A Travellerspoint blog

Ireland

Dublin

So I've spent the past 4 days in Dublin with my friend Mackenzie. I met her last year in Thailand. She is from Vancouver but is also traveling around Europe this summer so we had planned to meet up for a few days.

June 3
We both met up at the hostel and spent time catching up. We hadn't seen each other in almost a year so it was an exciting reunion. We decided to do one of the most traditional Irish things, and go to the pub. We were walking over the bridge next to our hostel on our way to find a pub, and we stopped to take a picture. An Irish guy came up to us and asked if we wanted our picture taken. We agreed and started talking to him and his friend. Their names were Sean and Steven. They were from Dublin but were out taking pictures of the bridge. We asked them for a pub recommendation and they brought us to one of their favorites. We talked for a while and it was really fun to hear about how similar/different life is in Ireland from North America.
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June 4
We got up a little later than planned which meant we didn't get the free breakfast at the hostel. So instead we walked just down the street and got donuts and coffee for breakfast. Then we started making our way to Dublin Castle. It took us a while to get there because we kept stopping anytime we saw an interesting shop or church. We stopped in an art gallery and walked around there for a while. Then we went to Christ Church Cathedral which was beautiful. I'll include some pictures of it below. We finally made it to the castle and toured around. I stopped to read every page in the guidebook. The castle was really beautiful and there were so many small details. Even the doorknobs and ceilings were ornately decorated. After that, we headed back to the hostel to get ready. That night we had booked a traditional Irish music pub crawl. The pub crawl met at a pub near our hostel. We arrived early to find an incredible violinist and guitarist playing. We watched them for a while before the tour left. We had two guides who were incredible. They were really hilarious guys. One played guitar and sang while the other played traditional Irish pipes and whistles. They taught us a lot about traditional music and also explained the meanings behind the songs that they played. Some of the songs had really funny lyrics and others had no vocals. After the pub crawl ended we walked past another pub with a live band. They were playing a song we both really liked so we stopped in to listen. We ended up being there a few hours because the band was so good. We loved all the music they played and we had fun dancing and singing along.
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June 5
We had our first decent breakfast in Dublin and then we went to tour the Kilmainham Gaol Prison. It was an old jail that had been used during the Irish civil war and war of independence. I thought it was really creepy. We did a guided tour so we learned about who was put in the cells and how they died. Many people were hanged in the prison and it was also a port where prisoners were shipped off to Australia and Tasmania. After that, we went to the Guinness Brewery tour. I didn't love this tour because it felt so touristy. I feel like I didn't learn much about the history of the brewery or the process of brewing beer. After that, we had decided to do a bit of shopping. On our way to the shopping street, we passed by the Leprechaun Museum. We found out that the next tour was in 5 minutes so we bought tickets. The museum was probably my favorite in Dublin. The whole basis of the museum was really to tell stories about leperchauns and to correct some stereotypes. For example, leprechauns are not usually dressed in green. They normally wear brown suits to blend in with the ground where they live. The green was added by Walt Disney because it made them more visible on the screen. The museum was designed to make you feel like you were in the stories too. They had rooms to make you think you were in a giants house, or a fairy's hollow, or a leprechaun's house. After that, we did a bit of shopping and called it an early night.
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June 6
Mackenzie and I had booked a tour outside Dublin to go see the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough (pronounced glend-a-lock). Our tour left early so we went to the meeting point after getting free breakfast at our hostel. The first stop of the day was at Powerscourt Gardens. The gardens are ranked #3 in the world by National Geographic and were amazing. We walked around for an hour and a half before getting back on the bus. I think the pictures will do a better job explaining what it looks like.
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We took a lot of pictures.

We stopped for lunch in a really small village. The food was decent though. We walked around a bit after lunch and I found one of the whistles that they had used on the traditional Irish music pub crawl. I ended up buying it because it was only 7 euros and I can play a D major scale and a really basic tune. I sound pretty terrible so hopefully that will improve. We got back on the bus and started to drive to Glendalough. It was a really pretty drive and we stopped several places to get out and take pictures. When we got to Glendalough we walked through the Monastic City which is the ruins and graveyard of an old monastery and then hiked out to the upper lakes. Again I think the pictures do a much better job than I do so here they are.
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June 7
I got up early to pack and get breakfast. Then I walked to Trinity College to go see the Book of Kells. It was really impressive. The books were so old but the designs were so tiny and complicated. It was really impressive. Then I headed back to the airport to fly to Amsterdam.
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Posted by Ilana'sGapYear 04:18 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

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