The evening before travelling to Ireland together, my friends and I decided to Google some Irish slang to use whilst we were there.
Feeling like a shite in a swing swong means, apparently, having a hangover. Despite not actually having too bad a hangover at all over the three days we were there, I feel like this phrase best describes my little mini break in Dublin. Most of our time was spent eating and drinking, after all.
If you’ve never been to Dublin before – which I hadn’t – then think of it as a prettier London, only wetter, with better beer, and more of the Irish accent.
It definitely helps if you like Guinness, too. Because it is literally everywhere. And often cheaper than anything else available to drink. It’s a shame I don’t drink beer at all. I’m much more of a wine or whiskey person.
Visiting the Guinness Storehouse though was a lot of fun. I don’t think I realized quite how much it has shaped Dublin, or even Ireland itself, and how much work goes into the creation, quality and taste of the drink. The Storehouse itself is massive and is part show-and-tell, part museum, part shop and part tasting experience. You learn everything from how Guinness is made to how to correctly drink it and appreciate it’s flavor, and the price of entry I feel is quite fair, especially seeing as you get a pint of Guinness at the end. Even I managed to drink my whole pint whilst we were in the Gravity Bar, which is the glass bar at the top of the Storehouse, boasting a view of the whole of Dublin. Something about relaxing above the city, realizing the work that goes into the drink, makes it much more enjoyable.
Still the only whole pint of it I’ve drank though.
We spent a lot of time in Temple Bar, which is a must-visit place, experiencing the live music that you can find (and attempting to find the ‘original’ Temple Bar), but the pub we spent the most time in, and the one we found first, is a little place called The Celt just around the corner from our hotel near O’Connell Street, which felt like the most stereotypically authentic Irish pub in the whole of Dublin. It’s here that we had Traditional Irish Stew with Guinness Bread, which I have the recipe of, and will hopefully be attempting to make soon!
Finally, on our last day, my friends allowed me a brief nerdy moment, and came with me to see the Book of Kells, which is a super old religious text, the oldest in Ireland at least, residing in the gorgeous Trinity College, underneath an even more impressive library. After this, we went to St Stephen’s Green, and the boys pretended to be T-Rexes in each others photographs.
There’s no avoiding this, unfortunately.
If I go back to Ireland, I think I’d like to do a driving tour around the more rural parts of Ireland, and have a few more days spent just relaxing, not walking around bars so much. If I was to go back to Dublin, I’d love to see more of the iconic literary places, by doing the Ulysses walk, for example, as I studied Irish literature during my degree and would have loved to see where some of the books I have read were created.
It was so nice to escape to somewhere I’ve never been before with a group of friends who are so easy going and open to doing anything. I can’t wait for more group holidays and mini breaks!