Whiskey and Giants: Ireland Part 2

So I know I promised you this post months ago. In fact, it’s been about 6 months since we’ve posted last. It’s not because we haven’t been doing anything, it’s just because we’ve been so busy having adventures we’ve gotten behind on posting. So here’s a throwback to the second half of my Ireland trip back in August. (Here’s the first part of my trip to Ireland if you need a recap).

Old Books

While I was in Ireland for a conference, I also wanted a chance to see parts of Dublin I hadn’t seen before. So I scooted off one afternoon to see the Book of Kells at the Trinity Library. I got there about 30 min before closing and I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to get in because I had heard how long the line was to get in. Pro Tip: go right before closing. There is no line.

I can’t show you a picture of the book because it’s so old you’re not allowed to take photos. It is a book that contains the four books of the Gospel as well as other texts. Each day the Library opens it up to a different image. The images are beautiful and done using different pigments and precious metals. Someone in front of me took photos of the items used to make the pigments so I did too… of course, I was the only one who got yelled at.

But as neat as the Book of Kells, it was the Long Room that really stole the show. For anyone who loves books, this was worth the admission price:

There were so many beautiful books. I spent way too much time trying to get the best shots of all of them without people in the way…. pretty impossible. As much as I enjoyed hanging out in this beautiful library, I had to move along because I had an appointment to keep.

Whiskey in Ireland

I decided I really wanted to do a whiskey tasting while I was in Ireland. No one else seemed particularly interested so I went on my own. I made reservations at the Irish Whiskey Museum and I decided if I was going to do this, I should go all in. So I made reservations for their tasting and blending tour. After a tour of the museum, we got to taste and blend our own bottle of whiskey to bring home. It was awesome.

I named mine “Solo Traveler” because every blend needs a name. It actually made it home and got great reviews from Ryan and my dad, both whiskey connoisseurs.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

After the whiskey tour, I went down to  St. Patrick’s Cathedral because some of my colleagues had found four-leaf clovers there earlier in the day. I figured what could be luckier than that? While the cathedral was pretty and there were lots of clovers, I didn’t find any with four leaves. In fact, I had never found a four-leaf clover in my life. (That has since changed. I found one in my parking lot while walking the dog a couple months ago). So I explored the area for a bit before walking to find dinner.

After dinner in a quiet little restaurant I had passed on my way, I decided to walk back to the city center and catch a bus back to the university. On my way, I heard a tin flute playing in a bar. So I stopped in and listened to some wonderful music. I had a cider and just enjoyed myself. Solo adventures should always have music.

Giants and Northern Ireland

On my last day in Ireland, I took a tour to Northern Ireland. I walked to downtown Dublin to catch a bus to Northern Ireland. A few of my colleagues decided to go as well. I managed to make my way to the front of the line so I could sit in the front row of the bus. This allowed me to take photos out of the front window along with the sides. Apparently, some family made reservations to sit in the front, but they didn’t show up so I was able to keep my seat.

The first stop was to learn about the conflicts in Northern Ireland. We saw the wall that divided the city and churches that played a big role in the conflicts, We also learned about people who participated in hunger fasts. All of this took place in a black cab.

I’m not a super big fan of historical tours but I enjoyed riding around in the cab and seeing some of the important churches in Belfast.

We met back up with the other half of the tour group at the Titanic Museum and then headed to the Giant’s Causeway.

I loved the Giant’s Causeway. It rained most of the way there but finally cleared up by the time we reached the causeway. I got in trouble for going out onto the black rocks, where the tide comes in. But we were there during low tide which is the best time to be there.

I got to play in the tide pools and I collected some sand for my sand collection. It was amazing and beautiful. I also found lots of sea glass and a heart shaped rock.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

The final stop of the day was to see the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. It was pouring rain on our way and I wasn’t sure we were going to make it in our tour bus. There was lots of rain on the road.

Thankfully we made it and were able to explore the island and the bridge.

We walked through a lot of water to get there but it was worth it.

I spent 8 hours with wet shoes but it was a great adventure. It was a wonderful way to end our week. I had to head back home the next day but it was a great way to end the week.

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