Monday, July 18, 2011

Ireland Week!!! The "Must-Sees" of Ireland: Dublin

Failte!! (That means 'welcome' in Gaelic)

I spent 10ish days on the Emerald Isle, from June 9th till June 19th. It was a dream of a trip with so much packed in it, I needed a vacation from my vacation. :)

I went with two of the bestest girls in the whole world: Jen and Katie

(From left to right: Me, Katie, Jen, on the airplane to Dublin)

And we behaved ourselves most of the time...

Well, at least some of the time...

The point is, we had a fantastic trip, filled with many wonderful memories. I know that when we were planning the trip, it was nice to have opinions from others who had been there, so I thought I would take this week to give my opinion on the "Must Sees of Ireland".

The first stop in our trip was Dublin. We stayed at a pretty nice hotel. The rooms weren't much to write home blog about but the location was the best. It's in the Temple Bar district, which means most of the sites are close enough to walk to. I would stay here again, mainly because of the location.

Two days in Dublin wasn't enough to see everything... not even close. But we were able to see enough, and I feel like the two days was the right amount to allot for our ten day trip.

The Dublin "Must Sees"
#1. Irish House Party: This place was fantastic. It included a full dinner and two hours of live Irish entertainment. Perfect to get you in the mood. You sit at long tables with other guests. Amanda, from England is to my right!

They even got a number of us (aka: Katie and I) to get up there and learn how to Irish dance. It was so much fun!

We definitely weren't as good as this Irish lass.

#2. Guiness Brewery Tour: You'll read mixed reviews about this place. I guess you either love it or hate it. But we loved it. You see how the company was started, and how they make there beer. And then at the very top of the building is what is known as "The Gravity Bar". It is here you grab your 'free' (included in the ticket price) pint of Guiness and enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Dublin.

You will notice that I don't have a Guiness in my hand. I actually don't even like beer. But I enjoyed this tour! :)

The pictures don't really do it justice... the view is spectacular from up there.

#3 Kilmainham Gaol: I think we would all agree that this was our favorite historical site in Dublin. The tour was very well done, and just the right amount of time (went about 1 hr). This Gaol was very significant in Ireland's history and it was nice to understand and appreciate that.

#4 Book of Kells/Trinity College: In actuality, I wouldn't say The Book of Kells is anything to write home about, unless you really get into religious artifacts, which if that is the case, this is definitely something you should see. What was jaw-dropping about this tour was the library that you walk through after you see The Book. It is the most gorgeous library I have ever seen. Just makes you want to curl up and start reading the books that you couldn't possibly get through even if you had a hundred lifetimes. I also find it kind of neat to walk other college campuses. So getting to walk through Trinity College to see The Book of Kells was cool.

#5 Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour:  This might not qualify as a 'must-see', but I'm sticking it in here anyway. This bus took you to 18 different stops throughout Dublin city. The drivers were usually pretty funny, and filled you in on the important, and not so important, facts about there fair city. I would highly recommend this as a means to see all of the city in as short a time as possible.

If you have more time, you should consider...

visiting St. Patrick's Cathedral. It is quite impressive, with a lot of unique history.

shopping on Grafton Street. Seriously, you could find anything your little heart desires here. Its pedestrian only and it is beautiful to boot. ;)

finding yourself a leprechaun and see if he'll give you some of his gold. Also say 'hi' to Molly Malone who is all dolled up in bronze to the left there. She has quite the story. Ask the locals about it... 

taking a walk through St. Stephen's Green on a day with just a little sprinkle. Yes, that's me and Jen holding hands and skipping. Awwww... how cute, right?

And most importantly. When you're in Ireland, remember your umbrella, unless you don't care if you're soaked. It always rains in Ireland.


Katie Harder said...

I feel this is a FANTASTIC theme week, Kelley ;)
It's hands down one of the best trips I've ever been on, and no matter what you do you really can't go wrong. Even getting lost on your way to and from places is fun :)
I love the pics too, btw. I can't wait to see what you post for the rest of the week!

Kelley said...

Thanks dear! I thought so too ;)

Tina said...

Hey Kelly! I'm going on a 10 day vacation to Ireland next week and I see you have gone to many of the places on my itinerary. It's been really great reading your blog and getting a heads up on what to and not to see. Thanks for writing about your trip, you've been very helpful in my planning!
Tina (chicago)

Kelley said...

Tina, you are so very welcome. It is a fantastic trip. You are going to have a blast.

Let me know how it goes and what you got to do!

Mark Koopmans said...

Aloha Kelley,

PS... I was born and raised in Dublin. It was very cool to read and see some of my "ould" stomping grounds through the eyes of a visitor:)

Glad you guys had fun :)

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