My trip to Ireland was an absolute dream. I could not have imagined a better vacation, and it was the trip that kept on giving. The sights were amazing, the food divine, and the people quite the characters.
Dublin: Day 1
I’m doing this routine of yoga and a nourishment (usually juice or a smoothie) every morning, and I couldn’t just not do it in Ireland. So, of course, I got my yoga boogie on in the Dublin airport once I landed at 9.30am. I felt a little funny doing it at first, but felt so refreshed and awake afterwards – esp. after having travelled for over 6hrs and slept little in the past 24hrs.
After taking a bus to the city centre, I met Garrett at the hotel we were staying and off we went to breakfast at the Elephant and Castle, an absolutely charming little restaurant with the most mouth watering-ly succulent sausage I’ve ever tasted. I’ve never had finer ground meat – it practically dissolved on my tongue. I would soon come to learn that Ireland has the best food on earth (at least out of anywhere that I’ve eaten. I’m firmly convinced this is because of the way they raise their animals: no factory farm bullshit. Just fresh air, green grass, and humane conditions. It really does make all the difference in the world. Every single meal I ate was absurdly good.)
After breakfast, we walked around Dublin a bit and toured Dublin Castle, a structure that is still used for major events in Irish history. You don’t see craftsmanship these days like you did when all of these castles and churches were built. The lush opulence was awe-inspiring. They also had a beautiful garden behind the castle, with fresh lavender and beautiful fountains around every corner. We stopped in their cafe for a small bite and a drink. Apparently, the Irish aren’t that into drinking Chai, but the server was from India and was super happy he got to make me one. It was absolutely delicious.
After our snack at Dublin Castle, we went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We decided to take a guided tour, and I’m glad we did. Normally I like to just look around myself, but there was so much history behind everything, it was nice to learn about it.
It’s named thus because it is believed to be the place St. Patrick did his first baptisms. It is generously patroned by the Guinness family, and Jonathan Swift is buried there. There is also a statue that happens to look like my college friend, Charlie 🙂 In the below pictures, you will again notice the elaborate decoration, even detailed in the tiled floor. It’s really quite breathtaking.
After St. Patrick’s Cathedral, we went to Trinity College, primarily to see the Book of Kells. I was confused, because I thought the Book of Kells was an animated film. I, of course, was thinking of The Secret of Kells. The Book of Kells is actually an elaborately decorated manuscript of the first four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) in Latin, thought to have been copied by four scribes. It was a mindblowing work of art. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures of the actual book or the exhibit explaining the craftsmanship, symbolism, and process of creation. To actually have gotten to look at something created around 800 AD… Just, wow. I’ve included a link to the Wikipedia page on it so you can take a virtual look at what I’m talking about.
We also checked out an exhibit in the Old Library about Brian Boru, the first Emperor of Ireland. It was a fascinating series of tapestries and pictures explaining his rise and fall, and Garrett and I both believed it would make a great Pixar film.
After seeing Trinity, we walked around Dublin; saw Grafton street and St. Stephen’s Green – a lovely park with a family of swans living in it. We then hit up a couple of pubs and, all in all, had a terrific first day and night in Dublin!