Vacation photo dump — first stop: Ireland

Last month I went on a pretty awesome adventure with five friends. We used planes,┬átrains and taxi cabs to get our way around different parts of Europe. Here I’m showing off some of my favorite moments from our Ireland leg. Later posts will feature the other legs.

One of the first things we noticed in Ireland was all the Austerity treaty signs. For, against, they were posted on every light pole in Dublin.

Austerity Sign

This was the Fine Gael’s sign

The highlight of Dublin for me was our visit to the Guinness Storehouse. The beer isn’t made there anymore. Instead the pint-glass shaped building is a tourist trap that serves at the greatest alternate story form ever. It shows you how Guinness is made with tons of video and sample models. We also made a visit to the Jameson distillery, where they said “triple distilled” about 600 times during our hour tour.

From the Guinness Storehouse’s skybar

But you can’t mention alcohol and Dublin without talking about the Temple Bar District. We didn’t venture here as much as you’d think, but I fell in love with what I saw. If I ever go back, I have to go on a bar/music tour.

Ireland knows the appropriate volume for bar bands.

We spent one of our Ireland days visiting Waterford, known best for the Waterford Crystal Factory. On our tour, we were told that most crystal-related jobs require 8-15 years of training. They had all kinds of sweet gear on hand, including Alabama’s replacement BCS trophy, London 2012 items and a commemorative of the Diamond Jubilee.

CrystalBear

This crystal bear’s all yours for 30,000 euro.

Guessing those went to the top Williams Fund donors.

But it turns out Waterford also has some pretty sweet naval history. One time one of the city’s rivers was dammed up as enemy ships started cruising up the waterway. As soon as the enemies were far enough in, residents destroyed the dam and deluged the ships. We happened upon Reginald’s Tower, which throughout history has been a command center, house and drunk tank.

Reginald's Tower

Looking out from inside Reginald’s Tower

Then it was back to Dublin to find some more great eats and beer before heading off to Belgium, which I’ll feature in the next post. If you want to see more pictures from Ireland, you can check out my Picasa album.

Jim Larkin Statue

I just thought the pose was cool.