Dublin – Ireland

Dublin is a city with a very long and complicated history. From the Vikings in 820 to today, Dublin has been the centre of Irelands trade as it has an advantageous location by the river for merchants.

One of the main attractions in the city is the Guinness storehouse. We started our tour there.

The storehouse was a museum of beer. They showed us the barley and the hops, they told us about how only the best of Irish water is used for Guinness. This is why Arthur Guinness signed a 9000 year lease at St James’s Gate, where that water flows. They told us about how they are involved in many different industries, Guinness is heavily involved in transportation, trains and ships are included in the Guinness fleet as it is an international beer. We went to the tasting rooms where they use all of the senses to show you the wonders of Guinness and tell you the secret technique to drinking a beer. It is explained to us that Nitrogen creates a smaller bubble and gives the thick head the beer is known for. Next we were in the Academy where we learned to pour our own Guinness. To finish the tour, we went up to the Gravity bar, with great panoramic sights of Dublin and had another Guinness. An interesting way to try Guinness, for those who don’t enjoy the bitter taste is to add black current, this adds a sweet flavour.

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Our next stop was Kilmainham Gaol. Here we heard many stories about Irelands past, from rebelion to the famine this prison played a crucial role in containing some important people of different ages and backgrounds.

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The prison was a dark kind of disturbing place, even before hearing all the stories it is a cold building. The prison is made of limestone which holds the moisture and at the time the windows would have been bared but open, even now, you can feel that this is not a comfortable place to live on a cold day. The prison is built to hold one prisoner in each cell, at times however there could be as many as five in each cell with children and women being in the halls.

The last image seen in this gallery is of the court yard where the rebels of the Easter week rising where executed by firing squad. These rebels were fighting against the English in an attempt to have their country freed, many believed they would have to make the ultimate sacrifice to convince others to join as it was not a popular view at the time because of the war. The way in which they were executed upset the Irish and they started to doubt the way things were being run and because of this they are remembered to this day.

On our way home, we caught a nice Dublin sunset as we drove by the presidential residence.

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Our next day, was spent at Dublinia. Dublinia is the museum of the history of Ireland, from the time of the Vikings to today! Here we learnt about the Viking invasion of Dublin in 820. It is always incredible for me to think about times over a thousand years ago. It is amazing to think what people would have been like and how these conquerors traveled on boats to find lands they weren’t even sure existed.

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The equipment used to navigate these long distances are also very impressive. The viking ships are very well known for their quality and durability, they had some of the most advanced technology at this time. They also had many interesting ways of staying on track, like this pin.

In 1170 Dublin was captured by the Anglo-Normans, this was the end of the Viking rule and turned Dublin in to a medieval city. Gates, walls and churches were built in the city at this time.

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