🍺The Making of a Barrel🍺

This is the final post about our trip and this series ends with a must-visit-while-in-Dublin: The Guinness Storehouse.

I never gave much thought to beer, the making of it and certainly never specific brands and how/when/where they were created. This tour was unexpectedly fascinating and the history of this company is impressive. If you ever get there, check out the video segment showing how the barrels above were made back in the 1700-1800s. The creation of one barrel was an unbelievably time-consuming and precise effort. To think that nearly a million barrels were being shipped in a time when automation was not contributing to the creation of the barrel is mind-boggling. (A quick search of YouTube shows parts of this video I’m referring to if you’re interested.)

As you’ll see in the photo below, Arthur Guinness was the founder, developer and entrepreneur who built the Guinness beer company. I don’t like the taste of beer, but we all participated by at least sipping the few different kinds of Guinness beers. Personally, I was more interested in the chocolate…And, the candles which smell amazing!!The highlight of the Guinness tour was watching the servers Irish dance! (My oldest daughter’s hand at the end holding her samples!) Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

The Long Room🇮🇪 in Dublin, Ireland

As part of the Trinity College expedition in Dublin, we walked through the highly impressive Long Room. While I thoroughly enjoyed the first edition books that I told you about at the castle (HERE), this was a vast college and beyond what I could have imagined as a book lover. There are many invaluable elements contained within this extraordinary room, and countless busts of famous writers and philosophers are located throughout the Old Library building. Everyone from Aristotle, Homer, Isaac Newton, Plato and Shakespeare greet you while perusing the titles at a distance.Originally built in the 1700’s, this library is classified as “one of the most impressive libraries in the world”. Just walking through it made me feel smarter😄! I also felt compelled to read many more books per year, start a book club, discuss the great writers with my peers…but, alas, we eventually had to fly home and go to work! I’m lucky if I get through a book every other month :/. If you are a reader or book-lover at all, you would enjoy this room immensely. “The main chamber of the Old Library is what is considered The Long Room at nearly 65 metres in length” (213 feet for us Americans).

I suppose the academic and perpetual student in me rose up on this particular day. The small library at Blairquhan Castle and this extraordinary sight of books📚in The Long Room were two “indoor” highlights of my European trip. The “outside” countryside in both Ireland and Scotland captured my heart – my daughters felt the same way. But, here is one final photo (from the internet) of The Long Room – view from above:

See the source image

The Book of Kells🇮🇪

Moving on to Ireland, one of our first stops was to visit The Book of Kells at Trinity College in Dublin.

We learned that this book contains the four gospels, created by monks in the 9th century. Historians appear to struggle with where exactly it was created but believe locations were likely in Scotland, Ireland and/or other areas of Britain. Spectacular illustrations. Ireland’s oldest artifact.

As a visitor, perhaps it was the time of year but it was crowded. When I started looking at reviews for The Book of Kells (after we were home), I realized that most people comment about the amount of people and the small space. The room where the one book exists, tourists swarm around the glass-enclosed case and it’s difficult to linger and appreciate the book’s antiquity when your fellow man is waiting their turn for a peek. Something that detailed, illustrated and old is something I would have liked to spend more time with.

That said, the visit is worthwhile, as to see something this precious to a country is special.

Book of Kells

We did tour The Long Room as well at Trinity College and that was incredible…that post next!

A Wedding. In a Castle. In Scotland🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿.

Well, it was everything you could imagine a fairy tale wedding would include: stunning countryside, a Scottish castle that exceeded our already-high expectations, very moving vows and a bride that her Mama would have been proud of. If you didn’t read the introduction to this destination wedding/vacation with an important person missing, you can HERE.

Yes, the bride decided to marry in a castle in Scotland. Just saying that the last several months was surreal! Thirty-four loved ones attended and there will be a much larger party locally in a couple of weeks to continue the celebration.

The Blairquhan Castle in Maybole, Ayrshire was extraordinary. While Scotland alone boasted over 2,000 castles, many of those which are even visible in 2019 are in ruins or inhabitable. There are however, several that are still spectacular tourist sites and we did visit Edinburgh Castle as well.

But, back to the wedding…everything from the jet-lag being a very real thing (!) to the travel, to a wedding that most brides can only dream of, the event was one that we will talk about for years to come.

We flew into Glasgow, Scotland. Along with celebrating the wedding and staying in a TRULY amazing castle (I will post castle-specific photos soon), we also toured Edinburgh and a bit around some smaller Scottish towns.

After a four days in Scotland, my daughters and I – along with 15 other wedding guests – flew to Ireland where we stayed another five days. I’ll be posting photos of both countries this week and next.

As I’m sure many of you reading can understand, jumping back into the routine after a trip like that was exhaustion like I’ve not known. I also got a flu just before we left, and it promptly reared its ugly head every day that I tried to plow through and stay up too long!

Well, this is certainly one of my more rambling posts and I apologize for that. Work awaits but I’ve missed this blogging community and look forward to catching up this week on what I’ve missed on your sites!

Happy Monday!