What a fantastic trip this has been. It was hard to believe this would be our last day of sightseeing. Being on-the-go constantly was starting to catch up with us. We slept a little later than we had planned. Traci did not even work out that morning - she must have been REALLY tired!
We checked out of the Academy Plaza Hotel and had them hold our luggage (no charge) while we did our final day of sightseeing in Dublin. Once again, we had a fast food breakfast. We went to McDonalds this time for some porridge (oatmeal).
Traci chose our itinerary for the day. The documentation we were given with our Hop-on Hop-off bus passes indicated we were entitled to a free 2-hour walking tour of Dublin. I totally missed this offer in the documentation but thanks to Traci's attention to detail we were able to take advantage of it. It turned out to be my favorite sightseeing activity during our time in Dublin.
We met our tour guide in front of the Dublin Bus office. Apparently, others did not know about this tour or just had no interest in it. Other than Traci and me, our small group consisted of an elderly couple from New York and a lone traveler from Denmark who our guide jokingly referred to as The Viking. Our guide was from Pat Liddy's Walking Tours. He did an outstanding job. For the next two hours he walked us all over the city showing and explaining some of Dublin's well-known attractions such as the Temple Bar area, the River Liffey, Henry Street, O'Connell Street, and Dublin Castle. However, it was the hidden gems that made this tour so fascinating. We were taken to a pub that used to be a church. It was bizarre. The interior still looks like a church with its pipe organ, stained glass windows, and balconies but there is a bar in the middle of all this. What made it even more bizarre that day were all the rugby fans getting liquored up for the big match that evening between France and Ireland. The fans were swaying and singing in a low-pitched growl-like tone.
We were taken down a side street where we saw an eye-catching mural of the Last Supper. However, the mural consisted of citizens of Dublin. We saw other gems as we followed our guide through the crowded streets of the city. He even pointed out pubs and stores where we could get up to a 20% discount just by showing our ticket stub. Our walk ended at Trinity College where our guide gave us pretty much the same campus tour as Traci and I had paid for a few days ago.
Last Supper mural that uses the faces of Dublin citizens
Traci and I still had the rest of the day to use our Hop-on Hop-off bus passes. We caught one of the buses and got off at the Old Jameson Distillery. Whiskey is no longer produced here but visitors can take a guided tour of this popular attraction. We arrived there a little after 2 PM and were given a ticket for the 3:30 tour. While we waited, we decided to have lunch at one of the two restaurants at the distillery. The food was much better than I had expected.
Our tour began with an entertaining film about the distillery and its founder John Jameson who founded the company in 1780. After the film, our guide asked for 8 volunteers for the taste testing that would occur at the end of the tour. Traci was selected.
For the next 30 minutes, we followed our guide through the various rooms to look at equipment and life-sized dioramas while she explained the whiskey-making process. Finally we arrived at the tasting room. Everyone in the group was given the opportunity to select a glass of Jameson straight or mixed in a lime ginger drink. For some reason, I chose the former. I didn't care for it. Meanwhile, Traci and the other taste testers were seated at a table where they compared Jameson to a Scottish whiskey and an American whiskey (Jack Daniels). Traci did not like any of them but chose the Jameson over the other two. She let me try them as well and I agreed with her assessment. She also tried and liked the lemon ginger drink. continue...
touring the Old Jameson Distillery
touring the Old Jameson Distillery
ready for the whisky taste test
I don't think she liked it.