Friday, October 3, 2008

C&C in Dublin

A view of Dublin and the River Liffey in the evening from a pedestrian bridge. 
The last of our trips, that Carrie & I took together, was a trip to Dublin, Ireland. We spent a few days in the city centre, touring the sites and of course visiting the Guimness factory and drinking some of their product too. Unfortunately, we were drenched with rain on a daily basis during this trip. The weather was not too stellar for our stay in this Irish city. 
The first morning we toured around the city, we encountered this site - a truck loading up all of the empty Guinness barrels from the first pub we passed. We sure saw a LOT of people drinking in Dublin!
Our first church to see on our rainy walking tour of Dublin was Christ Church Cathedral. The earliest manuscript dates this church to its present location around 1030. It is the elder of the city's two midevil churches. 
The second church we encountered on our walking tour was the more famous one - St. Patrick's Cathedral. 
St. Patrick's Cathedral which was founded in 1191 and is the largest church in Ireland.
While it was good to see the famous sights of the city, by the time we reached St. Patrick's, we were drenched from the on-going rain of the day.
Our feet are freezing because our shoes are drenched through from the rain....
Even though we are cold and sticky from the rain, we are still having a good time.
After a bit of city sightseeing, we were ready to spend more time indoors, so we made our way to the Guinness Factory to take a tour of the beer-making facility.
Carrie in front of the Guinness sign at the entrance gate. The founder of Guinness, Arthur Guinness, signed a 9,000 year lease for the 4 acre site on which the factory still resides. The current cost of the lease is 45 pounds per year. Arthur was quite a negotiator! 
Inside the storehouse looking up at the eight stories of a tour we were about to start. The steel beams in this building were built in the "Chicago School" style of architecture (coined after the rise the new style of architecture in Chicago following the rebuild of the city following the great fire in 1871) and this building was completed in 1904. It was the first major, steel-framed, multi-storey building in the British Isles.
Carrie in front of the water display on the brewery tour. Guinness has 4 ingredients - barley, hops, water and yeast. Each ingredient had its own physical display on the tour. This water and the water used in Guinness comes from Seven Springs, St. Jame's Well near Kildare.
The barrels on display in the storehouse. Each barrel is still made by hand and they are used to store the beer. 
After 8 floors of a brewery tour, we finally made it to the very top of the storehouse, to the Gravity Bar. Not only was this stop the sampling part of the tour, but it also provided the most amazing views of Dublin from its 360 degree, all glass window wall around the bar. 
The views of Dublin from the Gravity Bar in the Guinness Storehouse. 
Sampling the Guinness product at the Gravity Bar. 
Carrie enjoys her pint of Guinness at the Gravity Bar too.
Of course our trip to a new city would not have been complete without finding a good bakery or pastry shop. Luckily, we stumbled upon this adorable cafe and bakery, The Queen of Tarts, located near the Dublin Castle. 
The Queen of Tarts. What a cute store front! The inside of the cafe had a lot of very neat antiques too. 
We went to the Queen of Tarts twice during our short visit. The second time we had some tea and sweets. Here you can see the chocolate chip scone plate and a piece of carrot cake. Both were pretty tasty.
Near the Queen of Tarts is Dublin Castle. We made a quick visit there to see the place.
Dublin Castle. The castle is mainly used for governmental purposes now. It is used for hosting formal state visits and more informal foreign affairs engagements and state banquets. It is also the place of the inauguration of the president of Ireland. 
While visiting Dublin, we also did a fair bit of shopping and browsing. 
A view of Grafton Street - the main shopping destination in Dublin. It was packed on a daily basis with many people out shopping and dining in the area.
Another popular area of Dublin is the Temple Bar area. As its name indicates, it is filled with a large number of bars and also restaurants. We dined here a few nights and also visited a pub or two.
Carrie with her pint of Guinness in a bar in the Temple Bar area. We were waiting for a table at the Elephant & Castle Restaurant. It was our best meal in Ireland or England....we had buffalo chicken wings! (A VERY rare menu item in this area of the world). 
Sadly, the day after we returned from Ireland was Carrie's last day here visiting us. I drove her back down to Heathrow yesterday morning so she could fly to Chicago for the weekend to meet my parents there. It was the nicest treat to have her here visiting for almost a month and I hope she returns very soon.

1 comment:

Iota said...

Thanks for contacting me and directing me to your blog. I've enjoyed browsing your early forays into English life, and I've left the odd random comment. I'm sure you'll have many fun times ahead of you. I apologise in advance for the British - we're an odd lot. But I think you'll come to like us once you've got used to our ways.