I would have liked to spend a couple of days in Dublin, Ireland. The city has a wonderful energy, is easy to navigate, and the people are extremely friendly. Our first order of business, after leaving the Celebrity Silhouette, was to had straight to Trinity College to see The Book of Kells.
Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university, houses the ancient manuscript. The Book of Kells is a fascinating Gospel book and is believed to be from around 800 AD. The extravagantly decorated book, filled with illustrations, has been well-preserved. Upon entering the exhibit, visitors find several rooms filled with displays and explanations of the book. In the last room, The Book of Kells is on display, under glass, with ample room to walk around.
PRO TIP: Go early. Make this the first stop of the day, so it is easier to see the book and enjoy the exhibit, with smaller crowds.
After viewing the book, visitors head to the library, a magnificent “Long Room”. On display, in addition to the books, of course, is a restored medieval Gaelic harp. The entire visit takes about half an hour and is well worth the time. Buy tickets online ahead of time to minimize wait times.
It was barely 10 AM when we left Trinity College and began our wandering in earnest. Stopping at a coffee shop for a warming beverage and excellent touring advice (and a nice, clean bathroom), was the first priority. From there we meandered through City Hall and St. Patrick’s Park before heading over to Teeling Distillery to pick up tickets for a tour later that day.
Wandering for hours on end, it was time to stop for lunch, so we met our friends at Hatch and Sons. Tucked into the basement of the Little Museum of Dublin, this bustling restaurant serves up simple foods to a waiting crowd. FKGuy and I ordered the lentil soup, a warm bowl of hearty flavors, and a smoked salmon board. The salmon board, complete with brown soda bread and cheeses, was delicious and satisfying. Alas, we could not linger in the warm, cozy environment forever, since we had whiskey to taste. And, we were in Ireland, so there must be a Guinness, too.
An after-lunch stroll through St. Stephen’s Green is an easy way to forget you are in a big city. Enjoying the bright sunshine, abundant foliage, and uncrowded walkways, we headed through the park, and onward to Teeling Distillery.
Built in 2015, the distillery is the new kid on the block, though just a short distance from where the Teeling’s originally made whiskey in Dublin in the 1780s. The comprehensive tour walks visitors through the entire distilling process, culminating with a tasting of several whiskeys. Each tour took approximately 25 people. The crowd size is manageable for both the tour and the well-organized tasting. (Our luggage and duty-free allotment had already been accounted for, so we managed to escape the gift shop without purchasing a thing.)
Before heading back to the ship, we made a quick stop at a local pub for a pint of perfectly poured Guinness. When in Rome, and all that.
With only a day, we missed quite a bit of the city. I am eager for a return visit soon.