There may actually be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow at the Dublin Airport. From the moment you fly into Dublin, you are instantly captivated by the lush green plains leading to the runway. It is the kind of scene that you expect to read about in a children’s story or to see in a cartoon. Seriously, I half expected to see a bunch of tiny Smurfs frolicking and Smurfing all over the place.
My experience at this airport was brief but impactful. I was on a layover on the way to London. I flew in from the states overnight, and landed in Dublin at about 8 AM, smelling of beer. Oh yeah, about that. Literally five minutes after my first flight took off, I managed to spill an entire Heineken on myself. It was one of those spills that really made things uncomfortable. The beer got everywhere. It somehow flowed underneath me to cover my entire seat. Worse yet, I was wearing jeans, and they just absorbed it. Fun fact, jeans don’t really dry fast. So, the moral here is, bring a change of clothes if you don’t want to sleep in beer soaked pants overnight on a tight plane. With that being said, if you are going to wind up in an airport smelling of stale beer, it may as well be in Ireland.
But, I digress. So, the first thing I got to do in Dublin is walk through their beautiful rainbow path. I tactfully avoided making any Lucky Charms jokes. Once I got through security, I realized I had a couple of hours to grab a bite, a pint, and maybe do a little shopping. The duty free shops were pretty much what you’d expect, but there were also some excellent Irish themed gift stores. If you are on a tight layover and only have a little time to spare, I recommend a few stops. Check out House of Ireland for Irish themed jewelry and glassware. Then, head to Wrights of Howth for Irish smoked salmon (so good). Most importantly is The Loop, which is really a collection of stores. My favorite was the various places to grab (and sample) whiskey. I am not a huge whiskey drinker but in addition to being able to sample it at this store, there were a ton of gift packs where you could buy small bottles. I highly recommend. And if you don’t like whiskey, remember, everybody has a friend who does.
There were a decent amount of food options, but I was really looking to do the most cliche thing possible; have a pint of Guinness. For that, I sat down at Alcock and Brown. They had a number of local offerings on tap, but a decent selection of varieties of Guinness that I can’t get at home. In addition to a standard pint (much better than in the US), I had a pint of Guinness West Indies Porter and Hop House 13 Lager. I’d probably give the West Indies Porter a 4 out of 5, while the Hop House Lager was more like a 3.5 out of 5. On the way out I realized that I hadn’t eaten since the chicken curry that I had on the plane many hours ago. I had to catch my next flight so I grabbed a chocolate croissant and headed out. I know I probably missed a chance to have a proper Irish breakfast, but I figured that I would fill up on Guinness.
It wasn’t a long layover, but I think I got to see and do everything I could. I definitely had a headache when I reached my final destination, but I wouldn’t have changed anything. Layovers are a good way to dip your toe into a new location. I look forward to spending some real time in Ireland at some point. It was breathtaking to fly into and I would love the chance to actually eat some of their food