Our first day in Dublin, we had decided to take a historical walking tour with a highly recommended company, www.historicaltours.ie. They do two tours daily at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. for 13 euros per person. You can pay online which they prefer or just show up and pay the guide. We also tipped her as she did such a good job. Really a bargain given that Grace, our tour guide, has a PhD in history from Trinity College and knew her stuff.
We had to brave the “Freshers” (incoming freshman college students) in the main square of Trinity College to meet up with our tour group. All very Hogwarts feeling with the medieval buildings and packed with students talking to the various club members in tents attracting rowers, rugby players, magicians, political, etc. Our tour group ranged in age but mostly couples and a nice size of 12 people so we could all huddle around Grace to hear the tales of the religious wars and many invasions that Ireland has experiences throughout the ages. Damn, they’ve seen a lot of turmoil on this small island.
Heads up, cobblestone streets are repaired to stay with Dublin’s historical look but are hell to walk on even with sensible Uggs. I can’t even imagine navigating in a heel. Be warned and dress appropriately including a rain jacket.
Group introduced, off we went throughout Trinity College, Temple Bar, and the Viking neighborhood where ruins were plowed over to make way for a new government building. The Irish seem good about preserving many buildings but since the Vikings were marauders and invaded them, they weren’t so particular about preserving their ruins. Shame.
Temple Bar, the lively bar area, used to be under water and it still runs under the streets. Close to the river, it is now the hub of pubs and shopping. Grace pointed out many historical sites here and then off we went to Christ Church and Dublin Castle.
After the two hour tour, we were famished and just happened upon a place I had read about as having the best fish and chips in Ireland, Leo Burdock’s. The counter guy greeted us and when Thom asked how he was doing, he replied, “Living the dream. I work here” and gestured to the humble abode where they dished out the best slab of fish and hearty chips I have ever eaten. Funny. Sharing the 10 euro special while sitting on a park bench at Christ Church, we chowed down, gaining our energy back before we meandered home through Temple Bar and back to the hotel. I was beat and jet lagged! With the awesome Westin bed to tuck into, it was an early evening and 12 hours of sleep for me after our first day in Dublin.