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Jill McCracken’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 17 Mar 2011

Location: Dublin, Ireland

MapSt. Patrick's Day in Ireland - Dublin

Professor S. (architecture) is a god-send and cancelled our walking tour today because he didn't want to impinge on our party plans and could see that some students had already been liberal with the green beer but showed up to class anyway....the epitome of respect. In any case, that left Becky, Sarah and I with some time to relax before we took the shuttle bus out to the Beauvais airport. Ryanair was late, like always but the flight was enjoyable (especially with on-board cappuccino and Bailey's). We left Gillian at the airport to enjoy her time with her family on the farm and we trekked into the city centre. Not moments after disembarking from the bus, we saw an old man keel over and a fight. I was a little alarmed but realized that the entire city had probably been drinking since noon and I was just late to the party....

All checked in and donning our green outfits we found Louis in the Temple Bar district and set to work. The streets were full of gorgeous music, lots of Guinness and...Canadians! It seems like every second person I met on St. Patrick's Day in Dublin was a Canadian. Small world! We had a lovely night. Friday was slated for tourism so we set out to hit as many sights on the map that we could before it was time to hit the pub again. St. Patrick's, Christchurch Cathedral, and the Museum of Modern Art were all checked off the list even before our yummy fish and chips lunch at a local watering hole. We ventured into the Guinness Brewery district and were astounded by the lineup, there were probably a good three hundred folks ready to imbibe in the Black Gold tradition. Thank-goodness that we booked tickets online and printed them out because we skipped that line of 300....hahahaha (tiny, sinister laugh).

The brewery was a really fun experience: you got to see how the beer is formulated and cared for through the entire process. We had a quick taster beer (demi-pint) halfway up the building but there was still so much more to see. I think I liked the advertising exhibit the most, they have had some great ads over the years. "Tick followed tock followed tick followed tock followed tick..." Then we went up to the Gravity Lounge and got to have a full beer. It was delicious and felt "good for me". I even asked to have a shamrock sculpted on the top of my pint. The lounge is entirely glassed in so we could see the whole of Dublin in one beautiful panoramic glance.

Horse-drawn carriages were lined up outside the brewery when we came out so we thought, "Why not?" The driver was cheerful and it was great to be able to sit through a different tour of the city. Definitely worth 5 euro. We saw Trinity College, home of many of the Irish literary greats and then suited up for another night out in Temple Bar. I met a Brazilian learning English in Dublin. Man, his accent is going to be so messed up!

[See photos]