Hello Ireland!

Today was the day we were to part ways with England and head over to Ireland. We had a fantastically long tube ride to Heathrow Airport. We were both happy to finally get there and check our luggage. You really get to understand why “backpacking” is more favorable than “suit casing” through Europe.

Our flight was delayed by about an hour. Weird, that hasn’t happened at all this trip! The flight was about 50 minutes. It was like we were flying to Chicago from Minneapolis. I love short flights! When we arrived we were greeted by our first Irish man in customs. He made customs a breeze and wished us the best and hoped that we would enjoy his country.
We were then greeted by another Irish man, our cab driver, Brian. He was fantastic! He took us through the city center on the way to our hotel to point out some of the things Dublin has to offer. He didn’t even charge us for the detour. He gave us some great travel tips, recommended a place to eat near our hotel, and again wished us the best and hoped we would enjoy his country.
The Barge
Four Levels of Great Pubness

It was recommended to us by many that we take advantage of a Hop on, Hop offbus tour. We recommend the red bus versus the green bus if you ever find yourself in Dublin. We also had a super fantastic driver pick us up every morning named, Brendin. We didn’t get him for the whole day, but he gave us a great discount, and provided some tips on what we should see and do and when.

City Sight Seeing Dublin
Check out Those Seats!

Our first stop was Kilmainham Gaol. We started at this prison because the guided tour provided a lot of information regarding Ireland’s history. Including the war with Britain to gain their independence as well as their civil war. The prison held many prisoners during the Irish potato famine and political prisoners during the different wars.

Outside Kilmainham
Narrow Paths Outside Cells
Center of Prison
Justin Looks Happy to be in Prison
I Should Remain in Prison for This Photo
A Painting Done by Mrs. Joseph Plunkett

There have been quite a few movies filmed inside the prison, as well as a U2 video, to help pay for the restoration of the prison. Some former prisoners even helped with the restoration when it was opened for tours.

After becoming a bit depressed and scared from the prison (they talked about ghost sightings!) we headed to Christ Church. We also toured an exhibit called, Dublinia, which is attached to the church. Dublinia is the name of Dublin when it was first established by vikings. Justin was more impressed by Dublinia than he was the church. I was the exact opposite.
Justin at Dublinia
Christ Church Sanctuary
Lighting a Candle
Christ Church
Christ Church

The most logical place to go after visiting a famous cathedral is of course to the Guinness factory! I am not a big fan of Guinness, mainly because I have never really tried it. I started the tour with high hopes of becoming a Guinness lover. The tour was not guided which left a lot of reading up to the visitor. This probably wouldn’t have been a problem if we weren’t absolutely starving. After a level or two of reading about beer making (you don’t actually see any brewing there), we decided to bolt and head directly to a cafe a few levels up. Here I was able to get my first taste of Guinness…in a stew!

We decided to not go back down to read the rest of what they had to offer, but we did stop on the advertising floor to see the history behind the Guinness ads. A free pint came with our tickets and I was advised by a couple of classmates to wait until the gravity bar to get my pint or you can learn how to pour the perfect pint. I was interested in having more of an experience so Justin and I learned how to pour the perfect stout!
Pull Tap Forward and Fill to Guinness Text
Let it Sit
Push Tap Forward and Fill to Top
Result- The Perfect Pint
Certified to Pour & Enjoy

I didn’t become a Guinness lover after the tour. I enjoyed it, but Justin did help me by taking a few sips otherwise we may have been there for awhile. We made our way to a very packed Gravity Bar, and I was more than happy that we didn’t wait for our pint. We did get a few nice pics since the Gravity Bar overlooks all of Dublin.

Gravity Bar 
Gravity Bar
The Mountains of Dublin

We had a fantastic dinner at a pub called, The Hairy Lemon. It was recommended by our hotel staff. The service was great, the bacon and cabbage was great, and overall the atmosphere was great!

The Hairy Lemon
After our first full day in Dublin we were in love. We loved the city, but even more than that we loved the people.

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