After our first day in Dublin, we had a really, really, REALLY great sleep. Being up for 36 hours straight generally ensures that. So we were rested and ready for our second day in Dublin. We'd booked a walking tour, but walked back to Temple Bar first to get breakfast.
If you recall, my sister had warned us about the Temple Bar area. In her own words:
Thanks for the practical advice, sis. We had gotten out of Temple Bar unscathed the night before, but as we were trying to find a breakfast place, a very drunk dude wandered out on the street in front of us (because he was getting kicked out of a bar) and screamed at the top of his lungs, “I'M NUTS!” He then proceeded to befriend Scott and talk his ear off about everything and anything (something about how Scott looks like a famous footballer). It was a little unnerving, but he eventually left us alone. He didn't want money, he didn't want booze, he just wanted to talk. Definitely different than being accosted by a drunk person in the States (generally speaking, anyway).
The walking tour we booked through Historical Walking Tours of Dublin was absolutely fantastic. I will freely admit that despite my Irish heritage, I know little about Irish history aside from the potato blight and what Tom Branson has taught me on Downton Abbey. So really, hardly anything. The walking tour gave us lots of background and fun historical tidbits, among them being....
The Palace Bar, which has been the go-to pub for Dublin journalists for a very long time. Our tour guide had a great sense of humor, and I was totally taking notes on his one-liners. One of my favorites was: “Locals don't let facts get in the way of a good story.” It seems to be the motto in my family as well.
He also took us to some of the famous sites of the Easter Uprising, including this statue on O'Connell street, which has bullet holes from the revolution in it.
And then there was Lady Justice at Dublin castle, who was facing the castle and not the city. Or as our tour guide put it, “She's got her face to the castle and her arse to the city.”
We ended our walking tour at Christ Church, originally built in the 1100s, which had been “restored” in the late 1800s. The renovations were financed by Guinness competitor Henry Roe, as the Guinness family simultaneously financed the renovation of St. Patrick's Cathedral nearby. The renovations to Christ Church were so costly that it ended up forcing Roe into bankruptcy. And I say "restored" because apparently, the architect in charge added on all kinds of extra flying buttresses and such—things that were more Victorian than medieval.
After a quick tour of the church and a pit stop (“Where are the bathrooms located?” “Oh, those are in the crypts”) we decided to check out the Jameson distillery. It was pretty cool—Scott was disappointed because the distillery is no longer in Dublin (they moved it to Cork) so it's really more of a tour of a museum kind of setup. I still enjoyed it. Mostly because you could have a Jameson drink during the tour and a complimentary drink afterward. I think we both discovered new favorites: whiskey sour for Scott, Jameson and ginger for me. Also, there was lots and lots of hand type (design geek time).
By this time it was well into the afternoon and instead of eating lunch like sensible people, we decided to check out a nearby pub that had been recommended to us by our tour guide and our AirBNB host. This particular pub (The Cobblestone) is well known for having live, traditional Irish music going pretty much all the time. I should also back up about the lunch part and say that we thought we would grab some lunch at this pub, but one of the lessons we learned as we stepped in and ordered a pint of Smithwicks is that unlike in the U.S., pubs abroad frequently do not serve food. We quickly realized this pub did not serve food, and although the musicians were playing when we arrived, they stopped a few minutes later and it got dead quiet. The locals stared. We downed our drinks (on really empty stomachs) and headed off to find lunch, which turned into trying to find dinner as we tried a few other pubs that had no menus and didn't serve food. Not to sound typically American, but I was confused and hangry—you don't even serve fries? I mean, chips? Agghhh! We eventually found dinner and were spared gnawing off our appendages for sustenance. Am I being too dramatic? Ah well.
After two whirlwind days in Dublin, it was time to pack up and head to the Isle of Man. I really enjoyed Dublin, but I was also ready for a more relaxing pace that we were able to get into on the Isle of Man. More to come on that leg of the trip...
If you missed part of our vacation recap and want to catch up: