Yet another “sleep in” day this Monday morning! We were hoping for better weather after our drenching last night. We got going by 10 AM and decided to walk into city center, but first, our latte and scone/chocolate croissant. Ah……….!
My name today is George Salmon- a former Provost at Trinity College.
We walked over to the tourist center across from Trinity College and found our location to get on to our hop on “hop off bus” (the official one, thank you). This is a great way to quickly view all of the sites in a city. We did not have the same issues with being accosted like we were in Belfast. We went directly to one guide and the other simply accepted it.
I really did not expect to take many pictures from the bus, but I had a camera and the weather was actually summer-like today (go figure, mind you I did pack my rain jacket) so I did.
We travelled through the center of town including the Cathedral District, The Liberties, Phoenix Park, the North Side, along the River Liffey, the refurbished Dockside and back along Pearse Street.
We completed the full tour and then stayed on for the first part and then got off to explore St. Patrick Cathedral. This beautiful Cathedral was refurbished with money from Arthur Guinness. For this, he got his own statue on the front side of the Cathedral. The inside was full of history, old tombs and remembrances to those Irish fighters who died in numerous conflicts. The stained glass panels were numerous and spectacular. Hours whittled away as we explored.
We got back on the bus and looked forward to stop #15, the Jameson Distillery Tour. We had planned to do this on our first day in Dublin, but, as you recall we fell asleep that afternoon. No such mistake would be made today! The distillery is located on Bow Street but this is only for tourists tours. This distillery shut down when the “Big Three” distillery houses amalgamated their operations with the resurgence of Irish whiskey making. They have a huge production facility elsewhere in Ireland. This old distillery had so much character and the tour itself was one of the best we had ever been on. Our guide was very entertaining and we are sure he is a professional actor in his other job.
Our tour included a tasting of three whiskies- a Scotch whiskey single malt, a triple distilled Irish whiskey and an American whiskey. The triple distillation makes for a very smooth spirit which Anna preferred. I myself still preferred the Scotch whiskey? We then proceeded to the shop and are proud owners of an engraved jigger, a bottle of the Jameson Distiller’s Edition and a certificate proclaiming us as official whiskey tasters!
We walked around Grafton Street and the Temple Bar Area where we had a nice lunch. We soaked in as much of the Dublin spirit (and spirits) as we could.
We stayed in the central area as we had booked a historical ghost tour later that evening. First we had a pint at The Oak where several patrons were waiting to go to a performance of Gladys Knight at the historic Olympia Theatre which was just a few doors down.
At 8 PM, Mark, our ghost tour guide arrived. He was very informative and we really enjoyed the ghoulish tales he wove for us as we walked around old Dublin town. We even found out that Handel’s Messiah was first performed in Dublin. There were stories of Molly Malone, the “Hellfire Club” and the untimely demise of Darkey Kelly (who still lives on as a ghost at St. Audoen’s Church and as a local pub).
The evening’s weather was very warm, clear and calm (not the Ireland we had come to know). We were treated to a beautiful evening as the tour’s gruesome tales came to an end.