Cheers! Or as they would say in Irish, “Sláinte” which means “your good health”. But don’t worry, you can get by perfectly in Dublin with just English, few people actually speak Irish.
We arrived in Dublin just before Christmas to kick start our trip. Dublin, as we’re heard before, doesn’t have too much to offer except for the nightlife, and that nightlife would include pubs not clubs. And we found this to be very true. Walking around, yes the city was beautiful, but there wasn’t too much to go see. Dublin is quite small actually and therefore easily walkable. In the time that we did have, which was one full day, we were able to squeeze in a free walking tour, the Irish Whiskey Museum (and tasting!) and the Guinness Store House. Yes, it does sound like a lot, and with the days being so short, sunrise at 9am and sunset at 3:30pm, they seemed even shorter.
Free Walking Tour
With the free walking tour, we were able to just about cover all the main attractions Dublin had to offer, including additional sites our guide seemed fit. Some of these areas included..
The beautiful full functioning campus of Trinity College which put both the Universities I attended to shame. And you see that Bell Tower? Well, it doesn’t ring to any particular schedule, not every hour on the hour, just kind of whenever it feels to. And so the students say that if you walk under the bell tower and it rings, it means you’re going to fail your exam. Which is why you won’t see anyone walk under that tower.
They also have a gorgeous library, with a fee of course, and because it was so close to Christmas, the opening times were limited and closed off. So we unfortunately did not get to visit.
Temple Bar. Now, temple bar is actually just an area or neighbourhood of Dublin. It does not refer to one bar. But of course, drawing in tourism, this bar has named themselves THE Temple Bar. And, as you guessed it! The prices in here are above normal.
Dublin also has a castle, but it’s not too impressive, and thats because the majority of it burnt down and they didn’t bother to rebuild it, there’s actually only one tower that remains. But all of the major ceremonies will happen there, like, when the President of USA visits, or even the Queen.
The Irish Whiskey Museum
The Irish Whiskey Museum was actually quite a disappointment. We were excited to learn about the process of making whiskey, the different varieties or even know the different regions on Ireland. Our tour guide didn’t seem too interested in sharing this info, it seemed he was more eager to get us to the tasting. He was unprofessional in our opinion and provided very little information. He seemed as though he read a pamphlet before hand and could only remember a few key points. Save your money and skip this one.
However, the tasting at the end was more professional. Now being handed over to someone else, he was able to go through the tasting process with us and the different notes we should be tasting and smelling. This was a more enjoyable experience and I actually found one that I enjoyed.
The Guinness Storehouse
Now, The Guinness Storehouse was actually impressive. It’s a self-guided tour with many different components. From farming, brewing, how they construct their wooden barrels to the different advertisements they had over the years. And of course it finishes off with a free pint of Guinness. We both really enjoyed this experience and would highly recommend.
Cliffs of Moher
The next day we did a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher, which is all the way across the island, but because it’s Ireland, this meant a 2.5 – 3 hour drive. On this day, we had a wind warning and i would compare these winds to the winds of Patagonia they were that strong. The gusts themselves were 80 km/hr and a few times it felt like I was going to get knocked over or couldn’t even move forward. There was also a “waterfall” but because the winds were so strong, it actually pushed the waterfall up, as you can see in the above photo.
But when we arrived to the cliffs themselves, the rain held off and we even saw some blue skies! The cliffs are massive but don’t stretch too far along the coast. When talking to other people, they definitely built them up in my head. They compared them to the grand canyon, but these are nothing like the grand canyon. Being at the grand canyon, i was afraid to even look over the edge, but with these, everything was good. They’re gorgeous and a must see but for me it wasn’t a disappointment but it also wasn’t a “wow!”