So…this is terribly overdue, but I wanted to wait until all of my work was handed in to give this the proper time it’s due.
Firstly, since I took 199 pictures (after deleting all of the really awful blurry ones), posting them on here would actually be kind of crazy. So, here’s a link to my album of them for your viewing pleasure. Please enjoy my terrible self-indulgent captions from my overtired mind. I worked very hard on them. (noididn’tbutshush.)
Right. Anyway. So firstly, the travel bit.
Now this was my first time doing any kind of long distance travel by myself while I’ve been here. Of course there were nervous jitters, but that’s to be expected. Despite that I traveled on every mode of transportation ever to get to Ireland, I’d say I did pretty well.
First, I took a cab to the train station and grabbed a direct line from Lancaster to Manchester Airport. I stayed overnight at Bewely’s hotel as there was no train to get me in early enough the next day for my flight. It was a beautiful hotel and I recommend it highly! Despite that I could barely sleep that night, I got out of bed at 5am, showered, had tea, and put myself together to take a shuttle to the airport. A quick 45 minute (literally) flight later, I was searching around Dublin airport for the bus station to take me to Trinity College where I would meet my parents.
Yes, folks, taxi, train, shuttle, plane, and a bus. I wasn’t kidding. The only thing I was missing was a boat.
Now, Dublin, as a city, is absolutely spectacular. It’s got a beautiful mix of old and new with friendly people and history around every corner.
I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to do a proper, and an even more helpful, run-through of Dublin, and so I’ve decided to just list each place and what I recommend you do there.
SO HERE WE GO. (oh, and I may forget places, so keep an eye out because if you see an A/N or EDIT it means I added stuff!)
AN A-Z OF DUBLIN:
- Christ’s Cathedral: This beautiful cathedral has a lot to offer and I recommend giving yourself between an hour and an hour and a half (if you wanna sit and drink something in the crypt cafe. The ground floor is a sight to see, but don’t miss the crypt! Inside it there are a lot of cool displays and you can see the structure that is holding up the entirety of the cathedral on it’s own.
- The Clarence: This is a fun little stop if you like U2! Bono part-owns the hotel which has a neat little bar in it. Supposedly, sometimes he or other members of the band come in for a drink so you never know who you’ll run into. How long you spend there all depends on how much time you want to spend drinking or getting a bit to eat. (Their fish and chips are delicious.)
- Dublin Castle: Okay, so this is a quick stop and it’s free if you want to just walk around the grounds and into the chapel. It’s small but very beautiful and serene. A great place to sit with a coffee and just look around. Make sure you walk into the tiny chapel because it’s really quite beautiful—especially the large church organ over the entrance.
- The Guinness Factory: Well, the Irish are known for their pubs and of course, for their famous beers. The Guinness factory is a pretty interesting place. Not being a big beer fan myself, I was neutral on whether we should make the stop or not, but I’m very glad we did. It was really interesting to learn about how the famous brew was first made and seeing all of the materials that went into making it. It was like the Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory of beer! Make sure to stop at the bar for some delicious shepard’s pie and a pint, as well as wandering up to the seventh floor to see the panoramic view of Dublin. It’s a self-guided tour, so if you’re looking for bare minimum time spent there, figure about forty-five minutes.
- Ha’Penny Bridge: This bridge is just a little piece of Dublin, really. It used to cost a half-penny to get across it, and there are a lot of little stories about how people used to try to avoid the toll. It’s free now, of course, but it’s still pretty to walk across.
- Kilmainham Gaol [Pronounced Jail]: This is a must see. The tour is around about fourty-five minutes and you can only do a guided tour. It’s worth the money though as it gives a very comprehensive of Ireland’s turbulent history. Plus, seeing the conditions that prisoners had to live in was chilling and left you thinking. Allow an hour if you want to ask questions.
- The Oscar Wilde Memorial: Well…I think you should see it if you have a passion for literature like I do, otherwise, it’s not really necessary. You could see it in as little as five minutes, or take around twenty like I did. Plus, who doesn’t want to see a dapper statue of Oscar Wilde just chilling on a rock with a smirk on his face? Okay…maybe that’s just me.
- Saint Patrick’s Cathedral: Again, if you’re a fan of cathedral’s definitely make this stop. It’s a gorgeous example of Victorian architecture with flying buttresses and stained glass. Even the floors are something to marvel at. Again, something make time to see. You could spend anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour walking around and taking it all in.
- Trinity College: Okay this is another MUST SEE! The guided tour is a lot of fun and very informative. Our tour guide was particularly witty and taught us a lot about the college. After the tour, they leave you off outside of the library. Now, ‘Harry Potter’ fans will recognize the Long Hallway as the library in the films! And my goodness, it is beautiful, especially if you love books and old things as much as I do. You should also take the time to go through the Book of Kells exhibit, as it’s amazing to see a text that dates back to the 8th or 9th century. Yes, you read that right. And it’s so beautifully ornamented that it is really a treasure to see. I would allow for around two hours for the entirety of the Trinity College experience if you like to take your time. If you skip the tour, you can probably go through it in as little as a half hour.
- The Wicklow Mountains/Glendeloch: Now, I know this isn’t Dublin, but it’s only about a 45 minute to an hour drive outside of the city and it’s worth it. While it doesn’t give the full picture, it’s a taste of Ireland’s famous forty shades of green and the countryside as a whole. The drive itself is beautiful, and then you arrive in Glendeloch and it simply is astounding. Pictures cannot do it justice. Take the trail of your choice—there are ones for all hiking levels from simple paths to more meaty trails—but make sure you stop in the small cemetery and wander around. The quiet, peaceful way about it is really something special. I would allow anywhere from a half of a day to a full day for this place and it is on my YOU MUST SEE THIS PLACE list.
Alright, that’s my list as I can remember it now based on the pictures I took. I’ll probably add more to this list later on, but for now, I hope this proves helpful to some!
It was a really fantastic trip and a wonderful way to see my family again and spend time with them. Knowing I would see them really helped assuage any homesickness I felt and it was filled with wonderful memories that I will cherish forever.
Thanks again for everyone who reads, follows, and favourited!