There is something to be said for powering through, and there is also something to be said for getting 8 solid hours so you’re firing on all proverbial cylinders. In our case, we started a load of laundry and crashed hard so we could make the most out of day two from the get-go. In the case of our get-go, it started with that good ole Irish hot water situation (don’t forget to turn on the “boost” before getting in the shower if you’re staying in an Airbnb). As far as island nations go, Iceland has it all over Ireland when it comes to hot water. We’ve now re-learned the lesson and will be firing up the hot water well before three of us shower back to back (to back). Now, fully invigorated by the virtues of tepid showering, we headed straight for Urbanity – a cafe in the Smithfield area, and also on the way to our first stop – the Guinness Storehouse! We had eaten and caffeinated at Urbanity a couple of times when we first stayed in the city, so Bren and I were both excited to go back and re-indulge. I’m happy to report it is just as good, if not better.
I’ve now personally done the Guinness Storehouse tour three times and every time it is just as fun as the last – this time was no exception. The multi-level (self-guided) tour brings you through the history and process of making Guinness – ending in the Gravity Bar where you get a 360-view of the entire city of Dublin, or Dubhlinn as we’ve come to recently learn (meaning black pool…more on that later). We pre-purchased our tickets online to save some time – waiting in a line is something best avoided with so much to see in a place like this.
After Guinness, we headed for the center to meet a friend who lives in the city and had suggested that we recharge by experiencing Bewley’s – which was fated advice, as Bren’s Aunt had recently commented on my Urbanity post and suggested that we try it as well. Who are we to question when the Universe points towards something, right? In the end, whether it was the Universe or Aunt Birdie, we all partook in some of the best desserts we’ve had in a long time. The atmosphere deserves comment as well, as the entire cafe is something out of a different time – multiple levels afford tiered views of people enjoying beautiful treats while taking in open fireplaces and recently restored Harry Clarke windows. Surprisingly (to us) there was also a large assortment of flourless desserts to be had for those who don’t #gluten.
Run, don’t walk, to Bewley’s.
Sufficiently stuffed, we parted ways with my friend and ventured towards EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum – just on the other side of the River Liffey. This is hands down one of the greatest, most interactive museum’s I’ve ever been to – and that is after living down the street from the Smithsonian Museums in DC. EPIC does an amazing job of keeping you interested and engaged throughout the entire experience – the blend of installations, information, and technology keeps you wanting to explore for as long as possible – which we quite literally did – they basically were flashing the lights on us to get out by the time we finished up. We hit every room in the museum though – I have the museum “passport” all stamped to prove it.
With day 2 coming to a close we had just a little time to kill before our dinner reservation at 7:30, so we made our way to Urban Brewing for a quick drink.
Gluten-free beer for the win!
Bren and I each ordered different local beers, while our friend found a new Spanish gluten-free beer that almost had a shandy-like taste to it. Not a bad way to wrap up an afternoon of learning things.
New knowledge of beer and emigration in hand, we wandered over to our dinner reservation at Pichet – a restaurant we had eaten at during our first trip two years ago. Overtly French through and through, the food and drinks do not disappoint. If you find yourself in Dublin and looking for a break from “traditional” Irish food I highly recommend – no demand – you give Pichet a try. Just remember to book ahead as their dining room is always full.
(get it? French for “end”)