I’ve had a chance to sort through the first few days of photos from our travels over here in Ireland and I thought I’d share them. We are completely beguiled with Ireland. I can’t believe we haven’t made this trip happen sooner and I hope that it is not our last!
Without further ado, let’s jump on over to Dublin and Kilkenny (which, I dare say, is quite possibly the most *magical* Irish town that ever existed).
Our travel brought us into Dublin just about 24 hours after we had left the States. So says the clock anyway. Since Dublin is eight hours ahead of California, we lived off of that interesting middle time zone for a while before we all adjusted. Thankfully Kevin and I snapped into Ireland time in a jiffy (thanks to switching our watches over and not looking back), but Liv took things at her own speed.
By the time we reached our little flat on late Thursday night we had traveled for a good 20 hours (San Diego – London – Dublin), but we were hardly tired (it was still midday in the US afterall!). Liv (that excellent little traveler that I extolled about here) took a short nap upon our arrival at 8pmish and then ‘woke up’ for the day at a mere 2am. Oh boy! here we go! Thankfully, our kind hosts – whose flat we had rented for the weekend – had left us a stocked kitchenette with a loaf of bread, bar of Irish butter (you could eat this stuff with a knife and fork), half gallon of milk, honey and homemade granola. What a lifesaver. And I was doubly relieved to have a flat to ourselves rather than just a hotel room or B&B space so that we could color, watch a show on the iPad (in hopes of getting drowsy) and eat. Using AirBnB to book many of our ‘home stays’ while away had already proved to be both economical and incredibly comfortable.
The next morning we were off and exploring. Having already agreed to do this at a family pace, we limited our attractions to the Book of Kells at Trinity College, Stephen’s Greens (a lovely large park to explore) and Christ Church Cathedral (just from the outside). We also took a nice city walk that ended up ambling us through Temple Bar, Grafton Street (where we stopped by H&M to pick up a new stack of socks and an additional sweater for Liv), St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Dublin Castle. So I guess we squeezed in quite a bit!
Our wonderful hosts (who lived just above the cozy basement flat that we rented) treated us to a delicious serving of Paella from their food tent at a local lunch time spot. Cute Georgian-style Dublin apartment + lovely chefs = a perfect match for us!
That night we had our first glass of Guiness at a local pub and fell fast asleep into Ireland dream land. Ah but a delicious pint it was.
The next day we packed up our little rental car and moved on down past Dublin to Glendalough, the monastic ruins of St. Kevin’s settlement. We spent hours wandering, playing and taking photos of the beautiful, moss-covered stone. And of Liv. Lots of Liv.
In the above, Liv found a small yellow daisy amongst the tall grasses. She laid it down on several ancient headstones, then picked it up, then laid it down…
We chose a winding, Wicklow Mountain route for the rest of our journey and came across a giant backwoods car sale (not the kind where you sell your car, the kind where everyone opens up their trunks and displays their antique goodies!) If I could have filled my luggage on day 2 with treasures I would have. But alas, we kept on keeping on until we found ourselves in Kilkenny. Our original hope was to have made it all the way to Kensale or Kenmare on this next day (another few hours south), but we found this particular town to be absolutely charming and tracked a last-minute accommodation for the night. This might have been the one opportunity when booking in advance would have saved us a bit! We had to dip into our slush fund to stay at a local hotel upon learning that every B&B was sold out.
That evening we enjoyed live music (and Liv danced!) and the next day a delicious breakfast at a quaint tea shop full of handmade ribbons and chocolates and biscuits.
Three days in! Many more adventures to go. I’ll try to get these pictures sorted quickly to keep you up to date!
PS Keep up with this travel adventure by checking out all posts here.