Published: November 1st 2008November 1st 2008
Welcome to Dublin, Ireland!
This was the only leprechaun we found in Ireland. He didn't even have any Lucky Charms!
Hello again! We are back with another installment from our traveling adventures! We returned late last night from a four day excursion to Ireland. Ireland is a very beautiful country with lots of greenery and wonderful rolling hills and countryside. We experienced all sorts of weather! It was quite cold, but we got some sunshine as well as rain and snow!
We started our adventure at 3am on Tuesday morning when we hired a taxi to take us to Luton airport. Our flight departed at 6:35am and we arrived in Dublin an hour later. Once we made our way to the city centre we decided to go for a walk to find our hotel. The walk turned out to be much longer than we anticipated! Forty minutes later we saw the Travelodge sign looming ahead of us; our bodies were thankful because we would actually be able to unload the backpacks we had been lugging around. However, even though our room was ready, they would not allow us to check in before 3pm unless we paid an extra 10 Euros on top of our room charge! So, seeing as how we were on a travel budget, we sucked up our
discomfort and continued exploring Dublin for the day with our backpacks in tow. We spent the day visiting the National Museum of Ireland, Merrion Square, which has a lovely park, and St. Stephen's Green which is another beautiful park area. We returned to our hotel around 6pm, had dinner, and got to bed early since we were completely knackered from such a long day. Our next day was going to be packed full of sightseeing!
Day two in Dublin began at 8:30am. We took the bus out to Kilmainham Jail where we enjoyed an informative and interesting guided tour. Many movies have been filmed at Kilmainham, including Boondock Saints
starring Willem Dafoe and Sean Patrick Flanery and the original The Italian Job
starring Michael Caine. Kilmainham Jail opened in 1796. When the jail was first opened public hangings took place out front of the jail. Overcrowding created appalling conditions at the jail when the Great Famine of 1845-1849 drove many people to petty crime such as stealing bread. Kilmainham held many of the most famous people involved in the quest for Irish independence. The leaders if the 1916 Easter Rising were held and executed here. The doors of Kilmainham
jail closed for good in 1924 and the abandoned jail was eventually restored between 1960 and 1984. Kilmainham now stands as as a museum representing an important time in Ireland's history. After our tour of Kilmainham Jail, we decided to make the trek to the Guinness Storehouse. A trip to Dublin would not be complete without a visit to the Home of Guinness, an integral part of the city's economy and history! At the Guinness Storehouse we learned about what goes into the making of each and every pint of the "black stuff." The brewery was founded by Aurthur Guinness in 1759. Once we reached the top floor we were treated to a free pint of Guinness which Will enjoyed much more than Bri did. Bri couldn't finish her pint! After our Guinness experience, we wandered through the medieval part of Dublin where we saw the Christ Church Cathedral, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Dublin Castle. We ended our day by exploring the fast paced life on the streets of Temple Bar, a pedestrianised area with a mix of restaurants, shops, pubs and bars. We also walked down the main street in Dublin, O'Connell Street. This is when we were pleasantly
surprised...we were walking by a shop and right there in the window was a Tim Horton's display!!! It was not a proper Timmy's shop, but there was a Timmy's coffee dispenser and hot chocolate packages. This is the first Tim Horton's we have seen in Europe! We savoured a nice warm cup of Timmy's on our way back to our hotel.
Our third day in Dublin was quite relaxed. We slept in a bit and left our hotel around noon. We spent the day doing souvenir shopping on O'Connell street, followed by visits to Trinity College, Glasnevin Cemetary and the Casino at Marino. Trinity College is an attractive classical building with a beautiful campus. It is home to the Book of Kells, a treasured medieval manuscript of the first Christian millenium. Glasnevin Cemetary is the most historically notable burial place in Ireland and is the final resting place for thousands of ordinary citizens, as well as many Irish patriots. Lastly, the Casino at Marino is not a casino in the sense that you're likely thinking! The Casino is an 18th-century architectural creation resembling a Roman temple. The Casino was designed by Scottish architect Sir William Chambers for James Caulfeild, the
fourth Viscount Charlemont. The name 'Casino Marino' is derived from Italian which literally translates to 'The small house by the small sea'. The structure looks quite small, however there are actually 3 floors containing a total of 16 rooms inside. After our day out, we returned to our hotel to drop off our stuff and then we headed back into Temple Bar in central Dublin where we enjoyed a lovely meal and then some traditional live Irish music at a pub. We loved the pub! The crowd was composed of people from 18 to 80 years old! Everyone was having a grand old time having a drink and singing and clapping along to the Irish folk songs!
Our final day in Ireland was spent on a bus tour with Over The Top Tours. We departed Dublin at 9:30am and enjoyed a wonderful day exploring the Wicklow mountains and the lovely contryside of Glendalough. We got to go on a very interesting guided tour of an old monastery in Glendalough and we saw many breathtaking views from the mountains. We returned to Dublin at 6pm which gave us just enough time to have dinner and then return to the airport for
our flight back to London at 10pm.
We are happy to have had the opportunity to visit Ireland. We didn't find any leprechauns but we did enjoy the beauty of Wicklow and Glendalough as well as the always bustling city of Dublin. The Irish accent is fantastic and the Irish are extremely friendly people!
There are more photos below