Recently, my husband and I were lucky enough to visit my lovely sister in law and her family in Edinburgh, Scotland. Since we couldn’t get a direct flight to Edinburgh and a trip to Europe from the US is a big and expensive under taken, we decided to make the most of it and visit some other destinations on our wish list as well.
Luckily, we were able to get a direct flight to Dublin, Ireland. Sadly, we were only there for about two and a half days, so we only got to experience a fraction of what this city has to offer!
If you ever get a chance to go to Dublin, I would recommend taking one of the hop on, hop off tour buses that drive around. It’s a great way to see the sites and learn about the city. Plus, the nice thing was our ticket was good for two days, so we were able to tour around the city and figure out what we wanted to see and do and then go to various sites.
Some of the highlights of our trip were:
St. Stephen’s Green
St. Stephen’s Green is located in the center of Dublin. It’s a beautiful park that’s very calm and peaceful. It’s an oasis from the hectic city. Don’t forget to stop by and see the beautiful swans and other wild life.
Book of Kells and Trinity College
The Book of Kells is located at Trinity College. Also, when visiting the Book of Kells be sure to check out the Long Room. Its said that the Long Room was the inspiration for Hogwart’s Dinning Room in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowlings. Also the current exhibition, Emperor of the Irish: Brian Boru was very interesting and I would recommend checking that out as well! (It is currently running until October 2014.)
Also, the campus of Trinity College is beautiful, so be sure to take time to walk around and enjoy it! For more information about The Book of Kells and Trinity College, check out: http://www.tcd.ie/visitors/
My husband and I discovered Phoenix park when we were riding the hop on hop off bus and knew immediately we would have to go back and visit. The park is awesome! According to the tour information on the bus, Phoenix Park is twice as big as Central Park in New York City and six times as big as Hyde Park in London. I can confirm that it is a huge park and we only got to explore a small part of it.
One of our first stops was The Dublin Zoo. There’s a large variety of animals to see and spent a good amount of time exploring the zoo. It was fun to see all the animals.
I’m a very big tea drinker and was excited to see a tea house! (Apparently, there are several through out the park.) Besides tea, they also serve yummy treats. I had a snickers muffin to go with my tea.
After enjoying the zoo and tea, we walked over and checked out the Wellington Monument. It is considered to be the second tallest obelisk in the world. (The first is the Washington Monument.)
To learn more about Phoenix Park, check out http://www.phoenixpark.ie
If your like me, when traveling deciding what sites you want to see isn’t a problem, deciding where to eat on the other hand seems to be a little tougher. One of my favorite things to do is try the local restaurants and local cuisine. Luckily, there seems to be a lot of excellent choices in Dublin. Good thing I did a lot of walking so I could work off all the calories!
A. I have one of the world’s biggest sweet tooth and am an ice cream fanatic. So, it should be no surprise that one of the first things I ate was gelato. This one was from Gino’s Gelato. Yum!
B. It was interesting that most of the time when I ordered a soda at a restaurant it came in a bottle (with a glass) vs. here in the US where it is normally served in a glass.
C. I’m lucky enough to have a good Irish restaurant/pub near where I live. One of their best things on the menu is their beef stew, so of course I had to try some while I was in Ireland! This one is from Harry’s on the Green.
D. Lots of traditional breakfast were eaten! This particular one was from Bewley’s. As I mentioned before I’m a big tea drinker so it was nice that the breakfasts often came with a pot of tea. It’s also interesting to note that during my time in Europe, fresh squeezed orange juice was served at breakfast, every time except once. Which is kind of ironic since I live in Florida. (It’s definitely something I think US restaurant should start doing more of please!)
E. When we were getting restaurant recommendations from one of the desk receptionist, she happened to mention that chicken wings were a big trend in Dublin. We decided to try some as an appetizer one night.
F. Irish Cream is one of my favorite drinks. I was very excited to have some while in Ireland.
G. When I was growing up, my mom use to make corn beef and cabbage every St. Patrick’s Day. So that was another dish I was interested in trying while in Ireland.
H. As I said before, I have a huge sweet tooth. If there’s a bakery, candy store or ice cream place around, I’ll find it! This mint chocolate cupcake was delicious and was from Johnnies Cupcakes.
I. These caramel toffee squares and hot chocolate from Butler’s were awesome! I wish I had had more time in Dublin just so I could have tried more items on the menu. Everything looked so good! Plus we were able to get a piece of chocolate to try. Score!
So if you’re looking for someplace interesting and fun to travel to, you should definitely add Dublin to your list. You won’t regret it!
It can be tough to lug souvenirs home, especially if you’re traveling internationally! Check out these awesome artist and their work. Maybe you’ll find the perfect item for yourself or someone special without having to worry about lugging it through an airport!
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Old Ireland Poem Card, Blank Inside Card
St. Patrick’s Day Poem with Clovers and Rainbow Card
by Ron Magnes
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|Happy a beary nice St. Patrick’s Day-Bears, Irish Flag, St. Patrick’s Day Card by Lisa C. Weber|
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