Ireland Adventures: Fun in Dublin

by - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Well I've officially been back from Ireland for about 10 days now, and after this crazy month of travel, I think my internal clock has finally realized I'll be staying in the Eastern time zone for a while.


Unlike my trip to Japan, which was very spur of the moment, this Ireland trip has been in the works for at least a year. My friends started kicking the idea around last May or June, and we started keeping an eye on flight prices in the fall.

When we found round-trip tickets for $530 we pulled the trigger, officially making the trip real.

Our plan for the week was to see as much of the country as we could. We did two days in Dublin, a day in Belfast and other parts of Northern Ireland and then three days exploring the southern and western coasts of the Republic.


Day one in Dublin was jam-packed and also exhausting. We'd taken the red-eye from Philly to Dublin. I don't sleep well on planes, but I did manage to snag at least two or three hours of (frequently interrupted) shut-eye.

Ireland here we come!!!


After landing, we dropped our bags at the hotel and set out to explore the city.

Dublin is very walkable and other than some cooler temps and wind on the first day, we had decent weather.

Our first stop was Trinity College. We took a tour led by one of the students and learned some of the history of the old buildings and the college.



The campus itself was gorgeous, though the main attraction was of course the library housing the Book of Kells. Considered one of the major works of art from the Dark Ages, the Book of Kells includes the four Gospels of the New Testament.

You weren't allowed to take pictures in that part of the library, but the Book of Kells features these crazy intricate illustrations and highly stylized Latin text. There are usually only two Gospels on display at a time. When we were there one of them happened to be opened to the page of Jesus' lineage that is part of the Gospel reading at Christmas, so I could actually decipher some of the words, which was kind of cool. The other book was open to a random page that I couldn't make out at all.

Upstairs from the Book of Kells is the Long Room, which features a massive collection of the college's oldest books. Seeing as how all the girls on this trip were from my book club, we obviously really, really enjoyed this room.




We stopped in a pub for lunch, where I had a delicious bowl of Guinness and beef stew and then wandered up Grafton Street, part of the main shopping district, to get to St. Stephen's Green.

Just hanging out on Grafton Street.


Entrance to Stephen's Green

The park, which years ago played a role in the Easter Rising, is gorgeous featuring fountains and waterfalls and lots and lots of tulips, my favorite flowers.


There were also memorials sprinkled throughout the park, like this one dedicated to those who died during the Great Famine.


Famine Memorial

We wrapped up our first day in Ireland visiting two of the medieval (non-Catholic) cathedrals in the city -- St. Patrick's and Christ Church. The churches were massive, and Strongbow, the Norman invader for whom my favorite cider is named, is buried in Christ Church. I was pretty beat by the time we made it to the cathedrals and we opted to not go inside.

St. Patrick's.

We eventually strolled back to our hotel where I grabbed a quick shower and promptly passed out sometime around 8 p.m. local time. Jet lag is brutal.

Here's my Snapchat story from our travel and first day's adventures:

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  1. Tina and Fred3:39 PM

    What an awesome day in Dublin! Love the pics and the informative description! :)