Dublin, Ireland (Day 6)

On Thursday we started off the day with 7:30 am breakfast at the hotel and then met our guide for the week, Kim, and coach driver Damien.  At 8:30 everyone loaded onto the bus for our tour of Dublin.  On the tour, we learned that Maldron Hotel where we were staying was in the modern part of the city, which explained why everything looked so new on our cab ride in.

46 Fitzwilliam Square

During our ride around town on the bus, Sally told us that one of the fashions many years ago had called for ladies to wear makeup on their faces that was a combination of wax, lead and a touch of arsenic!  She explained that if we visited museums, we might see the screen they had to sit behind while by the fire, a rectangular one at the top of a pole to block their face so it wouldn’t melt.  She said the next fad to follow had them wearing mouse fur as false eyebrows… yuck!

As we drove around the city our guide for that morning’s tour, Sally, told us that the national emblem of Ireland is the harp, and that the Samuel Beckett Bridge, directly across from our hotel was meant to look like a harp.  We drove along the River Liffey and crossed over the Rosie Hacket Bridge, the only one named after a woman in the city.  Damien drove us by several notable buildings and landmarks including the Custom House, Spire of Dublin on O’Connell Street.  We also went down Grafton Street and saw where the statue of Molly Malone usually stands, but it had been relocated for construction on the train lines.  Sally had Damien stop for a few minutes at an area with lots of doors so we could take picture of one in particular, at 46 Fitzwilliam Square, the most photographed door in Dublin.

From there we went onto Saint Patrick’s where Sally led us on a tour through the cathedral.

The floor of St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Inside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Stained glass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Once we finished at Saint Patrick’s, we were taken to Guinness Storehouse where we were led through, learning how the beer is made and the history of the company.  I really loved the way they presented the first part of the museum that showed and explained each of the ingredients required for the brewing.

Our tour guide at Guinness
Guinness Lisa and I poured

After our tour, Lisa and I used our free beer tickets (comes with admission) to go to “Guinness Academy,” where we learned to pour the perfect pint.  Interesting!  I’d seen bartenders pour beer with the cup angled before but never really understood why.  After that the whole family headed up to the top floor to their beautiful Gravity Bar that offers a 360 degree view of Dublin, then we grabbed some lunch.

My sister and me
The view from Gravity Bar

They also had a floor for the company’s advertising history, but it only opened a little bit before we had to get on the bus back to the hotel so we didn’t get much time to see it.

When we got back to the hotel, we took naps for a while and then I ended up going out to wander up and down the river in the rain.  Burrr it was cold.  But it was the only chance to get to see more of Dublin before leaving the next morning.  I walked up and down the water and saw “Famine,” Jeanie Johnston which was a replica of a ship that made 16 journeys to North America carrying 2,500 people with no casualties, and “The Linesman.”

“Famine” memorial in Dublin

The Jeanie Johnston replica 

“The Linesman”

At 5:30 we loaded back onto the bus for our “Taste of Ireland” dinner at O’Connells at Donnybrook.  The first course there was a sampling of a ton of different Irish foods, then I had Hake for my main course and an apple tart for dessert.  Yum!  The owner was so sweet, at the very end he brought out a decorated plate and dessert for Ella’s doll she’s carried everywhere, Abigail.

O’Connells at Donnybrook
Our “Taste of Ireland” menu
All of us with the owner of O’Connell’s

When we got back from dinner, I grabbed my tripod (brought it all this way, figured I might as well use it) and headed out to take pictures.  While I was taking pictures of the Samuel Beckett Bridge, a guy stopped and asked if I could take his picture.  We ended up talking for probably 30 minutes and walking around taking a few more pictures; he was a junior in college, originally from New Jersey but visiting Dublin after a job training in London.  After a few minutes longer of pictures after we parted ways, I headed back to the hotel.

Me with the Samuel Beckett Bridge in the background
Jeanie Johnston

Itinerary: “Today, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Dublin, the “Fair City.” Take in O’Connell Street, Grafton Street, Phoenix Park and the city’s magnificent rows of stately Georgian town homes. Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which dates back to the 13th century. Your tour concludes at the Guinness Storehouse where you will learn about the brewing process that creates this beloved beverage. This is your chance to discover the training and technique needed to pour the perfect pint and to enjoy one! The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax in one of the world’s most vibrant cities. Take advantage of the opportunity to explore the cultural offerings of delightful Dublin on your own.”