Ireland Day 01: Dublin
Ireland Day 01
Like any international trip my journey started at the airport, specifically at Boston’s Logan International. It is a gamble to take an overnight flight to Europe but I wanted to optimize the amount of time that I had in Dublin on Saturday. Despite a definite lack of sleep there was nothing else to discourage my excitement. On either end of the flight I had a remarkably painless trip through the airport and encountered almost no lines,
It took us only a few minutes to pass through customs, collect our baggage and find our way to the shuttle bus. As we were leaving the airport we saw the sun on the horizon shaded by the morning Dublin fog. That’s when it hit me that we were in Ireland.
I was once told by my Aunt Mia, a woman who loved to travel, that the best way to see a city is via a bus tour. I’ve relied on this advice for every major city that I’ve visited throughout Europe and have never been disappointed. Unfortunately because of our early flight and quick processing through the airport we had a tremendously early start to the day. Never the less we stayed awake long enough to see the city from the beautiful vantage point of bus top.
Given the excess of time we had we made a few stops along the way including St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Temple Bar and the Writer’s Museum.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
We made our first stop to this stunning cathedral in Dublin. It possessed a depth of history and a wealth of stained glass. I’m always amazed at the detail of the architecture within these ancient buildings and the dedication and wealth that had to go into designing and building it all those years ago without our modern tools or technology.
Temple Bar is a quirky area and quite popular with the tourists. It is a series of closed streets and alleys used to create a cultural area within Dublin. I’d read in several guides that the book market was something that must be seen and visited but I was quite disappointed with the three stalls that comprised of the book market. I’d be hoping to pick up something there to call a souvenir but it was so bland I gave up after ten minutes of perusing the merchandise.
Dublin Writer’s Museum
This was a last minute decision to see but I was thrilled that I had the opportunity to visit given my love of literature. I particularly wanted to visit to read up and pay homage to three amazing writers: James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, and my favorite writer Oscar Wilde. This museum really opened my eyes to many other authors who are soon to grace my bookshelves and become new favorites.
The Castle was almost completely destroyed during a fire that took place in the 1600s. I found that it was a great disappointment for me when visiting because I was desperately seeking more of a Tower of London vibe and less of a Versailles vibe from the building. I loved the old part of the castle that survived and the walls of the structure.
Dinner in Temple Bar
Despite being exhausted we headed to Temple Bar for an early dinner. We found an Irish restaurant/pub in the Temple Bar neighborhood after specifically going on a hunt for a good traditional Cottage Pie. I felt right at home after ordering a Cottage Pie and Carlsberg. We savored every bite but by the end we were ready to head back to the Hotel and pack it in early for the evening.
As a long time fan of the show I was thrilled to get an opportunity to watch it live on Irish television. We watched the first live show from the hotel room and truly got to appreciate this season’s contestants live.
Direct Link to Ireland Day 01 Dublin Gallery: http://picasaweb.google.com/abroadinlondon/IrelandDay01#