THINGS I LOVED ABOUT VISITING DUBLIN, IRELAND
Dublin, Ireland turned out to be a surprise favorite destination. It was such a multicultural melting pot, full of history, and great food choices. I really didn't plan much in advance so everything was a pleasant surprise. I only had a couple of days to spend on my first visit to Ireland and now I can't wait to get back. I've always wanted to see the lush green of the Irish you hear so much about but I honestly didn't know when I would ever travel to Ireland. As it turns out when I planned my Harry Potter pilgrimage to London, it was way cheaper to plan to fly into Dublin and then onto London than flying to London directly during the peak summer months.
Dublin is a very walkable city with lots of signs and landmarks to help you get your bearings. If you can visualize where you are in relation to the river then you'll never get lost. There are also buses and above ground trains. During our visit construction was heavy with the expansion of the train lines throughout.
Dublin is a super metropolitan and surprisingly multicultural melting pot. I admit that I had very preconceived notions of what Dublin would be like. I expected people with red hair, fair skin, and a distinctly Irish accent - you know the stereotypical Irishman. Dublin is not that. It's not that at all. Of course there were the typical Irelanders but I heard more foreign languages than I did the Irish dialect. There are literally all types of people from Thai to Japanese to Korean to Australian to African to Middle Eastern.
The Book of Kells contains the 4 Gospels of the New Testament of the Bible created in 800 AD. The text is illustrated all by hand with various primitive methods from creating colored dye. The detail of the illustrations was outstanding. You can view the Book of Kells in a glass container in a special dark room. After that room you can pass into the library. No photography allowed through this part of the exhibit. The Trinity College Library is the library of libraries. The Old Library Long Room, was built between 1712 and 1732 and houses 200,000 of the Library's oldest books. When you walk in you can smell the old book/parchment smell and see the thousands of books on shelves from eye level up to a towering ceiling. I felt like Belle in Beauty and the Beast when she walks into the castle library for the first time. It's a sight to behold, especially if you're a bookworm like me.
My friend and I happened upon the old city gates of Dublin dating back to 1240 AD. Our curiosity led us through the gets and into the grounds of the oldest church in Dublin, St. Audoen's Church, built between 1190.The church is also the home of the famous Lucky Stone, dating back to the 9th century. It's been moved, stolen, missing, but they have always managed to recover it. I rubbed it and had a no issues during the entire trip so I think it works. Touring the church is free and they are more than happy to share about the history of this historic landmark. We learned that the church is actually built on top of over 25,000 bodies.
ST. STEPHEN'S GREEN
St. Stephen's Green park is 22 acres of lush peaceful green oasis near the shopping district of Dublin. It's such a scenic place to take a break or even a nap in the cool grass. I loved watching the swans glide across the pond and exploring the trails of the park. It's a really relaxing place to spend some time.