Travel Tuesday: Dublin, Ireland

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m going to start doing Travel Tuesday posts (it’s a thing on Twitter) that will be listicles or quick hits of info about places I’ve traveled. Since there are many travel destinations I’ve visited in the past but haven’t blogged about, I thought it would be fun to go back and incorporate some of those places, in addition to recent destinations.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, it seemed only appropriate that I feature Dublin as my first destination. I visited Dublin in November 2010 with my good friend, Clinton. We stayed with Clinton’s Irish relatives who cooked the most delicious Irish food for us each day. I ate everything from Corned Beef & Cabbage to Beef Stew to Black Pudding (aka blood sausage). Black Pudding is surprisingly delicious…

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St. Patrick’s Cathedral

We walked around Dublin and saw all of the famous sites, such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College, and Christ Church Cathedral. But my favorite part about Dublin was the Guinness Storehouse. Of course, it is a super tourist attraction, and you have to buy a ticket to get in (it includes a free pint), but the exhibits are really fun and informative. We learned about everything from how Guinness is made to some of the company’s most famous advertising stunts. After you make your way through the multiple floors of exhibits, you can cash in on your free pint on the top-floor bar featuring 365-degree views of Dublin. It really is worth the ticket price.

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My perfectly poured pint of Guinness

Dublin doesn’t top my list of favorite cities, but I enjoyed my time there. What really makes Dublin (and Ireland in general) special is the people. Everyone we encountered was so friendly and welcoming and always down to have a good time. Maybe that’s why St. Paddy’s Day is such a fun holiday to celebrate! (And it is Paddy, not Patty, because it is derived from the Irish “Pádraig.”)

So go get yourself a pint of Guinness (ditch the green beer) and celebrate St. Paddy’s day the Irish way!

Fun facts about Guinness:

  • Guinness should be allowed to settle after pouring and before drinking. There should be a distinct line between the dark beer and the light foamy head. If the colors are still blending together and the beer looks light brown, wait a few minutes and it will settle.
  • Guinness is also great for cooking! I love to add a bottle of it to chocolate cake batter or into the ground beef mixture in a Shepherd’s Pie. It adds a nice richness and another level of flavor.
  • Irish Car Bombs (a shot of Jameson and Bailey’s dropped in half a pint of Guinness) were invented in America and are pretty offensive to those of Irish heritage (and others). Don’t try to order one in Ireland. And maybe just don’t order one at all…
  • If dark beers or beers in general aren’t your thing, give Bulmers Irish Cider (sold as Magners outside of the Republic of Ireland) a try. Hard ciders are popular in Ireland and the UK, and they have a crisp taste with hints of fruit. Before I really got into beer, cider was my “gateway beer.”
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