Ireland Part 6: Dublin City Bike Tour & Dublin Castle
We started off the morning with Dublin City Bike Tours. The 3-hour tour only traversed about 5 miles as our guide Evan stopped at various spots to tell us about the city’s history. Evan was awesome! Very knowledgeable and funny.
Our tour group was small – a couple from New York and a girl about our age named Catherine. While there are cyclists all over Dublin, and some of the tour was on dedicated bike lanes, we started off just on the side of the street – right by the cars and busses! I was semi-terrified but didn’t get squashed by a bus, so it all worked out.
One stop was at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Along with the other cathedral in Dublin, it’s a Protestant rather than Catholic cathedral. They actually tried to sell it to the Catholics at one point, but they declined, saying they wanted to build their own Cathedral. When the Catholics tried to raise money to build a separate cathedral, no one would donate because they knew they turned down a perfectly good one already!
Back when Guinness started up, working there meant the company put you and your family up, sent your kids to school, and you got free Guinness every Friday! Evan said that it was really common for your friends to be extra chummy come Friday.
The Grand Canal runs along some of the prettiest parts of the tour! We stopped at a coffee shop for a break where we got some tea to warm up.
Merrion Square was another beautiful stop. The statue of Oscar Wilde is especially impressive because it isn’t painted stone. The green color of his jacket is jade, and the detail, down to the creases in his slacks, is incredible.
After the tour we had a couple of hours to kill before our scheduled tour of Dublin Castle, so we found lunch at Fornaio Cucina Italiana which was delicious! I had the vegetarian ravioli and Josh had the lasagna again. We also passed by The Rolling Donut on the way to lunch which I was veryyy interested in checking out. I got a peanut butter chocolate donut that was well worth the stop.
Our tour of Dublin Castle had three parts. First we toured the ruins underneath the current structure. Parts of the original wall are still intact. I can’t remember the reason why the ground is so much higher now than it was hundreds of years ago when it was first built.
Next we toured the Chapel Royal which was beautiful! They still use it occasionally for special events.
Finally, we toured the State Apartments which included various rooms and an ornately decorated throne room. The State Apartments are the most commonly used space that we toured as they host world leaders when they come to Ireland for events.
We were really tired after the tour and weren’t up for the 2+ mile walk home, so we figured out which bus to take home and walked to the stop. We found out that buses only take coins, and luckily we had enough to cover the fare for both of us!
After a run around Fairview Park and a shower (not as good as glamping but at least it was warm), we walked to Bru Fairview for dinner. I had a chicken caesar salad that was a full 50/50 mix of greens and toppings (including bacon), and Josh had a burger. The restaurant had a great vibe and wifi (it was down at our AirBnb), so we stayed for quite a while. Plus there was a guy there who had his dog (named Walter) sitting with him at the bar, and it was adorable.