Upon arriving to Dublin, the first thing to do was get a full Irish breakfast. We went to Lovinspoon because it was near our hostel and it was great (they also serve breakfast all day)! Afterwards, we checked out Ireland’s oldest independent bookshop, called Books Upstairs.
The Book of Kells at Trinity College was near the top of our to-do list, so we headed there. The book was amazingly detailed and decorative. The only downside is they only show two pages of the book at a time!
We ended the afternoon with the Guinness tour. It was the International Stout Festival, so the warehouse had even more going on than normal! We learned about the full Guinness making process, then got free samples of Guinness and small desserts while enjoying an Irish dancing show. The original lease signed for the Guinness building is for 9,000 years! Then, we got to go inside a room with machines vaporizing the different odors of the process, which was very cool! Then we got another small Guinness sample and were taught the correct way to taste it. We went upstairs to the highest floor bar with an amazing view over Dublin to get our free pint, and we took the beer downstairs to enjoy while listening to live music.
The next day we went on a free walking tour from our hostel. We learned about the giant spire in the middle of the city, which our tour guide called “the spiffy by the liffy,” “the stiletto in the ghetto,” and “erection at the intersection.” We met Bruno, Julian, and Paula who are all from Germany on this tour. We hung out with Paula while the guys went to the Guinness tour. Then we grabbed some Vietnamese food and met up with everyone at Temple Bar. Temple Bar was decked out for Christmas already and packed with cheerful people! We had so much fun singing along to songs like “Wild Rover” while enjoying some more Guinness. Dancing and singing with our new friends was so great and one of the happiest moments of my life. These people who we had just met that day felt like family as we put our arms around each other singing in a jolly pub at the top of our lungs.
On our last full day, we did a bus trip to the Cliffs of Moher. It was absolutely gorgeous and I would say a must-do for anyone planning to visit Ireland. We also visited some smaller cliffs where waves were crashing and heaps of water were flying up over the rocks. Emma was standing near the edge and got drenched by a wave! The tour’s last stop was Galway. We got food at a delicious Italian restaurant and then Banoffee pies at the Pie Maker (probably the best pie I’ve ever had). Galway had amazing energy with so many small shops and street performers, I hope to go back someday to spend more time!