I have finally uploaded all our photos from Europe and I’m ready to share about our trip last September. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel for 19 days to several different European cities and saw many amazing and exciting things during that time. Looking at these photos just makes me want to go back and do it all over again. Ryan and I were talking about how we didn’t have regrets from this trip and feel like through some miracle, the plans we made worked out perfectly, down to the timing of our stays, the weather, what we packed, cities we chose to see, food we ate, places we stayed, and even our flights.
We spent a few months planning it all out and were worried, since we had never done any traveling like this before, we wouldn’t “plan it right” but everything was fine. That’s not to say there weren’t some upsetting moments and hiccups along the way, but that is always a part of travel no matter where you go or what you do. I’ll write more about the planning and packing part later.
The first day we flew from DFW airport to Charlotte, NC and then on to Dublin from there. The flight time was a little over 7 hours so it wasn’t that bad. We left Charlotte at 4:30pm and arrived in Dublin at 6:30am, so we had to hit the ground running, even though all we really wanted was to sleep.
When we were planning our trip, we would sometimes cram a day full of things, knowing we may not get to all of them, but we would try. This first day in Dublin was one of those days. Note: all the bolded words are notable places and things we chose to see.
We took a city bus to Dublin’s city center after dropping our bags off at the hotel and went straight to Trinity College to view the campus and see the Book of Kells and the Long Room (famous library).
We roamed around the campus for a little while and went on a free walking tour of the campus where a current student showed us some points of interest and shared fun and interesting factoids. After the walking tour, we went to stand in the line for entrance into the Long Room and Book of Kells display. The Book of Kells was created over 1,000 years ago and is a hand painted book of the 4 gospels made out of calf skin. It was beautiful to say the least. We weren’t allowed to take photos of the actual Book of Kells but this is the closest thing to it that I could take a picture of.
Check that out. Now, Ryan and I are fans of reading, books, and anything to do with reading or books, so a library of this magnitude is like our own little Disney park. OK, maybe not quite like that, but this place was amazing. A beautiful wooden arched ceiling above a vast array of antiqued book was a sight to behold. The gorgeous ceiling gave the illusion that the room went on and on. We sat in there for a while just taking it all in. This is one of only three remaining celtic harps made in the 14th and 15th centuries and it resides in the long room. It is where Ireland’s national harp symbol originates from.
After Trinity college, we walked to Merrion Square where most of the Georgian doors are located. I took way too many pictures of doors, according to Ryan, but here are some of some of my favorites.
Intricate and beautiful doors have always been an interest of mine and something I just love taking pictures of. It was hard for me to not spend hours walking up and down the streets taking pictures of all of them, but I knew Ryan would not be pleased, so I resisted the urge and we walked to a nearby park to take a nap instead.
You may not be aware, but apparently, in order to avoid terrible jet lag, you must not sleep from the time you arrive in your destination until it is night time and time to actually sleep. Meaning, no napping in the middle of the day or early morning just because it’s when you would normally be sleeping if you were at home.
Yeah, Ryan and I broke that rule, and passed out in St. Stephen’s Green after wandering around inside the park. We didn’t really mean to, but it was cool out yet sunny and the bench we sat on was so comfortable. We were lucky to not have our bag stollen, although I fell asleep with a death grip on that thing so tight they would have to have used powerful measures to rip it from my grasp. 🙂 We woke up groggy but trudged on to see as much as we could before we lost daylight. I was going to need some sustenance if we were to keep at it the rest of the day, so a chocolate croissant it was! Delicious, as always.
Isn’t this the cutest little pastry shop? I thought so at least. The croissant wasn’t really cutting it, so we stopped off for a bite and a pint in a nearby pub, because that is what you do in Ireland. We chose the traditional meal options of fish n’ chips and Shepherds pie. Yum. Note: eating at pubs in Ireland can get expensive real quick so just be prepared and know there is no shame in grabbing a McDonald’s something or other. We waited until the very end of our trip to do that but it happened. We just figured our first day in Ireland had to be done the right way with authentic food 🙂After eating, we headed to Dublin Castle. We paid for a tour because that is the only way to view it.
After the tour, we had just enough time to walk back to the bus stop where we caught the bus back to our hotel. This was our last view of Dublin that day and it was a good one. Looking out over the River Liffey.