Moving to Holland is not easy, but it's worth the effort. This blog tells the story of shifting from American life in Pittsburgh to Expat life in the Netherlands,
and all of our European adventures that follow.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dublin, March 2011

My Irish eyes were definitely smiling in Dublin! I think Ireland has to be at the top of my list of favorite places that we have visited. We spent a long weekend in Dublin, with our good friends Chris and Brandi, and their son Austin.

Dublin is a wonderful city, and what I imagined an Irish city to be like. The side streets are cobble stone, lined with pubs that have cool names and well-kept colorful storefronts. The food and beer were great, and the churches were beautiful. The people were very friendly, too. Even the customs guy at the airport smiled and told us to enjoy our visit. We were pleasantly surprised, because we Never get this in Holland.

Chad and I arrived the night before the Taylors, so we spent the first night, and next morning strolling around town checking out the local pubs in the Temple Bar area, and the campus of Trinity College. The first pub we went into Wednesday night had a band playing, and shortly after we sat down they began playing Country Roads. :)

After the Taylors had arrived, we went to dinner at The Brazen Head, which is the oldest pub in Ireland. I ordered Bangers and Mash, which was served inside a Yorkshire Pudding bowl. Chad had Irish Stew.

On Friday, we went to St. Patrick's Cathedral. It was pretty large, with beautiful stained glass windows and a more impressive colorful tile floor. I also liked the small wooden chairs that each had a handmade kneeling pillow hanging from the back.

Then finally the long awaited moment had come: the tour of the Guinness Storehouse.
I've never seen them this happy.

The huge facilities of Guinness span a couple of city blocks. Inside the Storehouse, they have a well organized tour that takes you through the brewing process & the history of Guinness. But, the best part by far was that we got to learn how to Pour the Perfect Pint by pouring our own Guinness Draft, instructed by a proper Irish bartender!


We walked across town to Trinity College, we went inside the Long Room of the old library. I absolutely loved this room. It has so much history, with the huge wooden bookshelves, and old leather books with cracking spines. The Book of Kells is also on display in an exhibition area below the Long Room.

(Snagged this photo from the internet, since they didn't allow cameras)

Near the campus is my new favorite cafe on Earth: Cafe en Seine, with it's beautiful Victorian decor.
For dinner, we stopped by Burdock's, the best Fish and Chips in Dublin according to Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations.
Saturday, we rented a car and drove north of the city to see some of the country side and to visit Trim Castle. Chris took on the brave task of driving on the opposite side of the road, and the right side of the car. Our first stop was at the Hill of Tara, which is an area where they used to crown the Irish Kings. You could see wonderful views of miles and miles of Irish country side in all directions. There was also a tiny, old chapel on top of the hill, too, that had a cemetery around it.
I would Love to come here and tell ghost stories on Halloween.

This amazing ruins of Trim Castle are large and much of the original tower and walls still exist. You can tour the inside of the main structure, where they explain where rooms used to be located, and what they were used for. In recent times, Trim Castle is most known for being a location where they filmed some scenes from Braveheart. Brandi was prepared for this, and brought Mel with her for some photo ops that were well worth the strange stares we received from other people.

We also drove over to Newgrange, which is a huge Neolithic tomb. Tours of the inside had already closed for the day (sooner than advertised... grrr), so here's a nice shot of the outside.

To top off our road trip, we got to see a bit of the Irish coastline as we drove back down to Dublin.

We really enjoyed Ireland. It's green, it's quaint, and everything I imagined it would be. And, this is officially the first place I have been where my ancestors came from. I could feel the ol' Carnahan spirit still alive here, haha! I hope that we will have the opportunity to visit again sometime in the future.



Full set of pics on Flickr:

The Taylors also have the pics from their camera on Flickr, so check them out, too:

1 comment:

Brandi said...