Winter Break – Playing Tourist in Dublin by Raj Shah

By Raj Shah

Winter break had kicked in and I decided to stay in Limerick and explore Ireland as much as I could. Even though I ended up only going to Dublin, it was a pretty fun and neat experience. With a couple of friends, I took the bus to Dublin (which conveniently picks and drops one off right outside The Stables in the University) and ultimately reached Dublin two-and-a-half hours later.

Sunrise from the bus
Sunrise from the bus

ST. PATRICKS CATHEDRAL
With most of the building work dating back to the 13th Century, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is also Dublin’s largest church. It is said to house the remains of Jonathan Swift (author; Gulliver’s Travels) and is the last cathedral in Ireland with daily sung services.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral

DUBLINIA
Want to learn about life in the city in Viking Times or Medieval Dublin? This is the place to be! This heritage centre located in the heart of Dublin is an excellent way to delve into the  historical archives and learn about Dublin’s colourful history.

Dublinia entrance
Dublinia entrance

DUBLIN CASTLE
Dublin Castle is home to Ireland’s last intact medieval tower which in itself is of much importance to Dublin and Ireland. Playing a prominent role in Ireland’s history, today the tower house the most prestigious State rooms in the country and is the venue for Ireland’s Presidential Inaugurations and State Functions. Don’t forget to check out Bedford Tower and The Chester Beatty Library!

Bedford Tower, viewed from The Courtyard
Bedford Tower, viewed from The Courtyard

TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN
Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity College Dublin was built during the Tudor monarchy (dynasty). Perfect for a stroll, the campus is very calm and peaceful as well. The Book of Kells, a world famous illuminated manuscript hand-written and created by Celtic monks is on permanent display in the Library.
PHOTO 5

 The Library. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside, so here’s one from Google
The Library. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside, so here’s one from Google

GUINNESS STOREHOUSE
The Guinness Storehouse, located at St. James Gate is one of the attractions you cannot miss if you are headed to Dublin!

Close to the entrance
Near The Entrance

Personally, I was amazed to see such a commercial and sophisticated tour of Ireland’s most famous alcoholic drink/beverage. The tour was self-guided and finished at the top of the building. Before that though, was an exclusive store with a wide range of official Guinness merchandise.

On Entry to Guinness Storehouse
On Entry to Guinness Storehouse

With the help of a very elaborate audio-visual tour I got to know the history of Guinness, what went into making it, how they’d brew it and transport it back in the day. Also, as I made my way up 7 floors, there was an interesting section that helped one ‘hone their senses to fully appreciate the sight, aroma, flavor, taste and feel of a perfect pint of Guinness’.

Different Guinness made to date
Different Guinness made to date

I finally reached the top of the building, The Gravity Bar. The best part of the tour in my opinion, this bar provided a picturesque view of the Dublin skyline. Oh, and good news – you get a free pint of Guinness!

Amazing view from The Gravity Bar
Amazing view from The Gravity Bar

However, this list is not complete. Since I had no fixed plan of what I’d do in Dublin (which I believe is the way to do it), I missed out on seeing The National Museum of Ireland, The National Gallery, The National Wax Museum and many others. But hey, this may be the first time but it won’t be my last time going to Dublin! Until next time…

Temple Bar
Temple Bar
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