Goodness, it’s been a month since our last adventure and Kate and I are just itching to go on another one but I realized this morning I never posted about last month’s quick trip to see Irish Castles!
First – I must thank my daughter Kate. As you know, she is a flight attendant. Well, the flight we wanted to get on was almost completely full with just one seat left. So, she sat on a jump seat all the way to Ireland so I could get on that plane! What a wonderful daughter!
Yes, we barely made it on the plane but we did, arriving in Dublin early on a Saturday morning. Visitors Information at the airport was AMAZING! We got our bus passes and then our agent called our castle (Clontarf Castle) and found out that we could check in early as our room was ready. Hot showers are wonderfully reviving so in short order we were ready to tackle Dublin.
Using our bus passes we made our way into the heart of the city and to Trinity College. Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth, it is in the heart of the city, is still a functioning school and has the famous Book of Kells, a 9th century illuminated manuscript of the 4 Gospels, there. We saw the Book and the incredible, beautiful “Long Room” which holds over 200,000 old books.
After a quick caffeine break we continued walking, first to Grafton Street and a statue to Molly Malone (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9Deeh9n-VI), the National Museum of Ireland (Natural History) which is best described as a zoo of dead animals and the National Museum of Ireland (Archelogy). That final museum was just incredible – the building itself was built in 1890 and had beautiful mosaic floors and tiled doorways.
We got to see the “bog” people – the extremely well preserved bodies found in the peat bogs of Ireland, some as old as from 2000BC. (We discovered there that one of the bodies had his hair in the man bun style of today – so it’s not a new style really!). They also had free do-your-own brass rubbings.
By this time in the day though we were getting pretty tired so we bought some groceries for the next day and a huge chicken and cheese crepe to eat for dinner and we returned to Clontarf Castle (castle #1) to sleep!
The next morning, we left our castle and went to our humbler home-away-from-home, an AirBnB, stored our bags and then hopped on a train to Dalkey. Dalkey Castle (castle #2) is in a lovely seaside town and we got a tour from costumed guides – you should have seen Kate’s face when our host swished a bit of “you rine” in his mouth to determine the humors of the blacksmith and to see if he was sick.
Returning to Dublin, we found Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh calling us to see their art work in the National Gallery of Art!
But castles we came to see so next was Dublin Castle (castle #3) – where we could see the original fortifications which are now underground as well as the beautiful chapel and ornate state apartments.
With a little more time left in the viewing day, we made our way to Christ Church Cathedral which is a massive Gothic church.
For dinner that night we had decided to splurge and go to Celtic Nights – an Irish dancing show with dinner and music. Our dinner was fabulous and the show wonderful! It was quite the late night for us though – the show ended at 10:30 and then we still had to walk home. Yes, we certainly were getting our steps in on this trip! (I averaged almost 22,000 per day!).
We still had 2 more days left in Ireland – but that will be a post for another day!