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Our Ireland Honeymoon
Our Ireland honeymoon was amazing. We spent five solid days exploring Dublin and made one excursion out into the countryside. We both knew that we would love Ireland, that was already expected. Both of us have Irish roots and this country has always been on both of our wish lists to travel to. However, we were both pretty unprepared for just how much we felt at home here! It felt so comfortable and natural to stroll along the water or stop in at a cafe for a pint of Guinness (which I’ll get to in a minute). I’m not much of a city person and to admit that I would jump at the chance to live in Dublin is pretty huge for me. It also felt hugely different from other European cities I’ve been to – one huge difference is that the Irish actually like Americans! They were SO friendly and helpful and we met a bunch of cool locals – including an older taxi cab driver who we chatted with in a pub one night for awhile and a girl about my age on the plane ride home (she was on her way to Vegas with some girlfriends) who I talked to for an hour and a half!
We are definitely planning our next trip to Ireland and next time will probably visit the other side – Cliffs of Mohr, that sort of thing because we didn’t end up doing that this time.
Anyways, some highlights were for sure the Guinness factory, the Brazen Head pub (oldest pub in Dublin) and Temple Bar District, along with our excursion to Glendalough. I didn’t like Guinness before we came to Ireland but after leaving, I have to say I miss it! It is NOT the same here in the States.
Below are some cell phone photos from our trip (Numbered from left to right).
1. We walked everywhere, averaging over 5 miles a day and every morning we’d walk down to a coffee shop and have coffee and spend a few hours just hanging out.
2. The second picture is a photo of the view from our hotel. Which by the way was AMAZING! It’s call Staycity Aparthotels and we will definitely be staying there again. Full kitchen and in walking distance to everything. Very friendly and helpful front desk with someone there 24/7 – they even booked our tour out to the countryside for us.
3. At night we’d walk down to the Temple Bar District where all the pubs were. Really awesome, total party atmosphere with people spilling out of the pubs and onto the street, music playing… touristy but definitely a must do. Reminded me a ton of San Diego’s Gas Lamp District just obviously more European with the cobbled streets and Irish feel.
4. Having a pint at the Brazen Head. Best lamb stew EVER.
5. Looking out at the courtyard of the Brazen Head Pub. This was right around the corner from our hotel.
6. Temple Bar.
7. Brazen Head entrance.
8. Pub in Temple Bar where they were playing traditional Irish music and people were dancing.
9. Another coffee spot!
10. The Sky Bar at the top of the Guinness factory. You can pour your own pint and then drink it up at this bar that has a 360 degree view of all of Ireland. It was amazing.
11. Part of the Guinness tour where you sample a taste of Guinness and try to taste what’s in it.
12. Guinness tour – the water they use comes from Guinness Lake which is in photos 16, 18 & 19.
13 & 14. At our favorite pub – Fitzsimons (pictured in black and white below the cell phone pics). We went here pretty much every night after exploring some of the other pubs in Temple Bar.
15. Guinness Factory tour again in front of the water fall.
16. Guinness Lake – this was on our tour to the countryside in Glendalough and the hills.
17. Coffee again, duh.
18 & 19. Guinness lake – it was SO WINDY.
20. Stopped in for a quick lunch before the Guinness tour at this local brewery.
The pubs in Dublin are awesome. They don’t have a “last call” like we do here, it all depends on the atmosphere. The first night we ended up here around 2am and we were looking around expecting them to do last call. They were still serving shots and pints and Jerry and I looked at each other and ordered another round. We didn’t leave until they did shut down at around 3:30am at which point we were given plastic cups to pour our drinks into and sent on our way.
LOVED this pub. It’s so crowded because it’s touristy but it’s so worth it because their lamb stew was the best I had the whole trip. It’s also adorable. It’s deceptively large inside, extending back into the two other buildings with 3-4 other bar areas inside.
Christ’s Church Cathedral. We didn’t go in but it’s definitely a beautiful piece of architecture.
Almost every place you went, they were serving this combo. Delicious!
Guinness Lake. Wicklow mountains. This was our tour group down below. The two people on the far left are Canadians that we hit it off with. The other people (or I should say kids because they were all in their teens) were there escorted by an older Irish gentlemen. They were foreign exchange students there to brush up on their English. They were from France, Belgium and Germany. When they got onto the tour bus, they asked where we were from and we said the United States, California. They were VERY excited, “Ohhh! California!!!” Then they asked the Canadians where they were from. “Toronto.” “Oh, do you speak French?” “No.” “Oh…” Pretty much when you say you’re from Cali, people get excited – Canada, not so much!
“Glendalough, from the Irish “Gleann da locha”, meaning the Glen of two Lakes. It combines extensive monastic ruins with a stunning natural setting in the Wicklow Mountains. The beauty and tranquility of the lakes and glacial-carved valley no doubt appealed to St Kevin, a hermit monk, who founded the monastic site near the Lower Lake in the 6th Century.
Most of the buildings that survive today date from the 10th through 12th centuries. Despite attacks by Vikings over the years, Glendalough thrived as one of Irelands great ecclesiastical foundations and schools of learning until the Normans destroyed the monastery in 1214 and the dioceses of Glendalough and Dublin were united. The settlement was destroyed by English forces in 1398.”
Okay, so this day tour has a funny story to it that some of you may have already heard me tell. I’m not going to share it all here but one important point is that we had about 45 minutes at this site. Not enough time to really see and appreciate everything. So all of these photos were taken by me as we’re walking, sometimes pretty quickly, to try and see everything before we had to head back. We ended up spending most of this tour with our Canadian friends and yes, we ended up getting lost before we hooked up with some of the other people from our group. All of these photos were taken while I was walking. I really wish I had had more time to really photograph everything!
Can I live here please? Thanks.
This was a little visitors center at the Upper Lake and it was filled with Taxidermy animals of the region.
I would love to come back and have a picnic here!
Upper Lake. So pretty but we literally had five minutes to take it all in.
Sheep (and can you spy the deer between them?) on our
walk run back to the van. Our group had decided to brave the hike to the Upper Lake and so this photo was taken at a fast walk.
So was this one! But I must say, it’s one of my favorites. This countryside is absolutely stunning and I hope that next time we take a trip to Ireland we have enough time to really enjoy it. This trip was definitely amazing and a PERFECT honeymoon. We did just enough to where we were satisfied that we saw a lot, but not too much where we burned ourselves out.
Like I said, it felt like home and we are already planning another trip back.
See you soon Ireland!