A college town notoriously full of writers and boozers - what could possibly be a better end to our Eurotrip than Dublin? Not much, as it turns out. We just wished we had had more time there - much more time. There were so many things in Dublin we didn't get to see: the Kilmainham Gaol, the Book of Kells at Trinity College Library, Dublinia Museum, Christ Church, and on and on and on.
But we're grateful we got to see what we did. Dublin was an amazing little town that we both love and we highly recommend visiting. It was an especially great for this bookworm and her beer/whiskey-loving husband. Both members of Team Stevenson gave Dublin a big thumbs-up. Want to end your Eurotour with a bang like we did? Keep reading for your final EuroTips blog...
What to Do
1 // Hop on, Hop Off bus // Yes, we did this again. It was the end of our trip, and we were both exhausted. Embarrassingly enough, though, what finally swayed us to do the bus tour is that with our ticket we received a free Irish coffee at one pub and a free glass of Guinness (not a full pint, sadly) at a different pub. That nearly paid for the tickets themselves. The Dublin Hop On, Hop Off Buses were different than any others we've ridden because they had live tour guides. Geraldine was especially funny and told lots of insider information as we rode around Dublin. For instance, did you know that up until the 1980s, new mothers were consistently given pints of Guinness in the hospital after having babies to help their milk production? Doesn't that just seem crazy? Yet it's true. This is the best bus tour we've been on - in addition to making it easy to get around the city, we actually learned a lot.
2 // Guinness Storehouse // Of all the things to do in Dublin, this was the one we weren't going to miss. It's the #1 tourist attraction in all of Ireland, and we can believe it. The museum is seven stories tall, and the interior atrium is shaped like a Guinness glass. You begin on the ground floor, learning how the ingredients are used to create the beer, and as you go up you learn about the history and distribution of Guinness as well as all the various marketing campaigns (my favorite part). You can go through the Guinness "tasting school" to learn how to properly taste Guinness, and you can go to the Guinness Academy to learn how to pour a pint of Guinness. Clearly, we did both. After that, you can go up to the Gravity Bar on the seventh floor to redeem your free pint of Guinness (if you didn't use it at the Guinness Academy, that is). The Gravity Bar has glass walls and a 360-degree view of all of Dublin, making it extremely popular. This was one of the most interesting museums and/or breweries we've ever visited - we highly recommend making a stop here.
Where to Eat
5 // For the extremely slow food movement // If you'd like your brunch to take four hours, The Blarney Inn is the place to be. We had a 1:00 p.m. tour reserved at Jameson, but we definitely wanted something on our stomachs beforehand. We stopped at this pub because their breakfast menu outside looked good. And once we received it, it was good...it was the wait that was the problem. B ordered the standard Irish breakfast and I ordered scrambled eggs on toast. His came with coffee, mine with tea. It took 30 minutes to simply get the beverages. It took another 20 to get the food. In the end, B paid while I scarfed down food, and we wound up taking our toast to go. The food wasn't bad - a decent Irish breakfast - but stay far away unless you have quite a while to spare.
Tips and Tricks
1. Pack warm clothing. This seems like rather stupid advice, but I did not really take this into consideration when I was packing for Italy and Greece. I wore the same pair of white jeans and my raincoat every day in Dublin (and London). If you're doing a multi-country Eurotour, make sure you pack appropriate clothing for all the countries, not just the first two...
2. Eat before the alcohol museums. This should speak for itself. Don't go to Guinness or Jameson on an empty stomach.
3. Do the big stuff in the mornings. If you want to go to either Kilmainham Gaol or to Trinity College Library to see the Book of Kells, get there early in the morning. Both places wind up with some seriously long lines later in the day - long enough that it could prevent you from getting in.
That's it for our Eurotrip EuroTips - we hope you've enjoyed hearing about our adventures and maybe learned a thing or two. We had a wonderful trip, and I've enjoyed being able to share it with you.
E & B