It’s finally here! Our European adventure blog… Part 1 – IRELAND.
If you haven’t seen it already, head to our previous blog post to catch up!
Let’s just go ahead and start our story when we’ve landed on the beautiful Emerald Isle, because talking about lack of sleep on a red eye flight in the center aisle, middle seat for 9 hours isn’t too fun to read or talk about. But do keep it in mind as you will witness some weird facial expressions throughout this blog post due to jet lag and being awake for 36 hours straight. Please forgive us. ;)
We landed in Dublin at 9 in the morning on April 3rd. At the time we were a little tired, but still wired and excited to finally be across the pond and on solid ground in a foreign country. It was foggy, a little rainy and very cold but we came prepared for that and embraced it fully!
Once we had our luggage, we hopped on a huge double decker bus and made our way into the city before catching an inner city train that brought us as close as possible to our Airbnb. Another thing we anticipated was rolling our luggage through cobblestone streets, but we didn’t realize how much fun it would be(hint: sarcasm). After walking and rolling about a half mile through the city we finally reach our airbnb, plopped our suitcases down with a sigh of relief and rang the doorbell… No answer. Rang it again, no answer. Now here’s where it gets real interesting. Apparently, there are TWO Manor Streets, as our friendly nearby construction worker so kindly informed us. By the way, the Irish are the friendliest, most helpful people we’ve ever met! Our new friend allowed us to use his phone and call our tenants and get directions, and he even walked us there to make sure we didn’t get lost again. So kind!
Once we had finally settled into our room, changed and refreshed for the day, we set out for breakfast and a freaking cup of coffee. We stopped at the closest cafe possible called Slice and fueled up. One thing that was on our checklist for Ireland, was eating a Full Irish Breakfast which I was very excited about, but come to find that most places only serve them on the weekend. So sadly we cannot check that off our list. Doug decided to order the fruit, yogurt and granola and I got the egg and sausage scramble. Delicious!
As soon as we were fed and caffeinated we headed to our first stop of the day, the Jameson Whiskey Distillery on Bow St. exploring the beautiful city and stopping to photograph the coolest little pubs along the way.
I’m just going to put this out there, even though it’s probably common sense, but lack of sleep, jet-lag and alcohol do not mix well. But you know… that’s exactly what we planned for our first day in Ireland. Starting at Jameson. We loved this tour and highly suggest it to anyone planning their trip to Dublin. It was very informative on how their whiskey is made, a hands-on chemistry lesson behind it, and how it competes with other whiskeys around the world with a little taste test to prove it’s worth. Also, a free drink was included in the ticket price so we got to sip as we toured the distillery, or you’re welcome to sit and enjoy in their awesome bar/lobby afterwards.
At this point we make our way over to Guinness, but we were already feeling pretty tipsy, or at least we thought we were. Couldn’t quite distinguish if it was the effects of some gnarly jet lag or just the whiskey. But probably an odd combination of both.
Next stop, Guinness Storehouse! Wow were we surprised at how massive and entertaining it was. And super busy for the “off season”. Tickets were about €35 total and included a pint of Guinness at the top of their Gravity Bar which is the final stop on your tour so we thought the price was worth it.
^ This is where the jet lag begins to take its toll… ^
The tour is self-guided and seven stories tall, each level displaying information and trivia on the beer, its history and the building itself. Everything was so vibrant and interactive and educational, if we had gotten a good nights sleep we probably would have enjoyed it more than we did. Because by about level four I was done for the day, and Doug was fading quickly. But we kept trudging on determined to make the best of our one day in Dublin.
When we finally reached the end, we were rewarded with a fresh draft of Guinness at their Gravity Bar on the 7th and final floor, with a 360 degree view of all of Dublin as we sipped our frothy cool beer.
No photo will ever do this view justice.
Once we emptied our glasses and headed out it was about time for dinner. We walked and looked into every restaurant we could find as we headed towards our Airbnb, but we quickly realized that there are many more pubs than there are restaurants in the city of Dublin. Mainly ones that only serve alcohol. After an hour or so we walked by a supermarket and figured we would just grab a snack while we continued to look. Instead, we picked out some Irish candy. Because my husband is a 6 year old.
After nearly giving up, we came across this little place called Cowtown Cafe just down the street from where we were staying. Hallelujah! We were ready to kiss the ground when we walked in. I decided to try their version of a BLT with chips (fries) and doug thought Breakfast sounded good at 6pm so he ordered pancakes, irish bacon and some potato cakes that were really delicious.
We walked up the hill to our Airbnb after that, never having been so happy to see a bed in our lives and went to sleep as soon as the clock struck 8pm so we could try to get on track for the rest of the trip.
I wish I could tell you we slept like babies, but we both woke up at midnight, awake and ready to take on the world. Fortunately for us, we brought melatonin to help combat this type of situation so we ended up sleeping a good solid 9 hours.
We woke up early that rainy morning to catch a cab to our Tour bus before heading to the Cliffs of Moher! This was easily our favorite part of our trip to Ireland, we’d highly suggest it.
It was a long drive across the country, but the views were amazing of the rolling green hills and foggy forests. We did stop at a “gas station” at the beginning of our trip so everyone could grab some breakfast, drinks and snacks for the trip. And by gas station, I mean restaurant, mall food court, convenience store… Apparently it’s a thing over there and we think America should catch on.
(Here’s a photo of us looking like normal human beings who actually slept that night.)
When we decided to do the Cliffs of Moher day-trip tour, we were worried about the visibility as some of our friends had been unlucky on their trip, but we took the chance anyways because you just have to when you’re in Ireland. Our entire drive to the coast was rainy and foggy so we were a little discouraged sitting in our coach seats, but as we got closer to our destination the clouds started to part and make way for sun… and this was our view.
And then this happened… A FREAKING RAINBOW. In. Ireland. Too bad the pot of gold was underwater.
I bought a souvenir Irish beanie from the gift shop as soon as we stepped off the bus because one of the many things I forgot to pack was a beanie. And a beanie would have been a wise thing to pack for this excursion.
Our next stop on the bus ride back to Dublin was Galway. A beautiful little coastal city that is the home of the original Irish Claddagh ring. As well as the home of Brooke’s first Irish coffee. :)
After the long drive back into Dublin, we walked all the way home reminiscing the last two days, sad we had to leave but excited for our next adventure that hadn’t begun yet. But while crossing the Ha’Penny Bridge over the river Liffy, this view greeted us… What a way to finish the day with our final sunset in Ireland. Way to go Dublin. Way to go. <3
Keep an eye out NEXT FRIDAY for Part 2 of Brooke & Doug Travels to Europe… GERMANY!