Sunday, March 8, 2015

Dublin up

 With two girls named Ashley as travel companions, we embarked on another weekend trip. From Thursday to Saturday morning, I spent time in the place of some of my ancestors: Dublin, Ireland. Looking out the window as our plane descended on the Emerald Isle, it looked completely how I imagined; incredibly green, lush foliage, cool blue water meeting what must have been a stunning coastline. When we arrived in Dublin, the customs officer knew right away that I was Irish and promptly welcomed me home (he probably noticed my middle name, Farrell, on my passport and guessed from that. Needless to say, the trip started out on a high note, demonstrating how nice the Irish proved to be the entire trip.

For such a blitz trip, we managed to visit many of the Dublin highlights, starting with the Guinness Storehouse tour. Prior to going to Dublin, I never tried Guinness, so this was a totally new experience. Of course, the museum walks you through the steps of making beer from the ingredients to fermentation to the history of the Guinness family to a tasting process to fully experience the flavors of Guinness. Of course, no trip to the Guinness Storehouse would be complete without learning to pour the perfect pint at the Guinness Academy. To properly fill Guinness, the glass must be tiled at a 45 degree angel until 3/4 full and then it must settle. Once it settles, the ruby red, not black, pint is topped off. Of course, I learned and now can officially pour the perfect pint. After learning how to pour Guinness, we finish our drinks while admiring the panoramic view of the city in the Gravity Bar. After sampling the Guinness, I think it's safe to stay I'll stick to gin and tonics for now!

The beginning of pouring the perfect pint of Guinness

Perfectly Poured Pints

The gate to the Storehouse
While Guinness was certainly a highlight, we did so much more than learn to pour beer. We visited St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Dublin Castle, which is still an active political building. Being in Dublin, of course a trip to Trinity College was a must do. KU Leuven does not have much of a campus, due to the city setting, but Trinity has a sprawling campus with green space and a huge gorgeous library with cobblestone pathways to boot. On top of that, we wandered Grafton Street and O'Connell Street, two of the most famous streets in Dublin, filled with shops and wonderful street performers. The end of Grafton Street leads to St. Stephen's Green, which was beautiful, but boy was it windy in the park that day! So much so that the water from the fountains sprayed every which way.

The yard at St. Patrick's Cathedral

 Trinity College

Trinity College

From the garden at the Dublin Castle

Performers on Grafton Street--Dublin is one of the few European cities that still allows street performers!

A windy afternoon at St. Stephen's Green

Finally, no trip to Dublin would be complete without a visit to a pub or too. Our first night, we went to a pub called O'Neil's, where the food was a serve-it-yourself and there was live music and Irish dancing! During the performance, a drummer would produce a beat and the dancer would mimic the sound with the stomping of her feet on the floor; it was incredibly impressive!

Inside O'Neil's Pub

Visiting Dublin was an absolute blast! Being Irish myself, I certainly felt at home on the Emerald Isle and would love to come back again. Who knows, I might even like to live here one day!

1 comment:

  1. Love reading about Dublin; maybe our NEXT trip. xxoo