#tbt Travel Diaries - You Can't Die Happy Until You Drink in Ireland
Welcome to the next part of the #tbt Travel Diaries series, as I revisit my study abroad adventures in England. Spring Breaks in Europe are so different from America. Where in America you only get a one week spring break, I found out that most of my other friends who were studying abroad got two weeks. And then there was my school who were definitely doing everything different then I was use to in college, and actually gave us a three week long Spring Break. Pair that with my one day a week of classes and I had an almost four week long Spring Break, and I damn well took advantage of it and started planning on a big Eurotrip adventure for those four weeks. First stop: Dublin and Ireland. So hopefully you guys enjoy coming down memory lane with me on this next one:
Original Blog Post March 29, 2013:
Ireland, despite the typical crappy Irish weather ended up having an amazing time. The crappy weather did not allow for too many pictures when we were touring Dublin as it felt like we were walking through a freezing hurricane. The food in Dublin was amazing (particularly the Guinness beef stew), but Dublin really came alive at night. The temple bar area really showed the true Irish pub life, bands playing till all hours of the night, beer flowing, everyone and anyone hopping in and out of the pubs, it seriously was just such a fun atmosphere.
What was unique about this trip was that I ended up doing it with a couple friends who were also studying abroad (Hi Britt and Court) with a tour group specifically designed for trips with study abroad students called Bus2Alps. Because of this I met many nice people also from America studying abroad in such places as Rome, Florence, Edinburgh, etc. We ended up really getting to know some of them, even offering to help us when we visited each others respective study cities. This really made the trip better by getting the opportunity to meet new people doing the same thing and it was fun going out to the pubs with them.
I ended up getting there early before the rest of the tour started and ended up exploring a little bit of Dublin. Our hostel was called Generator, and similar to the St. Chris Hostel I stayed at in Amsterdam the Generator hostels are also a hostel chain throughout Europe. And the tour group set up our rooms so everyone we stayed with was on the tour with us. The room had a similar set up as my last hostel with 6 beds and a private bathroom we shared with privacy screens on the beds and lockers underneath. Of course our hostel was right next to the Jameson distillery so I had to keep my brewery/distillery tour streak going.
Also got to check out O’Connell street, one of the two shopping streets. On this street is the Spire of Dublin, the tallest sculpture in the world.
After exploring the city a little with luckily no rain, people from the tour started coming in for the night. The next day really started the tour activities, we were scheduled a walking tour around Dublin, which didn’t turn out that great as it was hard to explore the city in basically a hurricane as I previously mentioned. On the tour we stopped at the old City Hall.
And then strolled past Dublin Castle, which as you can probably see, doesn’t look too much like a traditional castle.
We then passed by a hotel owned by Bono in the Temple Bar section of the city.
I had to put the camera away at this point because it started pouring. As you can see below, my friend Court and I were soaking wet and only half way through the walking tour at this point.
After the walking tour we got to explore the many floors of the Guinness Storehouse with a surprise where we became official pour-ers of Guinness. Honestly the best Guinness I ever had was here and rightly should be.
This was our group taking on this tour together.
Deed to the land that Guinness is on, I think if I remember correctly it was for 7000 years or something.
At the end of the tour you got a free Guinness and you can either get it by just going to the Gravity Bar and ordering a beer or by learning how to properly pour a pint of Guinness. Britt, Court and I decided to learn how to pour a Guinness with our free beer token.
After learning to pour we joined the rest of the group up at the Gravity Bar (located at the top of the brewery) who decided to just go to the bar to use up their free beer tokens.
The night of course ended with us having a blast at one of Dublins many pubs (shout out to O'Neils Pub), enjoying the night with the new people we just meet, lots of beer, and typical happy Irish tunes (and lots of Mumford & Sons). Most of the group went on a pub crawl, but after my friends experience with it in another city we decided to go out on our own and crawl at our own pace. And by the sounds of the others, they wished they had just joined us instead so we made the right choice. This is the original Temple Bar the area is named after, can kind of see how busy the area is at night, we avoided this bar because of how busy it was.
The next day was an early, three hour long bus ride all the way across the country to one of the most amazing views in the world, the Cliffs of Moher. The views, like I said, were amazing and despite the freezing 50 mile per hour wind keeping us from getting anywhere near the edge the sight was worth it.
My friend Britt and I on the right and then our awesome tour guide and I on the left, we all loved her.
This was about as close to the edge I was getting, so windy my hood blew off.
After the cliffs we took a trip up north a little to the third largest city or in my mind more of a large town, Galway. It was a very quaint town with little streets every where. The sun even luckily came out for a little during our walking tour.
I will end with a group picture of us in Galway with the sun shining which felt good after a very cold two days.
And like that the tour was over quicker then it started (but first we made a stop at O'Neils Pub to make the most of our last night here). I had an amazing time in Dublin and glad I got to spend it with some great friends and meet new people. Now to start the second leg of my Spring Break Eurotrip, 14 days in Paris, London, and Barcelona. Bring it on!
Have you been to Ireland before, what are some of your favorite spots? Have you been to any of the places I ventured to on this trip?
See you in the next adventure!
-The Wandering Professional