Day Sixteen: goodbye lovely Edinburgh, hello Dublin! Our fearless leader had to leave us to go back to the States, which was very very sad. We miss our gray haired leader. The remaining four Kupps took off on a green plane with a clover plastered on the side and Irish flight attendants. We landed in Dublin and took a ride with a witty and lively Irish man to our hotel. He told us about how his son met his girlfriend while selling fake IDs and shared about how his dog gets suspicious about the weather when it doesn’t rain and refuses to go outside. We made it to Temple Bar in the heart of Dublin, where we found our Fleet Street Hotel. The hotel was a maze of stairs and hallways and weird ups and downs, which was not fun to haul our luggage through. The rooms came with earplugs, which started to make sense with the lively Dubliners outside. At about three pm, we went to find food (we eat a lot), and had just been served water at a restaurant down the street when we realized we had less than two hours to get to the Guinness factory for a tour…and we had to walk. Apologies to the server we had (we hadn’t ordered yet and he was taking a bit to get back to us anyways), but we had to split and make time for the half hour walk to our destination.
It was Fourth of July, and we were sad (especially Jake) about not being in ‘Murica for the holiday. And as we walked down the street, wondering what to do about our American appetites, and there it was. The way to get in touch with the homeland: the Golden Arches. What is more American than eating McDonald’s in a foreign city? We scarfed burgers and chicken wraps and plotted our route to Guinness. We booked it while crossing streets looking left right left right and left again to make sure we knew where cars were coming from, due to the confusion the whole left lane driving causes. We made it to Guinness (proud to say I navigated) and took our self-guided tour; the best part was the end, were we entered the highest floor, the Panorama Bar, which had a view of the whole city as well as lovely bartenders who served us our free pint of Guinness. The beer was frothy, creamy, and thick, and very smooth for a very dark beer. We all enjoyed it and took a selfie.
After walking back and perusing a few shops, we refreshed and sought more food at a place called Elephant and Castle, which was quite yummy. Then Jake, Carson, and I went to a few of the bars – a must do in Dublin! – to see the live music and experience famous Temple Bar. We stopped first at a place called Oliver St. John Gogarty’s (a hostel, bar, and restaurant), due to it’s promising live musician. This turned out to be the best place of the night; the Irish man playing guitar and singing was fun, talented, and entertaining, and played a bunch of music we knew. There were tons of people out on this Monday night, and we wondered what it would be like on a Friday or Saturday (probably madness!). It turns out the city has about a million and a half people, a bulk of which are young university goers or twenty-somethings, which all made sense with the crowds in the packed pubs. We heard Irish tunes we recognized (Galway Girl), as well as American favorites like Brown Eyed Girl and John Denver. After the musician finished his set, we tried a few other places, but they were all packed and not quite up to par with our guy over at Gogarty’s, so we headed back to Fleet Street. Overall, we had quite the Dublin experience!