HAPPY MARCH! This time of year is always so nice because you are looking forward to spring, and hopefully all the foul weather of winter is past. This month is extra special to us because this is the month that we got to go to Dublin Ireland for a week, and we celebrated an Irish holiday while we were there. So many great memories to remember,and since this was our first trip out of the county it was a great learning experience as well.
Our visit to Ireland was a dream come true. I have always found Ireland’s rich history very intriguing and based on various people’s description of the island I always imagined a dreamy and somewhat mystical island; I am happy to say I wasn’t disappointed.
We started out at 2am for the airport and flew from Detroit to Boston, spent 12 hours in the international flights terminal and then flew to Iceland.We flew with a company called WOW air-an Icelandic company.One of the reasons we went with this company is that they offer affordable tickets and you can save so much money on the flight; they can afford to offer cheaper tickets because they don’t serve complimentary drinks or snacks and you are only able to bring 1 carry-on with a 22 pound weight limit,no extras,you could check any number of bags but they cost $65 , this flight had no wifi or seat backseat atvs, but we saved enough money we felt really good about taking this flight.
We flew to Iceland and had a few hour layover;it turned into a few hours longer than planned.the reason was:we had to wait for a few passengers that missed our flight from Boston;So a flight from DC stopped and got them. Since it was so early in the morning (3am) we waited until the airport concessions opened to get some food, we found several really good snacks to eat and we were very impressed with the bathrooms ha ha.
We were excited to finally leave for Ireland,to board the plane we had to walk outside and climb the steps up into the plane. The air was chilly but it was nice to be outside and see more of Iceland’s terrain; it was very rocky. We arrived in Dublin around 10:30am and went through customs and got our passport stamped (yay) we took a bus to our hotel and we left our bags behind the front desk since the check in time was 2pm.
Let the exploring begin! First we grabbed lunch at a cafe that was recommended to us by a family member and it was exactly what we needed! The Queen of Tarts was the cafe; and we ate there several times during our stay in Dublin, tasty pastries and very friendly service.http://www.queenoftarts.ie/ you should go check them out!
We walked so many miles and might have gotten turned around a few times ; next time we visit we will get the Hop-on hop-off bus pass. We didn’t know at the time how useful that pass could be; the pass would give us the ease of riding a bus,having a guide of where we were at and discounts at main attractions, such as admission to the Guinness warehouse.
As we strolled through Dublin’s streets we loved seeing the mix of people;old and young alike walking about. Our first day we just walked around and explored some but after dinner at the corner pub we went to sleep at 8 pm and woke up for breakfast at 8 am, we needed to reset our clocks and get some good rest before exploring the city.The picture above with the barrels was I fell in love with fish and chips at the corner pub; and ate it as many times as I could while we were there,we also tried Guinness stew and enjoyed a pint or two of orchard thieves and Guinness!
We are at a pub called O’sheas and the bartender Patty gave us some advice on things to see and do while in Dublin. I will list the highlights we saw while in Dublin.We
The Whiskey Museum located across the street from trinity college @ 119 Grafton Street. This place featured a tour that took us through the history of Irish whiskey and how people through the generations dealt with war,famine and even prohibition-time export. At the end of the tour we did the tasting and receives two souvenir whiskey glasses . This was well worth the 20 euro price;I recommend it to anyone interested in the history of Ireland and whiskey, drink responsibly.
The Brazen Head pub.We made it a point to stop at the brazen head pub and have lunch, this has been an establishment since 1198,it claims to be the oldest pub in Ireland. We loved the decor and atmosphere and the food was very delicious;we both got soup and a pint of our favorite drinks;Guinness and orchard thieves.
This was a must visit for Dublin Ireland! forgive the selfie stick pictures!
The Guinness Storehouse. This tour was a great way to explore the history and the processing of the very famous beer; Guinness. We toured all the way to the seventh floor;which is a sky bar overlooking Dublin’s skyline. We loved this spot the best,you got a pint of beer or other soft drink and could take in all the city views. We are not really beer drinkers but something about having it fresh from the Tap made it taste so good;thankfully they gave us the option to have a half pint of beer and a half pint of soda;so that is what I did! I encourage people to go all the way to the top floor and take in the sky view;you can see the church spires and the colorful buildings so well.
