Mom and I went for a tour of the Guinness Factory in Dublin. I’m not a beer fan whatsoever, but it was interesting to see what exactly goes into this dark elixir. An added bonus for beer drinkers – a free pint of Guinness and an incredible view of the city. So what did I figure out about beer (other than I still don’t like it) – well, the hops that go into beer are actually quite pretty 🙂
After the tour, we went for lunch at one of the eateries in the factory. The soup was a sodium fiesta but the bread was carbolicious goodness.
That evening, my brother & I were craving crepes from Half Moon Crepe Company again. One can get alcohol late at night, but sadly sugar cravings are harder to fill in Dublin at late hours. We ended up at the Bad Ass Cafe and consumed what can only be described as a fiesta of inadequacy. Here is an important lesson: reheating stale cake does not make it good. Putting chocolate sauce and ice cream also adds precious little to the taste experience.
Since my brother has labelled me “the food snob”, I was obligated to make up for the horror of this dessert experience. He is seriously not going to let me live this one down….but I hope a second trip to Half Moon did the trick. We ordered a crepe with Nutella & banana, served with ice cream. Banana and the hazelnut in the Nutella renders this virtually a health food – in the parallel universe where my brain usually resides 🙂 I lived off of this spiffy concoction the last time I was in Dublin and it’s nice to see that it’s still as amazing as I remembered it. Only this time I was nice and shared it.
I’d recommend crepes in Dublin. I’m sure the Guinness is good if you’re into that kind of thing 🙂 I would recommend the Leprechaun Museum but I was too cheap to go in. At 10 euros a pop, it made me wish I had a box of lucky charms to give to those punky green critters instead 🙂
I’ve arrived safe & sound in Dublin for the first leg of my vacation. On my British Airways flight over the pond, I mistakenly ordered a vegan meal, rather than a vegetarian one (omnivore here figured that would likely be the tastiest of airplane meals). Surprisingly it wasn’t truly awful – chana masala, salad with sad looking tomatoes and fruit. Sorry – no photos of said meal.
Arriving in Heathrow, I was treated to a fiesta of transportation, passport checks, security checks and photographed (where I smized enough to make Tyra proud). In my highly sleep deprived state, I did what any rational human would do – shopped for chocolate. I bought Belgian chocolate from Harrods, bought a few other chocolate bars (one celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee) and some Irish chocolates that I started to shove down my sleepy pie hole.
What else could one possibly want to do at an airport besides eating chocolate…well, eating caviar of course 🙂 I resisted the salty fishy roe as I’m afraid I’m not posh enough – and I dislike fishy things. However, if you have lots of time to kill and you’re feeling extra fancy, Terminal 1 at Heathrow will meet your caviar needs 🙂
Tomorrow I set off on the long journey back to Canada. Perhaps I’m being a bit melodramatic because it’s not like I have to swim across the Atlantic and Air Canada does have personal sized tv sets for me to watch Twilight yet again…
I bid a fond farewell to Dublin, the city of Guinness and leprechauns and all sorts of other good Irish things. As one whose alcohol of choice is sugary snacks, I made the best of staying in pub central and found a number of cool things to do:
1. Crepes at the Half Moon Crepe Company – I ate at this place 3 days in a row and it was a very yummy calorific way to start off my day. I recommend the Nutella and banana crepes and their cafe lattes. Ursula, you rule for recommending this and are also responsible for my pants being so tight 🙂
Nutella & banana crepe carnage...
2. Free museums – there are a number of museums that are actually free in Dublin. For art fans, I recommend a trip to the National Gallery of Ireland. If archaeology is your bag, then go to the National Museum of Archaeology & History. For all you dungeons & dragons fans, there’s a cool display of weaponry in that museum, full of maces, axes and other killing implements – plus no lost hit points!
3. Walk down Grafton Street – you will see buskers and likely be accosted by earnest young people asking you to support puppies or starving orphans or give you a flyer for something you have zero interest in. Visit the posh shop Brown Thomas and curse the euro for being such a strong currency, then visit Marks & Spencer just to admire their devotion to “crisps” and other salty snacks.
She was one of the talented musicians...
4. Wander around St. Stephen’s Green – and make sure your camera battery is charged! It’s a festival of photosynthesis in this place. Soak it all up and enjoy!
In my opinion, Avoca (www.avoca.ie) is the coolest shop in Dublin. Where else can you get clothing, scarves galore, blankets, assorted household items, children’s things, gourmet food and eat a meal all under one roof…Avoca is one mean multitasking machine….
Avoca's cafe menu
Window display at Avoca
I’ve been there three times over the past couple of days to drool over scarves and blankets, pick up a chocolate covered rice krispie treat (so freaking good!) and a white ceramic bunny creamer. Amidst all the shops catering to the disaffected youth and pubs galore, I found a sweet little place for snacks and soft objects. Avoca is located at 11-13 Suffolk Street in Dublin.
Fuelling my scarf addiction at Avoca...
Blanket from Avoca...too cute to leave in Dublin...
I started my day with a trip to the Half Moon Crepe Company in the Temple Bar area of Dublin. My lovely friend Ursula recommended this place and it did not disappoint. Although it wasn’t quite the Breizh Cafe in Paris, it was still crepe-tastic and I was muttering happy food sounds to myself as I devoured my nutella crepe with vanilla ice cream. I have a feeling I’ll be back tomorrow….
Yummy yummy in my tummy....
After bidding a fond farewell to the creperie, I decided to wander around this rather “squishy” (aka compact) city. I’ve never met a map I liked for more than its use of colour, so I was rather shocked when I came across Trinity College. It was exactly what I was looking for and I found it truly by accident – and it wasn’t where I thought it was on the map… I wandered around main areas of the beautiful campus and decided I was too cheap to spend 10 euros for a tour of the campus and a look at the ancient Book of Kells.
Trinity College campus
My adventures continued with a trip to the Chester Beatty Library, which includes a variety of religious texts, art work and one of composer Joseph Haydn’s original compositions. The upside of this museum – it’s free!
Close to the hustle and bustle of Grafton Street is an oasis of greenery called St. Stephen’s Green. Unfortunately my camera battery ran out while I was strolling around the park. However, I managed to capture this photo of its loveliness.
St. Stephen's Green
Well, I’ve arrived at the last European city on my journey – Dublin. I spent the afternoon wandering around the Temple Bar and Grafton Street areas of the city. Let’s just say it’s not a city to be in if one is a recovering alcoholic – bars are everywhere…..almost makes me wished I liked beer!
I’ve managed to find a leprechaun. He was a whole lot larger than I’d been led to believe by those Frosted Lucky Charms commercials.
Grafton Street also has a lot of buskers and other street performers. No I did not see that guy from the film Once playing his guitar, but that’s kind of what it reminded me of. Some of them were good….some, not so much. Fortunately this clown marionette playing piano was actually more cute than creepy.
Clown marionette playing piano....
I am off in search of good crepes and chocolate. Every city has chocolate….even Dublin 🙂