I'm going to write this post in two parts. First I'll write some now (midnight Friday night) and some tomorrow morning. Chances are the morning writing will be the best because I am wiped out. Let me explain why. I did not sleep on the plane. Well, I did manage to sleep for the last 45 minutes of the flight but that was it. In the meantime I watched a documentary about water and read a magazine.
When we landed I was relatively awake having had a coffee with breakfast and having been genuinely excited about arriving in Ireland. Customs was a breeze and once we had collected Cruz's bags we were on a bus into the center of Dublin.
We arrived on O'Connell Street around 8am or so. After getting off the bus we walked over to our hostel The Jacobs Inn. This walk was not without it's excitement. As we were walking down Talbot St we heard a loud whirring noise coming from behind. We turned around to see a sidewalk sweeper close on our tail. So naturally we all shifted to one side of the sidewalk so it could pass. As it was passing it spotted some trash near us and jerked toward us, forcing us to hop out of the way. The same thing happened when we switched to the other side of the sidewalk. So we ended up just stopping to let it get far ahead of us.
As expected the hostel not ready for us but the guy at the counter was really helpful. Cruz was able to rent a locker for her suitcase - which Megan and I were able to cram our bags into - and they offered us the complimentary breakfast that was available to guests. It has to have been the most delicious bread and jam I've ever had.
Megan picked up a more touristy map than the one I had brought and we spent breakfast looking over the map. After overhearing some other Americans we decided to try out the Jamison Irish Whiskey Distillery tour. I promise this trip isn't as alcohol focused as it may seem. More on the distillery in a bit.
After breakfast we headed out to the distillery but seeing as it was still 10am we decided to hold off until a more reasonable hour. Instead we headed southwest - Well, according to the map - to the Irish Museum of Modern Art. There we discovered that the main building was closed for repairs, since November. So we ended up spending some time wandering around the garden which was nice.
After the garden we headed back to the distillery and took the tour. It was your typical brewery/distillery tour. They did let us in on a few proprietary trade secrets such as distillation and fermentation. So I could pretty much take down the Jamison corporation anytime I want.
At the end of the tour we made our way to the bar for our complimentary glass of whiskey. You could get it in one of four ways: straight, with coke, with ginger ale, or with cranberry juice. After much deliberation I chose to go with the ginger ale option which was delicious. I honestly might have to buy a bottle when I get home and have it again.
Megan and Cruz took this decision very seriously. In fact, they took so long to decide that they were the last of the tour group to go up to the bar. There they were promptly carded, which was unexpected given that the drinking age is 18 here. While I'm sure there will come a day when they will each love being mistaken for a younger woman, today was not that day. After flirting - err... talking - with the bartenders about their American ID's they eventually sat down with two glasses of whiskey, neat. Who knew they were so tough?
Everyone. Everyone knew they weren't that tough. That's why they were soon back at the bar to get something that they could actually drink. They put their southern charm to work and soon returned with three glasses: straight whiskey, whiskey and coke, and whiskey with cranberry juice. These girls are pros. Both admitted to liking the whiskey more than they had expected, but I would probably hold off on buying them a bottle just yet.
After the tour we left Jamison - we would later be berated by someone at the hostel for not ordering an Irish coffee there - and had lunch across the courtyard from the distillery. The lunch was pretty good, but I was honestly too tired by that point to remember much of it.
After lunch we headed back to the hostel and waited for our room to be ready. It was ready around 3pm at which point we went in, scoped out the room, and fell asleep for three hours.
The room is nice, it's very spacious and the bathroom is clean. It's unclear whether the smell in the bathroom went away or whether we've just grown used to it.
After a successful three hour nap we headed back out into Dublin to go to the literary pub crawl we had bought tickets for before leaving the US.
We arrived at The Duke Pub, which is located on Duke Street just outside Trinity College. While we waited for the tour to start we all ordered a Guinness. For Megan this was not just her first Guinness, but also the first drink she had ever ordered. I'd say it went off without a hitch but that'd be a lie. She and Cruz were both ID'd again despite still being 20 years old.
Anyway, about mid-pint the tour began. The tour was really great. The two tour guides performed selections from famous Irish literature while also giving some, somewhat gossipy, historical background on the authors. They began with a selection of Becket's Waiting for Godot. Over the course of the night we also saw a piece from Ulysses, heard a story about Oscar Wilde and some Coloradan miners, and heard a few other pieces performed.
After the tour we had a late dinner and then headed back to the hostel to go to sleep.
There are a lot more photos from the day available in the Dublin album here.