adventures in ireland with the husband, part one:
after our red-eye flight from philly, we landed in dublin about a half-hour early, around 8:15 a.m. local time. irish customs was pretty easy and we were ready to leave the airport before 9:30. i think the longest time spent was waiting for the luggage, ha. we also took the time to find where the car rental desk was so we'd know on thursday and went ahead and pulled some euro from an atm.
after some confusion over which bus was the free hotel shuttle bus, we ended up just taking the aircoach bus into city center. we got off about 2 blocks from the hotel and had no trouble finding it. being so early, we couldn't check-in, but we did drop off luggage and set out to explore the city.
the first place we walked to was dublin castle. we didn't do a tour of the offices inside, just snapped a few pics of the exterior and then went to the chester beatty museum for a bit. i collect old manuscripts myself, so it was really interesting to see the works on display there.
after seeing the chester beatty, we headed out to find the whitefriar st. carmelite church. the church itself is a little underwhelming, but i was really just interested in seeing st. valentine's relics. with that checked on the itinerary, we headed over to st. patrick's cathedral. gorgeous park! we explored the cathedral, but we were really starting to feel the jet lag at this point, so probably didn't give it as much attention as we should have.
feeling the jet lag, and by this point extreme hunger, we decided that we really needed to eat. we were a little late on lunch service and of course while we had noticed a ton of restaurants on our way to the previous sites, we couldn't find anything as we walked around actually looking for food. ha- isn't that always the case? you can find tons of whathaveyou when you're not really looking for it, but when you decide you need the whathaveyou... too bad, none to be found! it probably didn't help that patrick and i were getting slightly snippy with each other at this point. we finally managed to find a bistro (copper alley) and ate there. didn't realize until we were seated that it was the bistro for one of the hotels we had looked at staying at, but ah well. the food was just ok, but it was much need sustinance.
after our belated lunch, we found st. audeon's church on the way back to the hotel. this was actually one of my favorite sites in dublin. i really loved how they've managed to showcase the older parts of the church and tell its history. after st. audeon's, we returned to the hotel to officially check-in and relax for a bit. of course after a few minutes of lying around on the bed, we realized that if we didn't do something, we were going to be asleep at like 5 p.m. and that would really not be good for getting us on ireland time! sooo... we decided to make a loop on the hop on/hop off bus. we had planned on taking the bus the next day anyway and since tickets are good for 24 hours, we went ahead and rode the last loop of the day. i have to say that i loved the hop on/hop off bus. we had one with live commentary (as opposed to one we took later with the recorded loop) and it was great fun.
after orienting ourselves a little better with the city (thanks ho/ho bus!), we had dinner at an italian restaurant, pasta fresca, where we could sit outside and enjoy the lovely evening. we both really enjoyed our food and the service was great. after dinner, it was back to the hotel to turn in for an early night. --- and speaking of hotel-- in dublin, we stayed at the trinity capital hotel right across the street from trinity college. it's a great location and the hotel is pretty decent. i loved the gaudy decor. i will say that i probably wouldn't want to stay here in the summer tho, because our room was insanely hot upon arrival. it eventually cooled down with the window open and the fan we borrowed from the front desk, but i would have been miserable if it had been any warmer out.
next up, part two -- dublin, redux