I am finally getting around to posting about our AMAZING 2 week roadtrip around Ireland!
We took a red-eye flight from Washington, D.C. to Dublin and arrived around 5:30 AM. We didn’t sleep well on the flight over and once we got through customs, we were a bit delirious and exhausted. We successfully picked up our car, but not without incurring a few of those pesky hidden fees that everyone talks about. It was too early to care though, so we decided to just get the keys and get to our hotel.
Well, with the time difference, we forgot to make our international data plan start on the right day, so our map to our hotel literally wouldn’t load. Oh, and we were also riding on the wrong side of the road. And the wrong side of the car. With no directions. At 6:00 AM. With no sleep. NO BIG DEAL.
By the grace of God, we SOMEHOW ended up at our hotel at 6:30 AM. We walked into the empty lobby and I’m pretty sure the Polish man saw the look of desperation on my face, along with the bags under my eyes and my mascara running down my face and he said, “Would you like me to see if I have a room ready for early check in?” and AGAIN, by the GRACE OF GOD, he had a room ready for us. I hit the pillows at 6:40 AM, and had the best sleep of my life.
We stayed at the Morgan Hotel in Temple Bar. We snagged an awesome deal and it was such a beautiful place to stay. I would stay there again in a heartbeat. Amazing location, tricky parking though.
We woke up, a bit befuddled and delirious at 11 AM and headed out to find breakfast/lunch/??? and we walked a few blocks to Beshoff- a simple, yet gorgeous two story fish and chip shop with GLUTEN FREE fish and chips. Come to mama.
Still delirious, but a little less hungry, we headed to the EPIC The Irish Emmigration Museum. It was absolutely fascinating. We learned all about how there are more people with Irish descent in the world than people who actually live in Irealnd. The whole museum was all about why the Irish emmigrated around the world so much. Totally fascinating.
Dublin is so walkable! We walked over Ha’Penny Bridge, a famous bridge in Dublin. It’s called that because they used to charge a ha’penny (a halfpenny) to cross the bridge. Now, it’s free and it’s a great place to see the River Liffey that runs through Dublin.
We then headed to the famous Temple Bar to say hi to our friends and family on Earth Cam! And then we headed inside for a drink and a sandwich. (Be prepared to stand) This is where Brandon fell in love…with the Irish Christmas Sandwich- sourdough bread, chicken, stuffing, cranberry sauce, butter and brie cheese.
Of course, Brandon ran into someone who worked for his company and the guy bought him a pint! I’m not sure if it’s because Brandon knows EVERYONE or if it was just so touristy and full of Americans… ;)
We snagged some dairy-free gelato after listening to pub music and headed in for an early night…cause jet lag.
The next morning, we work up rejuvenated and ready to see all that Dublin had to offered. We set out for breakfast at Gallagher’s Boxty House. Boxty is a traditional Irish potato pancake that you can eat sweet or savory.
We headed to Trinity College, which was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I. The grounds are beautiful. I can’t believe people get to go to college here!
At Trinity College, we visited The Book of Kells, one of Dublin’s most popular tourist attractions. No pictures were allowed but The Book Of Kells is a 9th century manuscript of the 4 Gospels from the Bible. It is still in great shape and incredibly ornate.
After The Book of Kells exhibit, we entered The Long Room, .which is one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. It has over 250,000 books and I felt like Belle in this gorgeous library.
From Trinity College, we walked to the Molly Malone statue. Molly Malone is a fictional character in the song “Molly Malone”, which is the unofficial anthem of Ireland. In 1988, they created a statue of this beloved fictional character.
Next, we walked down Dame Lane, which is a super cute road with Irish flag bunting (great Instagram spot!) and super cute little taverns.
From there, we headed to Dublin Castle. We walked around the gardens and read up on the history, but didn’t go inside. We passed a ghost tour and it looked so fun! When we go back, that is definitely going to be top of my list!
After that, we headed to the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which was founded in 1191. It’s absolutely beautiful and it was a beautiful day to wander the gardens.
Finally, we made it to the last stop of the day: the Guinness Storehouse. We had heard great things about the Guinness Storehouse and we didn’t really know what to expect. We were starving when we got there, so luckily, there were a few places to eat once we got there. We grabbed some food and then headed back to the first floor to do the entire experience.
The Storehouse is more like an museum, with 7 different floors! There’s a floor on how they brew the beer, a floor on advertising (my favorite floor!), a floor on how to pour a proper Guinness (and you even get to try it yourself!) and the top floor is a Gravity Bar, which gives you a Guinness and 360 degree views of Dublin.
Now, as a Celiac in Ireland, I was super bummed that I wouldn’t be able to try a Guinness. I am super strict with my gluten-free diet and a crumb of gluten could make me super sick at any given moment.
I had heard from other people with Celiac that they are able to drink Guinness without an issue, due to the way it is brewed. I NEVER cheat on my gluten-free lifestyle, but something came over me at the Gravity Bar at the top of the Guinness Storehouse and I tried a SIP of Guinness. I had never had a non-gluten-free beer and I actually LOVED the taste of it. I said a prayer and never got sick! Luck of the Irish?
We ended our time in Dublin at The Brazen Head, which is Ireland’s oldest pub. It was built in 1198. It is SUPER cool inside and has an amazing menu. There is music every single night starting at 9:30 PM.
The staff was SO nice and we hung out with our bartender (and we took a picture with her behind the bar! Hi, Viven!) and the manager well into the night. It is VERY touristy and it was FULL of Americans, but honestly, it was such a cool experience that I didn’t care.