Steve’s business trip took him to Ireland, so I went along. Dublin is a wonderful city, friendly, easy to navigate on foot, and chock-a-block with pubs. What more could you ask for in a destination?
Here are our top picks for great experiences while in Dublin:
- Kilmainham Gaol: The tour was excellent. The starting point is a museum which describes the history of the facility, built in 1796, including a fascinating listing of what crimes both men and women had been imprisoned for there. The saddest ones were for thefts of food during the famine–the numbers of people imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread! It was all very reminiscent of Les Miserables. The tour includes a very good thumbnail history of Irish Independence, explaining the 1916 Easter Rising and the development of the Republic, and discusses some of the prominent figures in the rebellion who were imprisoned and executed there. Well worth a visit.
2. Literary Pub Crawl: An absolute must for book-lovers. Two Irish actors, Colm and Frank, will leave you spellbound as they enact scenes from Irish literary works such as Waiting for Godot and Ulysses while you travel to four quintessentially Irish pubs. These two are masterful. They manage to inject humour into their performance while still maintaining a deep respect for the works and the culture. Don’t miss this one.
3. Jameson Distillery: This is no longer an actual working distillery. It’s more like a museum tour of the historical site of the factory from the 1800s, with a chance to sample Irish whiskey at the end. The tour is fun and gives a good explanation of the process involved in making whiskey. You get to have a comparative sample of Irish whiskey vs. American vs. Scotch. (I gave my tasting samples to Steve. I’ve been trying to develop a taste for whiskey, with or without an ‘e’, for twenty-six years now, with absolutely no luck.)However, the Jameson’s with ginger ale and lime that I had at the end of the tour was most enjoyable!
4. Day trip to Howth: This beautiful seaside village is only a short half hour commuter train ride from Dublin. The harbour is stunning. You can also do a walk up the coastal path for an incredible panoramic view of the area.
5. Afternoon Tea at the Westbury Hotel: When you’ve had enough of Dublin’s changeable and windy weather, head inside for a cozy afternoon tea. The Westbury gets bonus points for their matter-of-fact accommodation of my food allergy, and for the serendipitous playing of Irving Berlin’s ‘Always’, (our wedding song) over the speakers during my tea-time. And the food was fabulous!
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