After leaving Edinburgh, Scotland, we went to Dublin, Ireland. Dublin was interesting to say the least. Did I love it? No, but I didn’t absolutely hate it either. The best part of Dublin was the hotel we were staying in, but that’s only because it’s listed as one of the top hotels in Ireland so of course it was amazing.
On the first day, we toured the Guinness storehouse and the Jameson distillery, which were cool but we were buzzed the entire day and that probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do. We got a late lunch at The Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Dublin, which had good food too so that was a plus. We walked around St. Stephen’s Green, a huge park across the street from our hotel, and since it was Easter Monday and nobody had to work, the park was packed full of people and wine bottles! It was almost sunset at that point so the lighting on the flowers and water was beautiful too.
On Tuesday, we got breakfast of homemade yogurt and granola with a scone at Hatch and Sons cafe, then went upstairs to the Little Museum of Dublin right above the cafe. After, we walked to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The cathedral was beautiful but I’ve seen around 30 churches in Europe and they all are quite similar. We toured Dublin castle, which might be my least favorite castle I’ve ever seen since it’s actually just an old building with huge rooms and not at all like the castles in Scotland, and then we got lunch at the famous Temble Bar. The best part of Dublin, besides our hotel, was the food. It’s pretty hard to mess up food so meal times were always fun for us. Plus, we got a pint at every meal, or a bottle wine depending on the place, so again it was hard to mess up meal times. After lunch we found Trinity College and went to the book of kells exhibit and the old trinity college library. The library was huge but I wish we could have actually looked at the books, not just the shelves of book titles.
The next day we desperately needed to get out of the city so we took the tram and headed north to Howth. It was pretty to see some of the small towns and cliffs, but the wind really ruined the morning. We got back on the train and went down the coast to Bray, a beach town, which was much more enjoyable. When we got back to Dublin, we saw the national museumand got some sweet treats at the cutest bakery in the world, Hänsel and Gretel bakery, then went for a luxurious tea time at the hotel before packing again for the next morning’s flight. We felt so classy and pampered with our overpriced tea and expensive champaign, and the waiter brought us mini sandwiches and desserts with edible gold too. I must say that the lap of luxury is lovely. On a completely different note, sometime in those few days I learned how to play pool finally. I suck at it.
On the morning of April 9th, we boarded a tiny plane and hopped over to Cardiff, Wales from Dublin. When telling people we were going to Cardiff, their main reactions were “why?”, so as you can imagine we had no idea what to expect. We started our trip at the national gallery, which had an impressionist exhibition with a lot of Monet paintings. My mom is totally obsessed with impressionism so she was a very happy camper there. We walked around downtown a little and saw “the Cardiff story,” then went to Bute Park and strolled through the flowers and trees. The park is one of the most beautiful ones I’ve ever seen, and we were only able to walk through about a third of it since it was so huge. There was even obstacle courses and hidden paths through the forest area which were fun to find. We wandered back to the hotel and got dinner, and the next day we took a ferry to the bay and explored more of Cardiff. The parliament building was there, which was called the National Assembly for Wales, and being a dumb blonde I thought it was a whale museum and my parents were really weirded out at how excited I was to go in. It wasn’t until I was sitting in a conference room that I realized I read the “Wales” wrong. We got lunch and some Brains – the Cardiff brewed beer – and then went back downtown.
The next day, we saw the Cardiff castle and learned about its history, which is one of the coolest things to see there since it has a moat inside the main gate, and then we caught a train and admired the English countryside on our way to London.
Life is an adventure, so keep exploring it!