On our recent trip to Europe, we went to Dublin after our week in London and Guildford. You can read all about Week One over here.
DAY ONE – Dublin
We flew from London to Dublin on a Monday afternoon, leaving from London City airport. Our flight was delayed so it was a boring afternoon sitting at the boarding gate, waiting for the plane to be “fixed”! Eventually, though, we were on our way.
Once landed in Dublin (it was nice and sunny), we caught the “Aircoach” bus to our friends’ house, near University College Dublin (UCD) in Blackrock. This bus was easy to catch from the airport and gave us a bit of a tour through the city.
Our time in Dublin was spent staying with friends who we’ve known for many many years. This time was so precious and I couldn’t believe we were actually there, at their house, in their kitchen, playing with their children. They were so hospitable and gave us such a wonderful time. We felt so blessed to be with them.
Upon arrival, we enjoyed a beautiful home-cooked meal and relaxed and chatted until late.
DAY TWO – Dublin
We were treated at “home” to a delicous breakfast of pancakes with fruit this morning – wow!
In order to purchase tickets for the local bus system, we went to the local shop and got all sorted out. We needed what is called a “Leap Card”. We used our newly purchased Leap Cards to ride the bus into Dublin, where we walked around, exploring the city.
Lunch was at the Marks & Spencer rooftop cafe which was really good. We met some new friends here!
After lunch, we purchased “Hop on hop off” bus tickets and spent most of the afternoon staying on the bus listening to the driver’s commentary (he was a funny man!). This is actually a really good way to see the city (especially when the weather isn’t great).
In the evening we enjoyed another delicious dinner back at “home”, before venturing out to a couple of local pubs.
First stop was Gleesons. This place was nice, quite fancy and posh. We enjoyed a drink here before moving on to the next one.
Next stop was The Old Punchbowl. If you ever get the chance – visit this place! This was an old, traditional pub where there was an older crowd of regulars. They brought their musical instruments along and burst into traditional Irish song. The atmosphere was amazing. They guy who played the little piano accordian was 94 years old and he was playing that thing like a charm. It was a great night!
DAY THREE – Dublin
This morning’s breakfast at “home” was smoked salmon, mashed avocado and cream cheese on yummy bread – we love it here!
Today the weather was cold and rainy but we went back into the city and had lunch at St Stephens shopping centre.
Then it was on to investigate Trinity College and the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is a very old, beautifully decorated book containing the four gospels of the Bible in Latin. Some of the pages were projected on the walls with written explanations to go with them.
From here, it leads in to the Old Library, where the oldest and largest collection of books in Ireland are kept. The oldest harp in Ireland is also kept here. This place is beautiful. You must visit this place.
After this, we went to the Little Museum of Dublin. Our lady tour guide here was very entertaining. She basically showed us through two rooms which contained pictures, paintings and letters from all stages of Irish history. Very educational. There is also a room downstairs devoted to Irish music, in particular U2.
We went for a walk to Temple Bar then, to a cafe called “Queen of Tarts” – another place that should be high on your list! Here we enjoyed an incredible afternoon tea of lemon meringue pies and berry and apple crumbles. The cakes in their glass cabinet are all so impressive and tempting, it’s so hard to choose.
DAY FOUR – Dublin
We started our day with a delicious breakfast at a local cafe called Rocketfoods – check it out here. This place is small but very popular with the locals. I had the porridge which came with honey, blueberries and cream to pour on – yum! Perfect on a cold day. (Note to self: must try to recreate this at home.)
Once all fueled up, we drove out to the Brú na Bóinne visitor’s centre and toured both Newgrange and Knowth. Here there are huge Irish passage tombs – earthern mounds which are covered in lush green grass. They are said to be older than the pyramids (dating back to 3200BC) and with quite mysterious histories! These tours were fascinating (you travel out to each place on a bus from the visitor’s centre). If you go to Dublin, try to get out to this place! The countryside on the way is also a highlight. Sheep farms and narrow roads make this quite the adventure!
Tonight we went out for dinner to an Italian pizza place called Basil. The food here was really good and we even managed to squeeze in dessert pizzas too (nutella, raspberries, whipped cream….). They were crazy-good!
DAY FIVE – Dublin
The alarm went off at 6am this morning and we quickly downed a piece of toast and a coffee before taking a taxi to the airport. Our time in Dublin was over and it was time to say goodbye to our friends. Our Irish adventure was fantastic and we will never forget it. Thank you to our friends for making it so special!
Where to next? It’s time to get excited for Paris! Tune in next time to hear all about it!