This morning began with a nice walk to the train station. It wasn’t far but it was uphill so it was good hard work for us! Beans foot is feeling a lot better (which was good for the day ahead!). We passed a lot of kids on uniform on their way to school…elementary kids, middle school kids and high school kids. We entertained ourselves by examining and comparing the uniforms of the 3 different schools. The elementary ones were the cutest (all grey & white) but the middle school ones were also cute (with navy, grey & white). The high school ones had ugly skirts and didn’t match. (We would like to take this opportunity to wish our peeps at home good luck with school…the Neustaeters and Kels!) At the train station we met 2 very nice old ladies who we chatted with until our train came. They were very curious about our trip and about Canada. Kristin told them she’d mention them in our blog.
Instead of heading straight to Dublin we got off the train in Bray. This is a town a little bigger than Wicklow Town, but still in Wicklow County. We walked through the center of town and then out to Killruddery Estate just outside of town. This was a bit of a hike with our bags on but there hadn’t been anywhere to store them at the small town station.
The Killruddery Estate and Gardens has been the home of the Earls of Meath since 1618. The current estate dates from 1820. The house was lovely…from the outside…we didn’t pay to go in. The gardens themselves were wonderful though.
We had a little snack sitting on the old Victorian tennis greens and then used our map to wander the gardens. The main reason we wished to visit Killruddery in the first place was it’s film credits. Many scenes from The Tudors and Camelot were filmed here. Makes sense as it has everything you would need for filming: rocky area, wooded area, wilderness area, farmland and a beautifully manicured garden. There were even a few locations we think we might remember scenes from!
The walk back into town somehow seemed harder, even though it was downhill, but we made it 🙂 We were able to catch a train to Dublin almost immediately. When we arrived Kristin was confused why the station looked soooo much like one we had been in before…until she realized we had been in this station on our way to Wicklow…not her finest moment! The hostel was only a couple of blocks away, which was nice after our earlier hike. This hostel seems quite big (aka lots of rooms). We’re in a 6 bed room again (this is going to be the norm for us we think).
Once organized in our new room we caught the tram that ran past the station. This is an above ground rail line kind of like the LRT but just seems lamer. It drives on the road for most of it, so still needs to stop for lights, and often is only going a walking speed. Weird…and lame…but got us where we were going for cheap!
Our destination was the Guinness Storehouse, which is attached to the original brewery that Arthur Guinness opened in 1759 when he signed a 9000 year lease on the building.
We learned a lot about how beer is made, such as what hops are…did you know they have little cabbage like crowns? We also learned about other random things like barrel making, shipping barges and advertising. The tour featured a tasting…here is Justine’s reaction to her first taste of Guinness:
We also got a free pint at the very cool round glass bar at the very top of the storehouse. It was about 8 stories up and gave a wonderful 360 degree view of the city. When we left this is the state of our free pints:
Can you guess who’s is who’s?
We then wandered about and tried to take in as much of Dublin as we could in our limited time. We saw almost the whole of the Medieval/Viking District (sounds like a hoot doesn’t it?), which is the main sights/tourist area. We made sure to check out both Christ Church Cathedral and St Patrick’s Cathedral. Both are very big, very impressive churches! We then took the tram back to our original station and went to a restaurant we had scoped out earlier for supper. Justine had a delicious Shepard’s Pie with chips and Kristin went back to eating Bangers and Mash (she would like to have this for every meal she has left in the UK/Ireland).
What we Learned Today:
– The Guinness Book of World Records is made by Guinness…like Guinness Beer…like that we went to today… It was first created as a means to settle arguments in the bars! (Wikipedia also tells us that is also the most stolen book from libraries in the US)
– We want Kraft Dinner…
Highlights of the Day:
Kristin – Watching Justine drink Guinness…that face…haha!
Justine – The pretty fairytale like gardens of Killruddery.
Love, Luck & Leprechauns,