We started our Irish journey in Dublin, arriving on a Friday afternoon. We were able to get some errands done (laundry, haircut, etc) and check out some of the sights in town. Dublin is super adorable and while it’s a larger city, still feels very Irish.
I was still recovering from my migraine, so we took it easy and had a light dinner at a local Mexican restaurant called Tolteca. We had low expectations, but it was almost identical to Chipotle, so we went for it. It pretty much tasted exactly like Chipotle, so we were satisfied.
The next day we set off to the Guinness Storehouse, a “must-do” according to everyone we spoke with. We were a bit appalled at the price (€20?!), but we “had to” so we paid the price and went in. The Storehouse is sort of like Disneyland for adults, but also kind of ridiculous. It was very well done, but it felt corporate and a bit like propaganda. You start by learning the history of Guinness, and then move on to learn how the beer is made (doesn’t everyone know how beer is made in 2017?). Then you can see more historical stuff, learn about their advertising, and you can even learn to pour the perfect Guinness pint (we passed on this). While, it’s corporate and a bit over the top, we still had a nice time and got to do a free tasting and sample some other beers. We also got a free Guinness. The Storehouse is probably the tallest building in Dublin, and had awesome views from the top where you enjoy your free pint, so that was nice. Overall, we wouldn’t really recommend this place unless you are a Guinness fanatic or just really want to learn about Guinness. It’s way overpriced for what it is.
Later that day we picked up our friends Stephanie and Johnny from the airport (Stephonny!) and got them settled into our hotel. We then walked into the main part of Dublin to check out the sights and eat a pub dinner. We were in bed early to start our road trip the following day!
The next morning, we headed out of Dublin for Kilkenny, where we visited the castle grounds (beautiful!) and wandered around this adorable town. We had a lovely lunch before heading out towards Cork.
Our first stop in Cork was the Blackrock Castle Observatory, which is an old castle converted into an observatory. We arrived just in time to catch the last tour of the day. We learned about the castle and went into the observatory to learn about the night sky in Ireland. We also enjoyed some local beers in the courtyard.
After Blackrock, we got settled into our hotel and then wandered around Cork before having dinner. After dinner we went to a local pub called Sin É (pronounced “shin-eh”), which had live music. This was the ultimate Irish pub experience – a tiny pub with musicians performing while sitting in a booth in the corner. It was definitely a highlight for all of us and a great way to end the first day of our road trip!
Stay tuned and we’ll tell you more about our Irish road trip!