Dublin – Irish Whiskey (with an ‘e’)


Tim and I took off for a quick flight to Dublin in the Republic of Ireland.


Guinness Medical Department


First stop: the Guinness Factory.  But its ok if you have too much to drink, they have their own hospital.


View from the Guinness Factory


We took the Guinness tour and we were actually thoroughly disappointed.  It was poorly lit, poorly guided, and poorly entertaining.  But at the top you get this 360 view of Dublin and a pint of Guinness.


View from the Guinness Factory


The Dublin sky line is populated almost entirely with cranes.


Outside the Guinness Factory


Ah, the Smith family on their trip to the Guinness factory.  Sadly, they forgot to set the brake on Grandma’s wheelchair.  Happily, she proved that she could still swim when she hit the River Liffey.


Kilmanheim Gaol


Kilmanheim Gaol (or ‘jail’ if you don’t speak Gaelic).  This is a piece of the jail built in the 18th century that has held about every political prison that Ireland has ever had.  They have a great tour and a whole lot of history.


Kilmanheim Gaol


This cross marks the spot where most of the leaders of the 1916 Irish rebellion were executed by firing squad.  They shot one or two a day, and this continued for about a week.


Kilmanheim Gaol Yard


This cross at the other end of the yard marks where James Connolly was executed.  He was also a rebel leader in 1916, but was injured in the fighting.  His leg was so badly gone that he wasn’t able to stand up.  Although his injuries would have been fatal eventually, the British still decided to execute him.  Since he couldn’t even stand up, they strapped him to a chair and put him in front of the firing squad.  His death, and the deaths of his compatriots, galvanized the Irish people, and were the rallying cries that eventually led to Irish independence in 1922.


Dublin Castle


Dublin Castle.  That one tower in the middle is essentially all that’s left of the original 13th century castle.  The church next to it is much newer, as the River Poddle actually runs underground directly beneath it and the last several chapels built there have sort of sunk into the river.  The rest of the buildings are now what can only be called a palace.  The British chancellor lived there for seven hundred years.  We toured the staterooms (I was starting to get tired of staterooms), but the really strange thing was all of the employees.  They all seemed strangely familiar.  And then we realized that we had been drinking with everyone that worked there in a pub the night before.  It was like some sort of odd hangover-induced déjà vu.


Dublin Viking Wall


Part of the shoreline of the Poddle, originally built by the Vikings.  The river was aboveground then.


Sand Sculptures outside Dublin Castle


A sand sculpture exhibition outside the castle.


Jameson Factory


Next stop, Jameson Whiskey tour.  It was much better than the Guinness tour.  And I think I enjoyed the free glass of whiskey at the end better than the free Guinness.


Christ Church Cathedral


Christ Church Cathedral. It’s a church.  Man, I was tired of churches.


That was on of the last things we saw in Dublin, but I don’t seem to have any pictures of how we spent many hours every night.  Dublin is definitely a nightlife city.  Our hostel was right in the thick of all the pubs and clubs.  Although a pint was about 5 euros, we still had a lot of fun.  We met up with four 20-year-old girls from University of Michigan and spent most of our nights out with them, including the time we spent at the Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest pub (1198), complete with traditional Irish music (except for the 22-year-old teacher from Maine who was born in Blacksburg and played the mandolin) and the entire set of employees of Dublin Castle.



Recommended Reading for Dublin:

Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks. After a long night of drinking, comedian Hawks awakes to find that he'd apparently made a bet that he couldn't hitchhike around Ireland for a month while traveling with a refrigerator. Never one to back down, he honors the bet, travels around Ireland with a mini-fridge on wheels, and finds laughs wherever he goes.