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Published: June 11th 2009
After last year's travel frenzy, 2009 has started on a slightly quieter note (not quieter in general just in the number of trips planned). The dreaded credit crunch, the plummeting uk pound and the need to be a little bit financially responsible has meant that I'm spending more weekends in the UK and less running around the continent. But me being me, incapable of staying in one place for too long, when a couple of friends mentioned a whirlwind trip to the capital of the Emerald Isle, I had to say yes.
After the hassle of an early, early start involving buses, no buses, taxis, more buses and then Ryanair (Ruin Air to me) we arrived in Dublin about mid morning Saturday and spirits that budget airlines had attempted to crush were raised again. I always get a rush when I go through a new country's immigration - another stamp in the passport, another set of questions, another new experience - more than enough to put a big, fat smile on my face. Straight to the Tourist desk for a two day 'Dublin Pass' which gives you entry into a number of attractions including the Guiness Factory and Old Jameson
Old Jameson Distillery
Hmmm ... hot chocolate with whiskey ... tasty
Distillery ... while not one to condone excessive alcohol consumption ... sampling is just fine and dare I say ... educational 😉
Only having 2 days in Dublin we had to cram as much in as possible and so bought a 24 hour ticket on the the hop on hop off bus to save on precious walking time. In the two days we crammed in visits and tours of Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, St Patricks Cathedral, the Old Jameson's Distillery, Guiness Factory, Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin City Hall, the Old Jameson's Distillery (yes twice, that is not a typo) and a nice range of wandering along the River Liffey and around Temple Bar with stops for Guinness and Jamo and Ginger thrown in!
I can well recommend Kilmainham Gaol and the Guiness Factory as must visits when in Dublin, but for me the highlight (this will shock you I'm sure) was the visit to the Old Jameson Distillery (going twice was a bit of a giveaway). The tour is realistically of the Jameson's museum which is set up to show you how they make Irish whiskey. If you want to tour an actual distillery you should head to
the old Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland a few hours north of Belfast (this distillery visiting is becoming a bit of a habit!). We had to go back twice as on the first visit Lauren got to do the very educational (honest) whiskey tasting session so we had to go again on the Sunday so Ambar and I could also get our tasting credentials. At the end of the tour everyone gets a wee tipple, but 10 lucky volunteers get to do a comparison tasting of the local Jamesons, a scotch and a bourbon to decide which one taste better. Our 10 were split 4 irish, 3 scotch and 3 bourbon - I'm an Irish girl myself! This is a must do when in Dublin and if it's cold treat yourself to the irish hot chocolate at the beginning ... woooo hoooo ... tasty, but potent!
There is still lots of Dublin to be visited, so it's a good excuse to go back and see the bits I missed, revisit a couple of old favourites and catch up with people who inconveniently were away for the weekend when I was there.
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