One of the trips I was looking forward to the most was going to Dublin. My cousin and a friend from Chapman both studied abroad there and have incredible stories of the city to tell me.
Last weekend I was finally able to see it for myself, and it exceeded my expectations. The first day my friend Emma and I did what all tourists do and went to the Guinness Brewery tour. The building was huge, and the best part was that it was shaped like a giant pint glass. Each floor held something different, but my favorite floors were the tasting room and the 360-degree bar. The tasting room was special for our visit because Guinness had just released a new flavor, and they decided to celebrate! There were Irish step dancers, a live DJ, and of course, free beer. I thought that would be the best part of the tour, but once we got to the top of the building, it opened up into a beautiful bar that overlooked Dublin city. From every direction, I could see over the buildings and all of the people below.
After the tour, we did have plans to sightsee more, but storm Dennis had other plans. It down poured for the rest of the day, so Emma and I hid out in a small dessert café called Queen of Tarts and had an amazing time. They had a lemon meringue that was at least a foot tall. At night we visited my friend Dylan who lives in the area, and he introduced us to some smaller parts of Irish culture. One of his favorite things to do is see small Irish bands perform at the venues above bars. We joined him and entered a bar that we would never have expected to walk into. It looked tiny from the outside and not busy, but once we went upstairs, I understood why Dylan loved going there. The venue was small, but everyone there was loving the music.
On Sunday, we started our day off with a nice brunch at Social Factory with my friend Eileen, who attends Trinity College in Dublin. She told us about how beautiful Trinity is, so we made plans to visit. However, before we went to the college, Emma and I stopped at Dublin Castle, and I’m so glad we did. We decided to take the guided tour, and for an hour and a half, we were mesmerized. Half of the original castle is buried underground! The tour guide explained that the castle had once had a moat that ran the perimeter of the castle and was ten meters deep and the walls of the moat are still intact. Above the moat is the State Apartments that are still in use today. It was breathtaking walking through the ballroom and knowing that the Irish president is still inaugurated there every seven years. We were standing where the past presidents stood! After the castle, we went to Trinity College to meet my friend.
Although the weather was not holding up, we were able to make it into the Book of Kells museum at the College. It was amazing to see all of the work that went into creating the book thousands of years ago. The book was fascinating, but the Long Room was even better. As far as we could see there were old books and intricate busts. The original Book of Kells was in the room and was the highlight of our experience.
I was reluctant to leave such an incredible city, but I will never forget the rich history and great memories there.