Happy 2017 to all my blog readers! I hope you all had a lovely time over Christmas whether you celebrate or not. Seems like such a long time ago already.
Anyway, a new year update about my trip to Dublin.cant remember if I mentioned it but we booked the trip in April last year, for a few days after smash and before New Year's Eve. All started well with sky high anxiety which I always get when traveling, and despite having a bit of a runny nose, cough before xmas the day we flew out the cold was there in its full hideousness. Excellent!
Anyway my two lovely friends that I travelled with got me through the anxiousness and onto the plane. I've never been on a short haul flight before so was amazed when we landed not long after we took off!!! We found and settled into our hotel, then had time to go for a wander down O'Connoll street which was so close to our hotel.
We were lucky enough to literally stumble of a restaurant called The Church and as we were all cold and hungry went in, not realizing how beautiful it would be inside and that it was a popular place to go to in Dublin. As you may have guessed from the name, the restaurants (there are 4 I think inside) have been created in an old church with many of its original features still intact. The food there, and everywhere in Dublin, was really lovely, the hot toddy, not so much! Dublin was also brilliant for gluten free guests, with separate menus and many places having detailed allergy info on their regular menus.
After a much needed sleep we dared to get the bus to Kilmainham goal. We'd already booked tickets and were taken on a guided (cold) tour of the prison. I would highly recommend this to anyone going to Dublin. The tickets were cheap and the tour really interesting and well set up. Afterwards nursing our colds (I felt terrible by this point) we went to the cafe upstairs for hot drinks and my friends had some scones (delicious). Friendly, clean, place to sit and nurse a cuppa and once again a choice of gluten free treats available too.
Off again at Temple bar which we wanted to go to just to experience it. WOW. It looked as though Buddy the elf had been let loose in there over night. Every room was covered in Christmas lights and decorations, it was so festive and pretty. I'm not sure if I'd have liked it so much if it wasn't dressed in its best but it was magical. By some miracle we got seats and all had a cider while feeling very Christmassy!
While having a break we realised that we were fairly near to the Guinness factory, so decided to take a walk over to that while we were in the area. Another top place to visit in Dublin. There are 7 floors in the factory and the tour is self guided but with plenty to see and do such as Guinness tasting, pulling your own pint and interactive displays. There was lots to do and see. Ticket price also included a pint of Guinness or a soft drink up in the viewing room which has 360 views of Dublin. It was very crowded when we got there but it was peak time. There's also a huge gift shop with lots of merch to bring home. Definitely worth the ticket price.
We were all exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel so made good use of the hotel bar and restaurant which had lovely food and atmosphere.
The following day we headed out to the hop on hop off bus tour. We got the Dublin sightseeing bus which was fun, had commentary and had deals for some places included. We had planned our stop offs the night before so we were all ready. It was nice to be able to drive around and see the sights and general Dublin. We got off at St Stephens green, and got free admission (thanks to the tour bus) to the little museum which gave you a history of Dublin in 29 minutes! It was a little strange but worth half an hour of your time. We then popped into a traditional old pub to grab a drink and snack. Hopped back on the bus and went on to Christ Church Cathederal which, although beautiful wasn't open to the public which was disappointing. I had planned to light a candle for my donor. Back on the bus where we all dosed off, with cold weather, cold symptoms and tiredness!
Finally we decided to walk back to our hotel and take photos at the bridge. Dublin looked super pretty at sunset.
Dublin was a lovely city and I think 3 nights was the right amount of time to see it properly. Everyone was friendly, food delicious. Hotel (castle hotel for anyone wondering) was nice but messed up a couple of things so wouldn't stay there again. I would definitely go back to Ireland but probably outside of Dublin, maybe Cork or similar to see more country.
Ps must point out that we all danced with glee after we heard a REAL IRISHMAN say "Jesus, Joseph and Mary!' Lol!
PPS New York next but feel I'm going back so far in my mind I can barely remember what happened!