Our final stop on our amazing European vacation was to the main hub of Ireland: Dublin. What a wonderful city! It’s full of fascinating history, eerie legends and superstitions, good booze (of course), wonderful markets, and welcoming people.
For most of the first day we wandered through the city, making sure to stop at Trinity College Dublin and look around. But then, as it always seemed to do, a rain storm hit, so we ran into the Irish Whiskey Museum for safe haven and caught a fantastic tour.
I’ve said it before, Ireland does such a great job with these interactive tours. They have great visuals set up to walk you through the history of these places and the majority of the tour is conducted by a real individual, but then they surprise you with these interactive video/paintings that speak, argue with each other, and tell the stories of the different whiskey distilling families and the struggle to compete in an industrial age.
Not only that, I will say our tour guide did such a great job handling my nephew. My nephew at the time wasn’t even 2 years old, so he got bored of these tours pretty quickly. When he would start to get fussy, the tour guide would give him something to play with or help distract him for a little bit. She didn’t make us feel any less welcome for including the tiny diva in a tour clearly not meant for children.
I highly recommend stopping in for a tour – and I’m saying that as a person who isn’t a huge fan of whiskey!
Our next museum was the “Little Museum of Dublin” and yes, while it is just a few series of rooms in an old house filled with pictures, the tour guide did a wonderful job telling the stories of Ireland and painting a picture for us about the kind of people who have lived in this city and the different political and religious struggles they’ve had to overcome.
There are so many different images, I wonder if each tour is a bit unique with what the guide decides to feature. They do have traveling exhibits in the rooms at the top — one of the features was a whole room dedicated to U2.
Overall an interesting and informative stop on our lively trip to Dublin.
Finally we decided – based on the tripadvisor and yelp reviews – to go all in and try the Dublin Free Walking Tour which was . . . fantastic. Completely informal, wonderfully full of information, and our tour guide had such a personality. He wasn’t just reciting facts he had memorized or a script he knows by rote. He did an excellent job of answering pretty much all questions, and brought to life some of the more serious issues that the Dubliners have had to face.
It’s a great walking tour, you get to see parts of the city you could miss otherwise, and we gave him a great tip because he made the tour worth it! But other than that – it’s free!
Until we meet again, Ireland
What a whirlwind trip of travel, family fun and adventures. I’m so grateful I have a family who loves to try new things and explore new places and even more so that we like doing it together. I think this Irish blessing says it best:
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.