DUBLIN - DAY 3
Day three in Dublin was bittersweet; as it was our last day in this fabulous city, but we were eager to continue on to our next destination (we’ll get to that later). We had a lot of places to see prior to leaving Dublin, so we got up first thing in the morning to head over to the infamous Kilmainham Gaol (Gaol is pronounced “jail” and guess what… yup, you guessed it, it’s a jail.) In fact, Kilmainham housed many important figures while in operation; most notably, rebel “fighters” of the Irish Revolution and the “Easter Rising.” We won’t get into too much detail here, but this place has such a fascinating history and was hands-down one of the more memorable places we visited while in Dublin. Our tip--- get here early, as with any museum, this place gets packed and you want to enjoy it without getting trampled by the swarm of tourists. Oh, and this probably goes without saying, pay the extra money to do a guided tour.
After Kilmainham, we walked to the Guinness Storehouse. Why we walked? Not entirely sure, but we will say, it was neither scenic nor pleasant… in other words, hail a cab or an Uber. When many people think of Ireland, they automatically think of Guinness--- like many associate America with McDonalds (sad, we know). The Guinness Storehouse is meticulously maintained and has so much to offer its’ visitors (no seriously, it’s 7 floors). We didn’t do a guided tour, because at this point, we were incredibly thirsty and hungry. We ended up doing about half of the tour and b-lined it to grab some pints. Now, we didn’t just head straight for the gravity bar on the 7th floor, we stopped at the second floor for the Tasting Experience. Here we learned how to *properly* taste a Guinness. Did you know that the Guinness we get in America, tastes slightly different than the Guinness in Dublin?! Obviously, the Guinness in Dublin tastes WAY better! After we got our tasting techniques down, we headed on up to the 4th floor to the Guinness Academy. Here we learned how to pour and settle a pint of Guinness. And you’d be surprised, there is a very particular way it should be performed. Don’t skip this part because not only do you get to learn the proper pouring technique, but you can opt to pay a small fee to have your picture taken and then transposed onto the foam of your Guinness… all the cool kids do it, so you should too. Now, we know what you’re thinking; we sure have been drinking A LOT of Guinness… where’s the food?! We highly considered leaving the storehouse but stumbled across an onsite restaurant, 1837 Bar and Brasserie. Our first thoughts were “it’s probably touristy and should only expect mediocre food” but we were STARVING so we grabbed a table. To our surprise, our initial thoughts were immediately proven wrong.. We split the Guinness Beef Stew and it was
A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, just like Jeff’s mom makes it. We saved the best part of the tour for last… the Gravity rooftop bar. We won’t spoil the experience, so just make sure you visit this before leaving the Guinness brewery. We left feeling pretty good and by pretty good… we mean buzzed. Those pints caught up to us quick. Needless to say, we opted for a much-needed power nap back at the flat.
Fully refreshed and ready to continue our last day, we headed out for dinner near our flat. We went to the Instagram worth and touristy Bad Bob’s Temple Bar. Despite the fact the locals say this bar caters to tourists and is somewhat “un-authentic” we found this bar to be so much fun and truly enjoyed the food, ambiance, and live Irish music. We ended up splitting potato skins and really good Irish stew.
After chatting with a few of the patrons we learned that there was a football game later in the evening… we thought, we must go! So, off we went to the local football stadium to watch a pre-season/friendly game between Ireland and New Zealand (for those not privy to international sports, football actually means soccer everywhere other than America). Attending the game wasn’t a mind-blowing experience and something that sounded more fun than it ended up being. With the frigid temperatures, it made sitting in the open-air stadium miserable and it didn’t help that no alcohol was allowed in the seating area (apparently, there’s been too many incidents of bottles being thrown and broken--- we know this because we asked the police patrolling the stadium lol)! We were nearly frozen solid, so we left half-way through the game. Neither one of us are big football fans, but hey, at least we get to say that our first football game was front row in Dublin!
This is where the nighty festivities began, and we stumbled across the most fun pubs we encountered in Dublin. First stop, we went to a bar walking distance from the stadium: The Bridge 1859. This pub was packed to the brim with rowdy Irish football fans guzzling pints while watching the game. The food here looked delicious, but we had a quick drink and moved on to our next stop. We’ve heard many great things about our final stop of the night---The Brazen Head (a must go since it’s the oldest pub in Dublin and had the old-world Irish atmosphere we’ve been looking for—think live Irish music, dancing, and drunkenness). We snagged a table right next to the “stage” where the musicians were performing and enjoyed people watching for a few hours. After a few pints we headed back to our Airbnb to pack up and get a good night’s rest so we could be ready bright and early for our next stop: London!