The Original Guinness St. James's Gate
This is our final day on our honeymoon in Ireland.
On our last full day in Ireland, Grace and I got up, had our breakfast, and bought our tickets for our Hop On Hop Off bus tour of Dublin. We were advised to take the bus with the live-action guide, and they did not disappoint. We rode the bus, only getting off the bus at our must-see sights first, the Guinness brewery and the Kilmainham Gaol (Jail).
Our first stop was the Guinness Brewery. It was an interesting tour, but there wasn’t a lot of new info for a seasoned brewer like myself. As a basic tour, it was worth the trip. At the top of the tour, there was the Gravity Bar, which gives you a 360 degree view of Dublin, plus a free pint. After we took the tour of the brewery and got our free pint in the Gravity Bar, we walked around the block so we could see the original St. James’s Gate (pictured).
After we stopped at the Guinness brewery, we hopped back on our bus tour and visited the Kilmainham Gaol. This was the large jail that was built in 1796, and saw a lot of public executions, and was one of the first jails to employ the new idea of rehabilitation, which included quiet quarters and isolation.
The jail holds a special place in Irish history because the cells held many of the most famous people involved in the campaign for Irish independence. The British imprisoned and executed the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising here, and after the leaders were executed, public sympathy increased for the Irish Republic.
The tour was great, and it was amazing to think that Ireland only gained its independence from England less than a century ago.
After the tour of the Gaol, we hopped back on the tour bus. We saw several stops, including the Dublin Zoo and the Wellington Monument. As we passed the Wellington Monument, the tour guide told us that the monument was raised because the Duke of Wellington, an Irish native, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, but it was said the Duke wasn’t too fond of Ireland. To this, the tour guide said, “… and we weren’t too fond of him, either.” It was pretty amusing.
General Post Office
On our tour, we passed by the General Post Office, which was the headquarters for the uprising’s leaders. Most of it, except the front of the building and the columns, was destroyed by fire in the uprising. If you were to look close enough at the pillars, you can still see the bullet holes.
Next up, we visited the historic Trinity College, and saw the historic Book of Kells, a copy of biblical gospels, transcribed in Latin in the 9th century. We also saw the library, which is a very long corridor, and has a ton of ancient books.
After visiting Trinity College and the Book of Kells, we decided it was time to visit a few famous Dublin pubs.
Enjoying Ryans Pub
The Stag's Head
The Long Hall
The first stop, and one that was on the bus tour, was Ryans Pub. It was a good lunch, and that’s when we decided to check out a few more of these pubs around the Temple Bar area. We quickly checked out O’Donoghue’s and M. J. O’Neill’s, but stopped at The Stag’s Head, with a great big moose head on the wall, for a pint. After we checked out the historic pub, we walked by the Dublin Castle, but couldn’t take the tour because they were full for the rest of the day. We continued on to The Long Hall, which was named for the long hall that ran the length of the bar. In the early days, when women weren’t allowed in the bar, they would order their drinks from the hall, and had them passed through small doors. (Click on the photos to view larger versions)
Before we called it a day on our tour of Dublin, we crossed the Ha’Penny Bridge, which at one point was the only way to cross the River Liffey in Dublin, to pass from northern to southern Dublin.
After we had finished our touring, we headed back to the bed and breakfast to pack. Once we had everything put away, we needed a change of pace, so we went to a brewpub near our bed and breakfast, Porterhouse North (not the one in the heart of Dublin, but the one on the north part of town).
The food was good, and we each had a nitrogen-infused red, but unfortunately the service was pretty slow, and not very attentive. It was our only sub-par dining experience on the entire trip.
To bring us back on a high note, we ended the night at our favorite pub, John Kavanagh. While we were there, we talked a bit more with Eugene Kavanagh, and he even brought his daughter, the eighth generation, to meet us.
At the end of the day, I had six more Guinness pints, and a Porterhouse brewing Red, to bring my Irish Guinness pints to 32 in 6 days. We finished the trip with a ton of memories, a lot of Guinness, and enveloped ourselves in a lot of Irish history. Thanks for joining us on our honeymoon!