It was super easy to get to the Amsterdam airport from my hostel I was at because the metro system there is the easiest to navigate that I've seen yet. I get to the airport and find out that my gate is at the very last terminal, luckily I got there 2 hours prior.
They finally stamped my passport, proving that I exited the Schengen region (I'm not in trouble yay!), after I passed through security. I get on the plane, a window seat, and kinda just sit there on this completely packed plane (because of how cheap it was, 90 Euro) to fly from Amsterdam to Dublin. When I arrive I had to go through security again where they asked me a million questions! What am I going to Ireland for, can you get internet and show me your booking reservations, how did you save up enough money, how long do you plan to stay here? All those type of questions.
After the grilling, I made it to baggage claim where my backpack was the last one left on the runway.
I take a bus from the airport to the city center where I have to walk 0.5 miles to get to my hostel, which I booked for 5 nights, called Gardiners House. I checked in and needed to take a shower and bust out my laptop to do some work. I write 3/4 of my blog post about Amsterdam while drinking some craft beers I had found at a store that I had walked by. By this time I was feeling good so I went to a burger/craft beer restaurant called "The Black Sheep"and luckily for me it was 50% off wings, so I had about 20 bone-in buffalo wings along with 2 great IPA's from Galway Bay Brewery and one session pale ale that was also good!
On the way back to my hostel I stopped at another store to buy a couple more craft beers, (2), and get back to my hostel after scarfing down those little wings of the chickens. I drink those beers in the downstairs common eating area while playing on my phone. Both the beers down, I think it was time for me to pass out.
My hostel room only had 4 beds in it this time, which was nice, but it was a very small room with lockers only big enough to fit my camera... One of my two roomates was a 26 year old Egyptian pilot who has lived in Dublin studying for the last 4 years. He was a pretty cool cat.
The other person was an elderish lady from Ireland who was there for a couple days teaching some stuff to kids. I was tipsy as hell when I talked to her so I sorta forgot about her life lol.
The next morning I woke up sweating bullets because the Egyptian guy liked to sleep with the window closed (as he did for the next 3 nights too). I eventually got to the point I just passed out with only shorts on. That second day I didn't have any plans so I finished my blog post in the morning and decided to go walk around. It was mainly overcast the whole time I was in Dublin except for a few pockets of sunshine. It was mainly 45-55 degrees F and breezy. I stopped at a Spar, which is their little food market that is all over Europe. This one was nice so I got some sort of wrap to eat and a smoothie drink. At checkout, the cashier asked what kinda camera I had, we made friends real quick and was going to grab a drink later but never went through.
I started just walking around after doing a little pre-planning but I stumbled across a free national art museum that I walked around in for about an hour and a half learning a little about Irish art in a very nice castle setting building.
After that I stopped by St. Patrick's park and simply just walked around the nice park enjoying the new scenery for me. I finally get back to the hostel after 3-4 hours of just walking around, learning the atmosphere of Dublin.
I take a little siesta when I get back to my hostel and wake up ready to go snag some food and start drinking. It was roughly 4pm and I head over to this other craft beer bar/restaurant called P.Macs where I had two beers because it wasn't the best of vibes but I did meet two guys who were from California which was pretty cool!.
If I can remember correctly, later that night I took it easy and just went to bed around 10pm. Towards the afternoon, I discovered a cool outside market and a mall. I bought a couple Irish pins to put on my jacket in that cool market.
The next day I woke up early, played on my phone while I was eating my free cereal, a banana, and coffee before walking around town at 10:30am. I walked around for 3-4 hours sightseeing. I saw the Trinity College and another nice cathedral as well as a small store where they had my last name "Stevenson" on a family crest!
That was cool for me to see a little Irish roots for my red-bearded ass! I stopped at a random Irish coffee breakfast place near this shop and order an "Irish Breakfast" where I received one egg, a piece of toast, two small sausages, a small bowl of baked beans, a piece of bacon, a half of a grilled tomato, and two grain type little circular things, as well as a coffee, all for only 8.75 Euro. My server was awesome and I could tell she wasn't Irish so I asked where she was from, she said Poland... I knew it, I like my Polish girls!
It was now Friday afternoon and I booked a tour of the Guinness Storehouse which had been something I've been wanting to do for the last 6 years or so! After pounding a nice 5%IPA on the 1.8mile walk to the Guinness facility from my hostel, I make it to the Storehouse where I had to wait in line for 15 minutes until they started letting people enter.
When I entered, I printed out my pre-paid ticket and entered. I go upstairs with the crowd and instantly it reminded me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There was a huge guest shop as you first walk in. You can do whatever you want once you enter as it isn't a guided tour and didn't have a guide. I start walking through the facility, passing a waterfall telling all about their water, and a malt area explaining that as well. I hop up to the second floor where they talk about the hops and the yeast. On the third floor they go over the roasting of their own malts and the CO2 and NO2 combination.
The fourth floor goes over quality control and some of the old brewing process's. The fifth floor covers their transportation methods and some more history of their barrels and about the brewery. 6th floor is all about their marketing throughout the years as well as a sample tasting evaluation where I finally got to have 2 sips of Guinness...
After about 1.5 hours of exploring the nut house that was the Guinness Storehouse, I make my way to the sky bar at the top to enjoy my free pint of Guinness overlooking the city of Dublin, Ireland.
