And we're back. I'm going on a writing splurge today and catching up on all the happenings of the past whirlwind of a 3 weeks. So look forward to a smorgasbord of Spangles-style adventures.
Once upon some ancient-time-ago I went to Ireland. Though I rock out with my German name, my mom's maiden name is straight-up Irish, so I've always been a bit curious to see the land of "my" ancestors. Turns out it is every bit as lovely and wonderful as people say. It's a cute city with a lot of history and a lot of culture. The people are almost too friendly for words. I would walk down the street in the morning and older people would say, "Goodmornin mis!" Or I would ask at a bus stop which buses could take me to X location, and I would not only get that information but the person would accompany me on the bus and tell me all about everything we passed on the way. I mean, really? I've grown so accustomed to the ice of NYC and Romania that I didn't quite know what to do with this kind of warmth. Except soak it up and enjoy it while it lasted.
True to Spangles-Travel-Style I walked and walked and walked and walked. And then I walked some more. I saw pretty much all of the tourist sites, and walked a good portion of the streets in the center of the city. I napped and read in St. Stephen's Green and Merrion Square (beautiful parks!). I saw Christ Church, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Trinity College, and the Spire. I walked through the Temple Bar area. I visited the National Gallery and the Chester Beatty Library, which has an incredible collection of Biblical Papyri (as in, straight-up original Bible texts) and Qur'an manuscripts and scrolls, as well as loads of interesting illustrated books and scrolls and artifacts from various religions (this was definitely a highlight of my trip!). I toured the Guinness storehouse and ate lots of great food throughout my trip (separate posts coming for those!) I journeyed out of the city and went to Newgrange and Monasterboice (separate post coming) and I did a 6km walk between the coastal towns of Bray and Greystones with a church group. It was so lovely. Full but relaxing. Adventurous but remarkably easy and comfortable given that everything was in English.
Here are a few photo highlights:
Trinity College, home to the Book of Kells, which I didn't go see because I didn't want to pay the 8 euros or whatever it cost. In retrospect, this is the one thing I wish I had paid to do. But alas. The campus was really pretty, and one day I sat writing along on a bench along one of their green spaces.
The Temple Bar area, basically a bunch of cobblestone streets with restaurants and pubs. Pretty fun and funky, and I'm sure waaaaay spunkier at night.
Christ Church, a sweet old medieval church.
St. Patrick's cathedral and the really lovely park next to it.
In St. Stephen's Green, an incredible park that was simply bursting with beautiful spring flowers.
Merrion Square park, another incredible park, smaller and less congested than St. Stephen's, and with fantastic flower displays.
On the 6km walk from Bray to Greystones- great coastal walk with wonderful views!
One of many stunning views with beautiful yellow flowers (gorse) that were EVERYWHERE.
The cutest house with the cutest door with the cutest fence with the cutest ivy with the cutest everything I maybe have ever seen.
There is certainly much more I could write about, but those are the highlights so I'll leave it at that. I'll write a few more posts in the coming days about a few other adventures, as obviously I need to devote an entire post to food. And another to Guinness. It's only appropriate. If you're ever headed to Dublin and want more details about anything, be sure to let me know!