Dublin: Guinness and Viking History

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Guinness and Viking History: Two essential parts of Dublin.

Two parts of which I focused myself on during my travel in the Irish capital.

I mean, seriously, if you’re in the same city as the factory for a country’s most iconic beverage, how can you not visit it?

Of course we had to head to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin for a tour and a taste of the good old brew.

At the Storehouse, which will set you back €14 – but that includes a free pint! – you will learn the history of this famous drink, and all about how it’s brewed.

A museum where you can drink alcohol, and listen to live bands (head to Arthur’s bar): What could be a more awesome travellers’ experience?

Even if you don’t enjoy Guinness (I must say, it took me a while to gulp down my entire pint…) it’s an experience almost anyone can enjoy – it’s got history, it’s got a social aspect, an interactive aspect, entertainment, and dining/drinking experiences. It’s pretty much the whole package.

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As part of the experience at the Guinness Factory, you have the opportunity to learn how to pour a proper Guinness – yes, it’s actually quite an art.

I happily took up the opportunity and learned how to tilt the glass at the exact right angle, the correct pressure to apply on the pump, when to stop and let the Guinness settle, and how to top it off correctly.

It was quite thrilling, really – and I got a certificate!

Anyone need any bar staff? I’m available!

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Now to the viking history.

You may or may not know that Dublin is rich in history from the viking era – Vikings actually raided and then settled in Dublin back in the 800s.

These vikings came from Scandinavia, and you can learn all about where they came from, their lifestyle, and how they raided Dublin at Dublinia an interactive museum experience.

At Dublinia you will also hear how the vikings settled in Dublin, and all about their lifestyle, coming to learn how modern Dublin became as such.

It’s not just any boring museum however (how could anything to do with pillaging vikings be boring though?) – there are opportunities to dress up in viking garb, learn viking board games, and wander through interactive displays, rather than past a wall of printed information.

Take the journey there – it’s worth it, I promise you.

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While at Dublinia, I got to learn how to play Nefltafl (also known as simply Tafl), a viking board game.

The awesome fellow who was conducting the game kept a tally each day of which “countries” he had defeated – based on the travellers he met from around the world visiting the museum.

I’m proud to say that I beat him at the game of tafl he was playing against me while helping me learn the game.

One point to Australia!

Becoming hooked on the game in that short 15 minutes, Dan and I promptly downloaded tafl apps on our phones and became addicted to playing tafl at any opportunity for the rest of the road trip (I’m now a pro).

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While in Dublin, we decided we had to check to the Temple Bar area – a cobblestone section of the city where you’ll find a bunch of old pubs and many, many restaurants.

Basically, it’s the centre of life by night.

We made the call to have a drink in the Temple Bar in Temple Bar, which was absolutely packed to the brim, leaving us leaning against a doorframe and squeezing ourselves inwards whenever someone wanted to pass.

This was after having waiting ten minutes, fighting through a crowd, to grab a pint for both of us.

Worth it for the giggle about having a drink at Temple Bar in Temple Bar, however.

The following night we headed to another pub, Trinity Bar, where we heard the most amazing musician play covers all night as we swayed to the beat on our barstools and sank some pints.

That was a beautiful night, and I’d highly recommend having a drink at Trinity!

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