It was one of the most majestic views I've seen to date, overlooking all of Dublin. It was now almost 7pm and all their restaurants and stores were starting to close so I said my peace to the motherland and left.
After Guinness I went to a bar owned by The Temple Bar called "The Porterhouse" where I had 2 pints, a batch of nachos and had met an elderly couple there drinking too. We talked for 30 minutes before they had to go but we exchanged contacts and told me if I ever want to go visit them in an outskirt city near Victoria, Australia, I could stay with them. They, and their son, who was back in Australia, were avid homebrewers as well!
I went to this other bar at 9:30pm that was close to my hostel after having a couple road soda's along the long walk back. This bar was called "The Living Room" and was definitely not my scene... I stayed there for an hour just people watching, sipping on a classic Lagunitas IPA!
I pass out by 11pm to wake up the next day and figure out what to do over my cereal and coffee.
I decided to just walk around again and see what the universe can throw at me.
I walk through the Trinity College again,(the main entrance this time), and the St. Patricks park as well before stopping at this Chipotle-esq Mexican food place and snag a burrito bowl for 7.5 Euro.
It was actually super bomb and they had hot sauce for free which was something I've been missing out for a while now!
It's now 12:15pm and I'm on my way back to my hostel when I stumbled across The Temple Bar, which is apparently Dublin's most iconic bar, known for their live music and crowds. I stop in and they were playing music already. I'm a huge sucker for live music so I stayed there until 3:30pm, sipping on Guinness and a shot of Jager. I could have stayed there all day jamming out but my bank and body wouldn't be the most happy of campers.
I'm the kind of guy where once I start drinking, I don't like to stop until it's time for me to go to bed at night so on the walk back to my hostel I stopped at a Spar, grabbed a four pack of Guiness extra stout, still only 4.5% alcohol, and a pint of Jager. I shower up at the hostel, having a shower beer and a couple swigs of Jager. It's now maybe 8pm and I'm sorta drunk and wanted to jam out some more so I went back to The Temple Bar.
When I got there this time it was a badass girl and acoustic guitar player jamming. They played songs like "Zombies" by The Cranberries and some American songs everyone knew.
Liquid courage had struck me and so I talked to these two good looking (Obviously not Irish) girls that were sitting in the same corner seat I was sitting in prior that day.
I make friends with these two girls, they were cousins and one have lived there for 2 years but the other had to leave at 7am the next day back to their homeland, Italy. We go outside for a smoke before going back in to jam out for another half hour. They had to leave but I wasn't done rocking out yet so I stayed for another hour. I was pretty drunk and hungry at this point so I went home, stopped at Burger King on the way, and pass out around midnight or 1am.
The next morning was a little rough but I'm a champ so I still went out in the city. I stopped at the park and sat there listening to my audiobook "The Tao of Pooh" just people and animal watching, trying to listen to the universe.
At 12:30pm, after printing out my ticket for my train ride to Galway the next day (which my stupid ass threw away in one of the million trashcans on one of the main strips of Dublin), I stopped at a craft beer bar/restaurant called "The Brew Dock" where I share 3 pints with one of the coolest Dutch, craft beer guru, guy's that I've met named Lenny. We talked for 2 hours about life and craft beer and his travels. I had a coffee IPA that was very good first, then I got a free Doppelbock that was sooooooo fire! I finally ended with a GREAT double IPA that Lenny recommended to me.
He also recommended a few places to go, one of which being that Mexican food place I had went to the day prior. I liked it so much I went there again and this time I got a straight burrito with all the hot sauce haha. Before the burrito I stop in another craft beer bar, restaurant, called J.W. Sweetmans where I had a single IPA that was just OK while sitting on the second story of the three story building, overlooking the river dividing Dublin. I head back to my hostel to take a little hour long nap before going out one last night.
Guess where I went that night... you got it! The Temple Bar. I was sober by this point and so I just had one Guiness there before leaving.
On my way to the live music bar that Lenny recommended called "The Celt" I stopped at a Thai street food joint and scarfed down half a meal of chicken curry that was bomb! I couldn't finish it all so I saved half of it, which I ended up eating on my way home from The Celt at 1:00am.
At The Celt I find a seat right on the bar and order a Guinness of course. The band was starting to warm up which was just an acoustic guitar player and a crazy looking accordion player. By the time I'm halfway done with my first pint and 2 songs deep, I mention to the guy sitting next to me how good the accordion player was, and he agreed.
Next thing I know we are having some conversations between songs and sharing life stories. His name was Kevin and he was a Marine officer who had worked in New Orleans for the VA for the past 5 years before moving out to Amsterdam with his wife who works for Uber. On this same day, the Gunny of all Gunny's passed away, Gunny R. Lee. Ermey who was a marine drill instructor as well as the drill instructor from Full Metal Jacket the movie. He was a stand up marine and loved by all.
If me running in to Kevin at this bar and becoming friends over a some Guiness in an Irish bar in Dublin isn't an Omen, I don't know what is.
That was my favorite night of all, my last night in Dublin. I had 3 pints of Guinness there and a pint of Smithwick's Red Ale before getting back to my hostel around 12:30am.
The next morning I waited to have to go back to the train station to purchase another, now more expensive, ticket to get to Galway... That's another story for my next blog post that will be all about Galway and my trip to the Cliffs of Moher!
Thanks for reading everyone! You all mean the world to me and I like you all very very much!