After a long turbulent flight we were happy to see Icebergs out the window give way to the sweeping green coastal lands of Ireland. As we fly over morning in Ireland, little groups of homes make up towns and green of every shade is a quilt on the land below us. We happily get off the plane and catch a bus to town, headed for College Green as suggested by the ticket salesgirl. We are excited to wander the neighborhood and stretch our legs but first find a hostel to put our bags down. A perfect place is found, bags are locked up and we are ready to explore! First we go across the street to Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university, founded in 1592, the campus is beautiful with perfect green stretches of lawn covering much of the courtyard. All the buildings face inwards and it creates a really nice atmosphere, like you stepped back in time. Lot’s of cute stylish young people are around and even though it is a tourist attraction it just seems like a normal campus.
We wander out of the large stone archway of the campus to look for the neighborhood Temple Bar. Walking through small winding streets of shops and then down the larger pedestrian only shopping street called Grafton Street we are lead to a park, St. Stephens Green. Passing through Fusiliers Arch we enter large pretty park surrounding a duck filled lake, bridges cross the lake and more perfect lawns (all of them are chained off, which is probably why they are so perfect!) are stretched out all over this popular lunchtime spot.
Now, we really want to find this Temple Bar place! We finally get our bearings and follow the signs to Temple Bar…
This old neighborhood has a more colorful, cool atmosphere with lot’s of shops and bars. We find The Temple Bar, a pub est. 1840. When we enter a guy with a guitar is singing Irish tunes and we head towards the bar where John orders a Guinness and we both order sandwiches.
These sandwiches are super delicious by the way and the Guinness was mighty tasty! As we enjoy the sammies and beer and the atmosphere we watch hail stones and rain come down like crazy outside, the little stones of ice bouncing off the cobblestones and then settling in and looking like snowfall.
After some help from a local we decide we will walk to the Dublin Museum of Modern Art, passing through the Viking/Medieval area and the Guinness factory and then we will walk back to the hostel along the River Liffey. We pass an old windmill along the way…
and the Guinness which reminds me of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, because of it’s industrial smoke stacks and high gates…
We reach the Irish Museum of Modern Art which is closed for renovations. We walk around the grounds and find a beautiful 17th century formal garden.
We take shelter from the rain in a stone garden house and pretty much have the place to ourselves. When the rain lets up we walk down to the river and stroll along coming across the National Museum which is free but was only open for another 20 min., so we ran in there and looked around until they kicked us out. Then back to the hostel where we lay down for a nap totally exhausted! Jetlag makes it seem later than it actually is so from 5:3o on I stay in bed, watching the others dorm-mates file in and get ready for sleep as I catch up on some photo posting on instagram and facebook. Whilst I sleep, John goes out for another beer at the “The Brazen Head” the oldest bar in Dublin, I wish I had been awake enough to go! We had to be up at 4am for our flight to Paris… and now I write this from a lovely apartment overlooking the Seine, Notre Dame (and the Eiffel Tower, if I lean out the window!) we are staying with a sweet couple, Kat and Keegan, we met them over the summer, they were on their was to Paris then. They are amazing hosts and tour guides. We had an absolutely lovely day yesterday and today! More about those adventures soon!