I will never understand airline prices, but it was cheaper for us to fly to London and then to Dublin before coming home rather than getting a round-trip ticket to just London and back. My director was thrilled with the cost savings, and the rest of my co-workers wished they had thought of it first ;) And we were really excited about it - this was our first trip to Ireland!
|train ride on the Gatwick Express|
Our hotel was about a mile from the Temple Bar area, which was really convenient to everywhere we wanted to go. There was a pub right across the street so we got started on an early pub crawl!
While we were waiting for our flight at the Gatwick Airport, we met a very nice Irish lady from Dublin who gave us several great recommendations for restaurants and bars where the locals hang out. We had dinner at the Hairy Lemon and we all had delicious, traditional Irish food - pie, stew, and coddle. And beer, of course.
Now that we had some food in our system, it was time to party! We were on the hunt for some live music, so we first went to O'Donoghue's, which did have traditional Irish music but they played in one corner of the bar (the place was huge) and we could barely hear them. So we moved on in search of the next bar our airport friend suggested, but we stumbled upon The Old Storehouse and stayed until they closed (around 3am!). The guy singing and playing the guitar was amazing! He played a great variety of songs so there was something for everyone, and we had such an awesome time.
Despite our late night out on Friday, we managed to get up pretty early on Saturday to go sight-seeing. St. Stephen's Green Park was closed the night before when we walked past it, so we walked through it this time since it was on our route. It was very pretty and I'm not sure why I didn't take more pictures there!
Next up was Trinity College (beautiful campus!) and the Book of Kells.We couldn't take any pictures of the books, but the detail in the writing and pictures was just stunning.
We crossed over the O'Connell Bridge to the other side of the River Liffey, and walked along the river to the Ha'penny Bridge (aka the Liffey Bridge), which was the only pedestrian bridge on the Liffey until the Millenium Bridge was built in 2000.
W crossed back over the Liffey River and then it started raining, so we stopped for lunch at Quay's Bar & Restaurant in Temple Bar for some more yummy Irish food.
We even found a lucky leprechaun and a pot of gold while roaming the streets!
Not too far from there, we visited Dublin Castle.
We walked a few more blocks to Christ Church Cathedral, which was a beautiful and enormous church.
We continued along our route and it started raining again, so we ducked into St. Audoen's Church. Turns out this is the oldest medieval church in Dublin and has a lucky stone kept inside.We figured a couple Euros was worth some extra luck!
Our next church of the day was St. Augustine and St. John Catholic Church. Again, so beautiful!!
After a full day of walking around Dublin and sightseeing, we headed to the Guinness Factory and enjoyed a few beers :)
|learning how to pour the perfect pint|
My favorite part of the factory tour (aside from the beer) is the Gravity Bar on the 7th floor, which gives you a great 360° view of the city. We could also see where the rain clouds were headed to avoid them :)
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by St. Patrick's Cathedral, which was our last church of the day (there are so many!). Unfortunately we had just missed the last entry time, so we didn't get to go inside. But after all the beer we just drank, it was probably for the best.
We ate dinner at The Bleeding Horse Pub, and savored our last Irish meal and beers before heading home the next morning.
I'm so glad mom and Tina joined me! Even though it was a really quick trip to Dublin, we were able to see so much and had a great time! Sláinte!