Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dublin, and the art of being a tourist

I missed posting yesterday, but hope to catch up tomorrow.  We slept in and missed a good part of the day, but catching up on sleep was essential.
We made up for it today in spades.  We hopped on the 130 Bus from Clontarf into City Centre early enough that we beat the opening of the shops.  After grabbing a coffee at Insomnia, the equivalent to Starbucks, we got on the Hop On/Hop Off bus tour that we have used for the past 3 days.  What an efficient way to get around to the important sites.
We headed to Grafton Street for some quick shopping then over to Christ Church.  What a beautiful church, surrounded by gorgeous landscaping.  After lighting candles and praying for our family back home, we cruised over to St. Patrick's Cathedral.  Also a lovely church, but a bit more commercialized.  Christ Church retained some its reverence by not putting up a gift shop as the first stop into the building.  Their gift shop was down the stairs and accompanied by a quaint cafe and surrounded by crypts.  A quiet place, to be sure, and had a distinct church feel.  St. Patrick's was covered in tourists and tour groups who seemed to have forgotten that some folks might actually be in prayer.  We snuck off to a quiet alcove, lit another candle, said another prayer ...because it certainly wouldn't hurt!
The bus tour guide said it best when he was heading up to the stop for Christ Church.  "The next 3 stops will be the religious places most frequented here in Dublin.  Christ Church, St. Patrick's Cathedral and The Guinness Brewery.  So with candles lit and prayers said.....we were off to The Guiness Brewery.
Because I must live a gluten free life, I knew this was going to be John's party.  We learned how they make the beer and that the starter yeast in every batch can be dated back to Arthur Guiness' original starter.  John learned how to pour the perfect pint and we visited the Gravity Bar where you get to see the whole 360 degrees of Dublin in the glass enclosed bar high atop the brewery.
Next stop on our list was The Old Jameson Distillery.  This is a whiskey that is a favorite of mine!  The concierge at our hotel, Clontarf Castle, called ahead for us and got reservations for the tour and a premium whiskey tasting for just John and I.  After learning about the process of how to make whiskey, we were taken to a private bar where the four top of the line Jameson whiskeys were set up for our tasting pleasure.  We were taught to hold the whiskey in our mouth a second for each year it had aged.  This allows the tongue to absorb the alcohol and allowing just the many flavors and notes of the whiskey to be appreciated.
Catching the 130 bus back to Clontarf Castle we were pleasantly exhausted.  Our time in Dublin ends tomorrow and we begin the drive to County Cork.  I can't say that I am altogether pleased with the fact that we will be driving ourselves, but I am with my sweet man for this adventure so the journey won't be alone!

No comments:

Post a Comment