Friday, May 9, 2014

Luck of the Irish

I had the most amazing four day weekend. We were out of school last Thursday and Friday so Carley, Tiffany, and I took advantage of this and went to Ireland. Ireland is the one place I have always dreamed of going. Traveling there was the only thing I had on my bucket list. We left late Wednesday night and arrived in Ireland just after midnight. After some confusion with where we were staying we got everything sorted out and had a peaceful weekend. The little bed and breakfast we stayed at was perfect. The owners picked us up from the airport, took us where we wanted to go, showed us how to travel and where to go, and took us back to the airport when we left. They were two of the nicest people I have ever met and I look forward to going back to see them again as soon as possible. The place we stayed at was in Swords which is about 20 minutes outside of Dublin. By doing this we were able to see the country and the city. I must say I prefer the country.

On Thursday, we went to Dublin. We were going to take a walking tour, but decided to just grab and map and go exploring on our own. Our first stop was Dublin Castle. We were able to go in and tour a few of the rooms on our own.

Once we left the castle we made our way to St. Patrick´s Cathedral. It´s not as spectacular as the Sagrada Familia, but it is the biggest cathedral in Ireland. It is also the place where Jonathan Swift is buried. I loved walking through the cathedral and learning all about the history of it. The cathedral and the castle were both beautiful sights to see.

gardens at St. Patrick's Cathedral

On Friday, we woke up early to head to Howth. Des sat down with us to show us where to go and the walking path to take once we arrived in Howth. He helped us call a taxi and explained the Dart, which is their metro system. Once in Howth we found our way to the Howth castle and stopped to make some new friends along the way.

As soon as we saw the castle it was like we had stepped into a fairy tale.

Des had shown us a way to go around the castle to find a foot path behind it. This area was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It advanced the fairy tale surroundings even more.

We got a little confused in the woods after we reached the cliff top, but Ireland is not a bad place to get lost in.

It didn´t take us long to get on the right path and find our way back to the city. Once there we stopped to eat before heading back into the woods. Finding the arrows for the walking path was like a scavenger hunt. We had to stop and search for them each time we came to a crossroads. After much more walking we found ourselves along the coast and in the mountains. It had been cloudy all day, but finally the sun came out at the perfect time. Howth was the most beautiful place I have ever seen. If ever given the option, I would move there immediately.

On Saturday, we journeyed to Malahide and took a tour of the castle. It is from teh 12th century, and one of Ireland´s oldest castles that is still in use. During this tour we were able to learn about the history of the castle and some of the antiques that are held within.
Once we left the castle we made our way back to Dublin. We toured Trinity College and saw The Book of Kells and The Book of Armagh. These are two of the oldest books in existence. The Book of Kells contains the four gospels.
After Trinity we hit up a few souvenior shops before heading to Temple Bar. Temple Bar is an area in Dublin that contains nothing but pubs. Walking through there was an experience on its own.
When we left Dublin we sat with Des and Sinead for a while before finally going to sleep. We had to leave Ireland first thing Sunday morning. I have never dreaded leaving a place as much as I did Ireland. As soon as I was on the plane I was ready to turn around and go back. Ireland is definitely a place I will be visiting frequently.

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