Well it could have been the Guinness, but it was likely the jet-lag that led to Mike and I waking up at 1pm on our second day in Dublin. We had an entire list of places to go that day, including the Guinness Storehouse which closed in only a few hours. Instead we chose to see Dublin local sites. It turns out that this really helped Mike and I figure out what we wanted to see the most. We had lunch near Temple Bar again and caught a taxi to Croke Park to catch the last tour of the day. Croke Park is a stadium that is primarily used by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) for Gaelic football and hurling. Hurling is an age old sport and many members of my family have participated in this national sport. Let’s be honest, I was rusty on my knowledge of hurling and (Gaelic) football, and Mike wanted to learn about it since it’s a common topic of conversation. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the GAA and Croke Park stadium. Croke Park should be on the radar of more tourists. It encompasses part of the Irish culture and history. Croke Park was even a site of Bloody Sunday in 1920 when British forces raided a Gaelic football match, killing and injuring many.
After our tour we took a taxi back to Grafton street area and stopped at Murphy’s Ice Cream Shop for some of that fantastic brown butter and sea salt ice cream made from the milk of Kerry cows. With plans to meet Mike’s friend Daniel for drinks, we strolled through part of St. Stephen’s Green park. It was another gorgeous day and even at 7:30pm the park was filled with people enjoying the weather.
Entrance to St. Stephen’s Green
See that big pin-like monument in the background, that’s called “The Spire”. It is 120 meters high and was constructed to replace Nelson’s Pillar which was blown up by the IRA on O’Connell Street. The locals do not seem to favor it. I think it’s also quite a strange addition to the Dublin skyline.
Samuel Beckett Bridge (shaped as a Harp)
Once Daniel arrived we started our evening at The Bank, a restaurant and bar which has been well preserved from it’s origin as Belfast Bank from 1892. It’s a stunning building with Victorian features. Then we hopped on the tram to the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), which overlooks the River Liffey. We stopped at The Boat Restaurant and Bar for our second round. It was another nice evening, so clearly young professionals that worked in the IFSC continued their happy hour a little longer. It was great to be able to see parts of Dublin that others do not normally see, Daniel was wonderful for taking us around. We finished the night off with some fast food and said our goodbyes.