After arriving in Dublin and checking into our hotel, we headed to the Guinness tour. While a bit pricey (like it seems most attractions here are) it was worth a look. The exhibits and self guided tour are informative and the building itself is artistic. I would recommend spending at least an hour and a half and not going at the very end of the day, as we were rushed through the educational tasting and “Pour a Perfect Pint” experiences and didn’t have time to linger in the Gravity Bar, which has a phenomenal view of the city.
The next day, we visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and were given a great hour long free tour by a volunteer who gave us the ins and outs of Irish history. The cathedral was quite impressive, and the artifacts are worth checking out as well. Trinity College and the Book of Kells are a must see. We took a student guided tour, and our guide was very well informed and allowed us to choose the topics our tour focused on. The architecture is beautiful here, and dates from different periods. One building, donated by Bram Stoker, was appropriately Gothic. The Book of Kells is an old edition of the bible dating back to 800 AD, written and beautifully illustrated by monks. The history of this text and the fact that it remains in tact is very impressive. The detail and beauty of the drawings is phenomenal.
After all our site seeing, we attended the pre party for the USA Ireland friendly football match with the American Outlaws, a club of American national football fans. This was a lot of fun, and culminated with a march complete with songs to the stadium. The game was a blast, and was quite exciting, until towards the end when we ended up losing. Still, it was a great time, and I look forward to attending more friendly matches in the future.