The worst part about Dublin was getting there. Our flight was before 7 am, which meant we had to be at the airport entirely too early. We were planning to fly to London after Dublin for our first free weekend. We had three reasons to go to London. We wanted to take a day trip out to Hampton Palace, visit the Science Museum, and attend the London Comic Con. Our friend, a huge Star Wars autograph collector, gave us some of his posters to be signed at the con. Therefore, besides our luggage, we had a poster tube and a portfolio book.
We get through security nice and easy. Then our professors realized that we forgot to check in with Ryanair. We had our boarding passes, so for most airlines it wouldn’t be necessary, but for Ryanair it was. We had to leave security and go to the Ryanair desk. It doesn’t take long, but then we remembered something vitally important. We forgot the poster tube at the security checkpoint. Now, some of our friend’s posters have autographs that cannot be signed again due to the fact that some of the actors are deceased. Cristina starts to panic, yet when we get back to the checkpoint, the Edinburgh security guards picked up and quickly got it for her when she described it. I’m not sure if we would have been so lucky with TSA.
Something else happened during this time. I developed a flare in my left hand. All the joints started to hurt and it had slight swelling. The pain was horrible. I just took some Excedrin and went on with my day. We arrived in Dublin with plenty of time for breakfast. We headed to the Temple Bar area and ate at Elephant and Castle. This was simply one of the best breakfasts I’ve had anywhere. The French brioche toast with eggs and hash browns were amazing. The French toast was the best version of that dish that I’ve ever had. I don’t like hash browns, but these were worth the price of admission alone. We vowed to come back.
Then it was the walk to the hostel. Hostels are wonderful and amazing places for young people to sleep cheaply while travelling and to meet people from all over. I am 40. While the Generator Hostel was great at what it was, I could live with never staying at a hostel again, especially during a PR flare. I would recommend it to anyone college age or anyone that doesn’t need as much comfort as this old man does. Our room fit six so all the people we shared our flat shared the hostel room plus Justin, a fellow college student who actually was my student when he was in high school. This made me feel even older. The beds made me feel ancient. It did have free WiFi, which is more than I can say for an expensive hotel we stayed at later in the trip.
Exhausted from the early flight, and for my the pain in my left hand, most of us took a nap. We wanted to explore Dublin, but if you can’t think straight then you are just wasting time wandering around. However, after our nap, we took the walk to the Guinness brewery. It was amazing to see the brewery. We did not really see how they brewed the beer but more of an interactive museum of how to brew their beer. In other words, the tour is not of the functional part of the brewery. The best part was a little side room that did two things: showed you the proper form for drinking a Guinness and allowed you to experience the rich aromas that goes into a Guinness. For the first part, your back must be straight and you must hold the beer near your chest. Then you inhale, sip, then exhale. This allows for you to find all the flavors. The next room was probably my single favorite room in the building. There were four vents giving out vapors each for each unique ingredient in Guinness. It was wonderful.
The tour ends at the top of the brewery with a bar that allows for 360 degree views of Dublin. Oh, and they give each customer a free pint. Cody had to leave early due to leaving his wallet on the plane, so that made for two free pints for me. We just drank our Guinness and enjoyed the views. And yes, it does taste better in Dublin.
Cristina and I made it back to the hostel. We ate at a local gastro-pub, Oscars Café Bar, right near the hostel. Cristina ordered a cajun chicken sandwich and I ordered the fish and chips and received the biggest piece of fish ever. It was all quite good. Even though we were tired and didn’t get to do as much as we liked, our first day in Dublin was a success. The next day we take a trip to Trinity to learn about the Famine.