09.06.2015 - 12.06.2015
Dallan and I arrived in Dublin on the afternoon of Tuesday June 9 and headed straight to our hostel to check in. The town was riddled with Scotsmen as there was a big football match between the Scottish and the Irish on the weekend. The Scots brought out their best hooliganism and were quite annoying! The night before in Edinburgh we'd said what we thought was our final goodbye to our Aussie friend Luke, but we got a message from him once we got to our hostel letting us know that he'd decided to come meet back up with us in Ireland. He was arriving a little later in the night, so we went to watch the movie Mad Max while we waited for him. Once he arrived, we headed straight to the hopping Temple Bar area to watch some live music and drink some Guinness. We were a little disappointed by the music as it was mostly rock covers instead of more traditional Irish music. We made it our mission to find the good stuff the next night.
We had a bit of a slow start the next day, but once we got up and running we headed straight to the Old Jameson Distillery! We had to wait about 20 minutes before our tour, so we warmed ourselves up with Irish coffees and a glass of 12 year old Jameson's Reserve. The tour of the distillery was great as they took us through the history of Jameson's and their distilling process. It was capped off with a taste test of Jameson's (an Irish whiskey), Johnny Walker Black Label (a scotch whiskey), and Jack Daniels (an unaged bourbon). Tasting these three whiskeys one after the other really showed how good a 12 year scotch and a triple distilled Irish whiskey are compared to Jack Daniels! The first two were so smooth and tasty and then you take a sip of the Jack and it just burns you as you drink it. After the taste test, they give you a complimentary glass of Jameson's. By the time the tour was over, it was well passed lunch time so we headed to what is apparently the oldest pub in Dublin, called the Brazen Head, which opened in 1198! We had some good pub food and a Guinness. I never drank much Guinness at home, but drinking it from a tap in Ireland really hit the spot. We then headed to the Temple Bar area for some afternoon live music and some more beer before heading back to the hostel for a nap. After a snooze and some eats, we headed back to the Temple Bar area, again, in search of some good live Irish music, which we would find at our first stop. I can't quite recall what the pub was called, but the music was fantastic. It was a two piece band with a guitar and banjo playing wicked Irish music as well as a couple covers of popular songs with an Irish flair to them. The banjo player sounded like he was plucked from the Irish version of Metallica, as he could shred with the best of them. Once their set was over, we made our own pub crawl and checked out a few other pubs.
I know drinking has kind of dominated the content of this blog post, but we were in Ireland, and we just wanted to fit in. We did take a small break from the "piss," as the Aussies would call it, when we went to the Kilmainham Gaol, which is a former prison built in the late 1700’s. It now houses a museum on the history of Irish Nationalism. The tour of the jail really gave us a lot of insight about the country and the history of prisons in Ireland. It was home to a few new methods and ideologies on how to house and treat prisoners so that they'd emerge as better people. The jail was also the location of the confinement and execution of several major leaders in the Irish revolution. It was really interesting. After that, we got our priorities straight again and headed to the Guinness brewery. The brewery was more of a museum on the history of Guinness, and the methods of brewing it. It also had a really cool video of how they built the casts and barrels back in the day, which was very impressive. It was capped off by pouring your own "perfect pint" of Guinness and heading up to the Gravity Bar on the top floor to see a nice view of a kind of ugly city. We then headed for lunch, and I gave my dad a quick call for his birthday. After chilling out for a bit, we headed back to the same bars as we did the night before and joined in on some Irish dancing.
Our last day in Dublin was a short one as we were grabbing a bus to Galway in the afternoon. We decided to go to the movies and watch Jurassic World, which was absolutely awesome. We then said what would truly be the final goodbye to Luke before heading to the bus.