Trinity college:Library and book of Kells. This was a must see for us on this Dublin trip, I imagined it would be a little like being in the Beast’s castle library; so vast and a little bit magical. I wasn’t disappointed, this library is so beautiful and has so many fun details to look at, we went through the book of Kells first;sadly no pictures to show (you’re not allowed to take any photos) and we ended the tour in the library and gift shop.
We thought that this was a very good tour to take; especially if you love books and history the way we do.Sorry for the poor quality in some of these photos;not the best lighting or photographing skills .The campus was really beautiful as well.
The national museum of Ireland-archaeology. this place we stumbled upon by accident and that was a lucky accident;we were headed to St.Stephen’s green from Trinity College. This museum was amazing and was completely free! This was so rich in culture and history; we soaked it all up. We loved learning about the history of vikings and their roles in Ireland’s rich history.
St Stephan’s Green.
This was a place we walked through on our way to St Patrick’s cathedral, I wish we would have read about it before we got there. I recently researched more into the background of this area and I would have focuses more attention to different aspects of the green.People milled about and a few people sat around and fed the geese (not sure that was allowed) some bread.
I suggest reading about the different sites before your trip, I promise it won’t spoil the magic of discovering these new places,it will only add to your amazement of knowing where you are standing and why it is so historically significant.
St Patrick’s Cathedral.
This was one of the first places that come to mind when we planned our Ireland trip, we knew that standing in the midst of the cathedral would give us a glimpse into the heritage and history of Dublin. This cathedral was so grand! We spent at least 1 1/2 hours there and we just walked around and marveled at the stained glass windows and the architecture all around.
I was looking into the sanctuary area that was closed off and sneaking a peek at the altar and the royal chairs, and a priest come by and asked us if we would like to see it up close. So he unlocked the door and proceeded to give us a mini tour of the sanctuary and I even sat in a chair that was hundreds of years old! This was so awesome to tour a place that isn’t usually available to the public.
Malahide castle and The Evergreen B&B. during the last half of the week we visited we stayed outside of Dublin near the town of malahide. Malahide is a small town but has stores and pubs and a train into Dublin, it was so convenient to stay there and just explore the area. We stayed at the Evergreen B&B evergreenmalahide.com, our hostess was Olive and she was the sweetest lady I have ever met! she welcomed us in and right away she offered to make us some tea and cookies for a snack in the dining area and she made sure we know that she was available for any questions we might have. We settled in and then walked over to the castle and into town. The castle was very impressive and the it was easy to imagine living a lavish country life in it.
We walked the grounds and then ate some lunch at a pub,we took it easy and just soaked in the countryside and small town feel. The Evergreen bed and breakfast was the perfect place to stay;so clean and spacious. We enjoyed the delicious breakfast that were included, I have the salmon and eggs and Philip had the mush one morning, all so good! I hope to come back and visit someday and if we do I would want to stay here and just commute into town.
St Patrick’s day parade and the River Bar. We rode the train into Dublin to see the parade and enjoy the festivities that go with St Patrick’s day in Ireland. We ate at the River Bar and enjoyed some coffee and hung out with a few people we met from the states.
we then watched the parade from in front of the River bar, it was a fun and lively atmosphere to say the least.
It was very fun to see all the people enjoying themselves,I know we did. After the parade we took the car and went to the coastline near malahide, the waves the rocks and all the neat little towns along the way;made this the perfect end to our Ireland trip.
This was a dream trip and we learned a lot about our traveling style. I hope you enjoyed this extra long post and I’m sorry if I left any details out. We hope to go back again and explore more of this wonderful Island .
A few things we learned from this trip:
The hop on hop off bus pass is a good idea.this is a great way to save time and money while you explore the city.
Bed and breakfast are the way to go.we really loved having a filling breakfast and very friendly hostess.
Booking with a bare bones airline is a great way to save money.We felt like the amount of money we spent on the flight was worth the value we received. it was okay that all the frills and extras weren’t included, we didn’t even miss them.
Going off the beaten path can lead to some great discoveries.We really enjoyed visiting places that weren’t on the most popular lists, we felt like we gained more experience that way.
Hope these tips are helpful and let me know if you have and advice on visiting Ireland or any country abroad, we love getting the inside scoop!