meeting.