Last week I shared our travels from western Ireland, so this week I wanted to share the rest of our Ireland adventures!
We only had 2 more full days left in our trip after western Ireland, but I REALLY wanted to see the Giant’s Causeway and Dublin. So we stayed in Dublin for our home base, but woke up early the first day to drive to Northern Ireland, then explored Dublin on the last day. (We rented a car when we landed in western Ireland and used it to drive from Dingle to Dublin, and everywhere else we went except for around Dublin).
We were so happy with our decision to explore the Antrim coastline in Northern Ireland. The Giant’s Causeway was our first stop, and the pictures really don’t do it justice. It’s made up of basalt columns, and there’s folklore about a Giant that lived there (there’s a similar sight across the waterway in Scotland, so the legend was that the Irish Giant tore up the “bridge” between the Islands after picking a fight with the Scottish Giant that lived on the other side – or something like that – you’ll have to visit to read about it yourself 😉).
Most of the columns were octagonal, but the hubs found a heart-shaped one… ☺️
We also visited Carrick-a-Rede Rope bridge, which fishermen built over a 66 foot wide chasm (100 feet above the water), to check their nets. Our little guy LOVED the bridge – he giggled the whole time!
Next, we visited Dunlace castle, which was by far the most well preserved castle ruins we saw in Ireland. This is a must-see if you’re a fan of castle ruins!
Here’s what it supposedly looked like while occupied…
And here are the ruins…
Look at that fireplace!
And here are a few bonus pictures from our drive to and around the coastline:
We stopped in Howth for dinner on our way back to Dublin – a cute little fishing town!
We had dinner at The Bloody Stream, which had a really neat atmosphere on the inside, and had good food as far as pubs go.
It was getting dark by the time we left, but I managed to get a picture of a castle turned hotel, which seemed cool:
The day we spent in Dublin was a bit of a whirlwind. We used a hop on/hop off bus tour to see the city, sometimes walking from one stop to the next. Without doing this, there’s no way we would have seen so much.
First we saw St. Stephen’s Green – which was a really pretty park!
While here, we watched a woman try to pet a swan. It was insane. Yes, it almost bit her. Yes, it was hilarious.
The Book of Kells was our next stop – this was also a MUST SEE!!!! It’s a 9th century Gospel manuscript, written in Latin on vellum (calfskin), with gorgeous illustrations. After viewing it, you get to walk through the Old Library of Trinity College. The main room (called the Long Room) is vaulted, and it’s breathtaking. And I’m not even a huge book person! We were not expecting this, and it really blew us away.
Although the picture is from Wikipedia because we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside.
Afterwards, we saw Christ Church, which is huge. Here’s a model, since I couldn’t get the entire thing in one picture:
But it was really pretty!
And just in case you haven’t been paying attention to the floors…
Incredible! Have I ever mentioned that I have a thing for old doors? (I think I did on this Instagram post from a trip to Italy.)
There’s a crypt underneath the church.
Next up, we saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral:
It holds the “Reconciliation Door”. Apparently two families were feuding (killing each other) in the 1490s; so to finally end the bloodshed, a man from one family cut a hole in the door of St. Pat’s where he had taken refuge, to shake hands with a member of the opposite family (despite having the upper hand). They shook hands and ended the dispute!
Of course we had to visit the Guinness Storehouse while in Dublin!
I loved seeing all of the advertising campaigns and paraphernalia (including the original printing block!).
And obviously the taste tests were awesome! Haha. We ate lunch at one of the many restaurants inside (Arthur’s Bar), and we each got the Guinness Pie. You can’t go wrong with a Guinness spin on Shepherds Pie!
And the views from the restaurant at the top (the Gravity Bar) were incredible!!
I believe this is the current brewery (basically next door to the storehouse). It’s been over 6 years though, so don’t quote me… 😉
Another highlight was touring Jameson Distillery (another no-brainer while in Dublin):
My favorite part was the Jameson chandelier, lol!
It was the hubby’s birthday, so he got to be one of the lucky taste testers at the end of the tour. He had a blind test of Jameson, Jack Daniels, and Johnny Walker, and declared that Jameson tasted the best (by far)! I took his word for it, because: whisky…
Here are a few more random pictures from around Dublin:
I wish I had more pictures of the houses…
But I was a bit distracted by our little guy, haha.
It was even pretty at night, since we were there in November and Christmas decorations were up!
And this concluded our trip to Ireland… One day I’d like to recap the first half of this trip, which included England and Scotland. 😊
In the meantime, I plan to get back to sharing house projects next week!