Dublin and Galway, Ireland. Guiness and Jameson. Pubs and…comic books? (October 2013)

Last stop of the tour, Ireland. Once I’ve arrived at the Dublin Airport and get my luggage, I’m off to look for a ride to the city center. The Airlink bus is a really convenient and cheap (6 Euros) bus that takes you from the airport to the city center, making stops along the way. The Temple Bar area is where I was staying, seeing as it is where so many hotels and hostels are, as well as tourist centers for trip ideas.  I stayed at the Oliver St. John Gogarty’s Hostel/Hotel,

Hotel/Hostel right above the bar? Talk about well situated

which is situated above the, well, Oliver St. John Gogarty Traditional Irish Bar. If there is one thing to be said about Dublin, it’s that there is no shortage of pubs. Oh yeah, I also got a ticket for a free pint of Guiness at the pub!

Thor one day, Wolverine the next
Just one of three levels

So, before I ever even left to begin my European adventure, I used Google Street View at every destination to have an idea of what is around and how to get there. Wasn’t I pleased to find out that there was a comic book store right around the corner from where I was staying. If you’re ever in Dublin, you must check out the Forbidden Planet comic store. It’s an awesome store  with three levels.

So, aside from my own nerdy activities, what else is there to see and do in Dublin? Well, one can’t go to Dublin and not go on tours of the Guinness Storehouse and the John Jameson Whiskey Distillery, regardless of whether you drink or not. It is an interesting process how each of these is made. Of course, if you do drink, you’ll be happy to know that a tour of each comes with a free drink of their famous product. Oh!! I should also mention that I went ahead and got the Dublin Pass, which gives you entry to many of Dublin’s top attractions. Currently, a one day pass costs about 39 Euros, which is a steal as far as I’m concerned. I should also mention that I did the same thing in London back in 2008 (the London Pass), which included entry to attractions as well as free transportation for the duration of the pass.

One tough baby rhino
Made a new friend

Other stops in Dublin one should consider, which are also included with the Dublin Pass, are the Dublin Zoo, where I made a giraffe friend and saw the cutest baby rhino, who was trying to bully a fully grown rhino, the Christ Church Cathedral, and plenty more. Of course, I would also advise people to just walk around central Dublin and see what is has to offer. Stop at one of the many pubs and drink some Guinness, which really does taste better in Ireland. Enjoy the live traditional Irish music at the pubs as well. It’s quite an experience.

I wonder if Marvel knows about this
Awesome street music
Round trip train ticket to Galway

Before leaving on my vacation, I made a friend who suggested I visit Galway, Ireland.  Galway is about a two hour train ride west from Dublin. It is a nice, picturesque town on the west coast of Ireland. So, I bought my train ticket and made my way to Galway. Let me say, Leslie was right. I immediately fell in love with Galway, and took my time exploring the streets, the stores that lined these streets, enjoyed more traditional Irish music, and learned about the history of this town at the Galway City Museum. After a day trip to this wonderful town, it was time to return to Dublin. Just in time too. I had booked a pub crawl in Dublin, and boy did it not disappoint. You really can book anything through Expedia.

Finally, thanks to my Marriott Rewards points, I was able to book an extra night in Dublin. I booked a room at the The Shelbourne Dublin, A Renaissance Hotel. This is one fancy hotel. This gave me one more night to explore a bit, but also relax and pack for my trip back to the states. This is always a bittersweet moment for my. But, alas, one must return to reality. Nevertheless, this was certainly a trip of a lifetime. I certainly hope to have the opportunity to take more in the future. For now, this is it. Thank you. Hope you’ve enjoyed.

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