Ireland Day 1: Dublin

We arrive at 7:00am (1:00am at home) in beautiful Dublin. It is 53 degrees, grey, and with a light sprinkle of rain. Our tour director, Doris, picks us up at the airport and we drive 45 minutes into downtown Dublin. We leave our bags at the hotel and the it’s off to explore!

Although grey out, the city itself is now. Children in school uniforms bustle out to school while others begin their morning bike commute to work.

Our first stop is the ATM and then Cafe Nero for a quick bite to eat and some strong coffee. We then walk down the street to our first stop of the day – Trinity College. We walk through the bustling campus, which included a good mix of both old and new buildings. We walk through the building in which the famous “Book of Kells” is kept, followed by the main quad of campus. Although small, it is a gorgeous, historic campus filled with such rich history.

Our next stop was St.Andrews Church. A beautiful Roman Catholic Church right outside the city center with the beautiful bronze statue of a fictional fishmonger named Molly Malone, the star of a well-known Irish song.

We venture down the street to Dublin Castle. This is such an interesting piece of architecture as it is multi-colored on the outside! We get in free with our Dublin Passes and take a self-guided tour through the ornate rooms. Erected in the early thirteenth century on the site of a Viking settlement, Dublin Castle served for centuries as the headquarters of English, and later British, administration in Ireland. In 1922, following Ireland’s independence, Dublin Castle was handed over to the new Irish government. It is now a major government complex and a key tourist attraction.

Next, we head up the street a few blocks to Christ Church Cathedral. This was absolutely stunning gothic cathedral. The cathedral is of the Church of Ireland in which people of all faith are welcome to worship there. We saw the heart of St. Lawrence O’Toole, and an incredible underground crypt in which they had ancient relics and artifacts from the church. Well worth the visit!

We then went back down the street to visit the famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This is the grounds in which St. Patrick baptized christian converts over 1500 years ago. Again, another absolutely breathtaking structure!

We make our way over to the Teeling Distillery for our first group whiskey tour. This was phenomenal as we use our Dublin Passes once more to enjoy a hour-long lead tour followed by whiskey tasting at the end.

We stop and grab a quick bite at Teeling’s Phoenix Cafe for coffee and sandwiches before we begin our tour.

Located in the heart of Dublin city centre, the Teeling Whiskey Distillery is the first operational distillery to open its doors in Dublin in over 125 years. The Teeling Whiskey Distillery is Dublin’s newest destination for whiskey fans or for anyone with an interest in Dublin’s long, historical association with Irish whiskey.

The tasting included a whiskey and a whiskey cocktail. Both were smooth and delicious! Such a unique experience!

After Teeling we walk 10 minutes over to the Guinness Storehouse. This is an ENORMOUS interactive museum in which is also included free with our Dublin Pass. It tells the tale of Ireland’s famous beer, with tastings and a rooftop bar within 6 circular floors m. This has by far been the most elaborate and unique museum I’ve ever been to. The best part, of course was a tasting, that taught you how to properly drink Guinness, and your complimentary beer at the end. It was such a delicious treat after a long day of exploring the city.

Three of us make our way back to the hotel via the city Tram. An easy €2.80 gets us swiftly back to the hotel, with time to freshen up before dinner.

The group meets in the hotel at 6:15p and we walk 10-minutes down the street to The Church Cafe/Bar/Restaurant. This is a 350-year-old converted church with ground-floor seating and a long bar down the center. We enjoy a traditional irish live music and even included two women riverdancing on a stage to the lively music.

Dinner was phenomenal, which included a refreshing carrot and coriander soup with soda bread, traditional irish stew with was out of this world! And lastly, a Baileys cheesecake which tasted of heaven in a whipped mousse.

We were beyond stuffed as we make our way back home through the brisk, bustling streets.