Dublin the Whirlwind.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Early November I spotted a sale on good 'ol Ryanair, the airline that everyone loves to hate and vice versa. Considering I had studied abroad a few years ago, traveled Europe a couple of times, and have lived in England for over a year now, I had actually never flown with Ryanair. *Pause for dramatic effect* I know, I know. But the £10/15 one-way flights were too good to pass up and I decided to go for it for a short weekend getaway.

There are still a laundry list of places in Europe I hope to visit but there's one particular country that I somehow kept putting off on an imaginary "eventually but definitely" list: Ireland. A mere 40 minute flight from Bristol, I can't believe it took me so long to hop across the sea to the Emerald Isle! I know very little about my family history other than my mom's side is definitely Irish and my dad's side is vaguely English/something like that so needless to say this trip was a long time coming.

After the quick trip from Bristol's nearly finished remodelled airport (the Starbucks is so much bigger now y'all...and also sells wine) I checked into my Airbnb and hit the town. Being such a last minute trip and only getting back home from a jam-packed weekend in London a few days prior, I had very little research done which is super unlike me. I had planned on doing a free walking tour with Sandeman like Rach and I had done in Munich but the airport bus hit a lot of traffic and I got to the city centre a bit later than planned.

Tapping into all of my blog reading and Pinterest hunting, I decided first up on the Dublin checklist was Trinity College and of course the famous library. You go through the Book of Kells exhibit before arriving to the library, but being a manuscript from the 8th century there's obviously no photos allowed. The exhibit was really interesting and not too long, I get bored easily when a museum drags you through room after room before the actual star of the show.

The Long Room, aka the library part holds over 200,000 books and is basically a dream for anyone who was more interested in the library than the love story when watching Beauty and the Beast.

I don't know if it's normal to call a staircase sexy...but c'mon – that is a SEXY staircase!

Since it was November, the university was in full swing. 

Dublin actually looked a lot different than what imagined in my head. Partially because I had never properly looked at photos of Dublin the city as my attention has always been focused more on the Irish countryside/the Guinness storehouse/etc. It reminded me a lot of central mainland Europe when I was kind of expecting more of a UK-vibe...does that make sense?

Although I was staying right in the Temple Bar area I didn't *actually* go into any of the Temple Bar pubs because I was warned they're quite touristy and expensive. But they looked cute!

Dublin Castle, the tower on the right is the only remaining bit of the original medieval castle from around 1228. 

St. Patrick's Cathedral, finished in 1191 and the largest church in Ireland! I thought the spire was really unique and not what I've normally seen in churches in Europe. Although the design is definitely gothic the exterior seemed pretty modest to me. 

I went into the Jameson Distillery but didn't do the tour because sorry to disappoint my Irish heritage, but I really hate Jameson. As in my last memory of drinking Jameson involved me spitting it back into a shot glass (nice visual for you there). Although going in to the distillery really made me wish I loved it because it was so cool inside! There's a bar area which boasts a list of cocktails based around the whiskey and a really great gift shop.

Four Courts under construction, which holds the Irish Supreme Court, High Court, and Dublin Circuit Court...which leaves me with the question...why is it called Four Courts if there's three?!

Christ Church Cathedral, slightly older than St. Patricks mentioned above. 

Don't worry, I didn't leave Dublin without having a pint of the black stuff! I can't tell if it was a placebo effect but considering I normally pull a scrunched face at a pint of Guinness, I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty and creamy it was. When in Rome, ya'know... 

My weekend in Ireland was a quick but fun one, and I arrived back in Bristol just in time for work!

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