A Travellerspoint blog

The Emerald Isle - Dublin (Part 1)

Dublin and Surrounding Areas

My trip to Ireland was a gift to myself for a long-time personal goal that was finally achieved. The plan for this 10-day trip was to stay in Dublin, Killarney, and Galway for three days each and take day trips to nearby areas for further sightseeing and exploration.

Getting There

On my day of departure, Eric dropped me off at the airport and I made my way to the counter to check my bag. The ticket agent proceeded to tell me that I wouldn't make my connecting flight in Newark later because of bad weather. I needed to come back tomorrow.

Wait a minute...what?!!?

I could see her lips moving and I could hear sounds but my brain just couldn't register what was going on.

I had the day off from work...my bags were packed...I made it to the airport in enough time...so why wasn't I leaving for Ireland today???

Apparently, there were terrible storms all across the northern U.S. with Chicago and Newark experiencing long delays and ground-stops.

So, I did the only thing, I could. I called Eric and asked him to turn around and pick me up.

I came back the next day and, luckily, made all of my flights. There were still some delays due to weather, but after travelling overnight, I finally made it to Dublin. After getting to my hotel and getting a shower, the first thing I wanted to do was sleep. BUT, I knew I needed to stay awake so I went down to the hotel restaurant and had lunch.

My first Irish meal...fish & chips!


I look a little haggard but it was the best I could muster at this point. I just needed to make it through the day to get my sleep on track.

Later that afternoon, I met with my travel group in the hotel lobby and we officially started the tour with a glass of prosecco and introductions.

Then we set off for a whirlwind historical walking tour of Dublin.


This is Trinity College where we saw the Book of Kells.




Ha'penny Bridge


The Temple Bar area



St. Andrew's Church



Dublin Castle



St. Stephen's Green


After the tour, we walked to Dax Restaurant for a wonderful dinner and time to get to know each other.

Over the next several days, we saw the following:

Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow

The house was not really open for tours but the ballroom has been restored and can be rented for weddings. I love architecture and gardens so walking the grounds was really the highlight of this estate for me. Meandering foot paths took you to various gardens past ponds and fountains. Some of my favorite areas were the Japanese garden, walled garden, and the pet cemetery.








Afterward, we stopped for lunch at a local pub and this was the first of many Irish coffees that I had during my vacation :-)



South of Dublin and through the Wicklow Mountains is the ancient monastery of Glendalough. It was founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin. These buildings are thought to date between the 10th and 12th centuries.






One night, we walked to the Gaiety Theatre to see "Riverdance." What a dream come true! Those dancers were incredible and exuded so much energy. How do they kick their legs so high?



Newgrange is a prehistoric monument built around 3200 BC which makes it older than both Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. It is a circular mound with a narrow passageway that leads to an interior chamber. It was constructed so that sunlight from the winter solstice enters a small opening above the entrance and lights this chamber. At one point in the tour, the guides turned out all lights and demonstrated with a flashlight so we could get a sense of how the chamber was lit. There is actually a lottery for the winter solstice. You can enter a drawing and the winner can be in the chamber for the winter solstice when the sunlight enters.



The landscape around the monument looked just as I had imagined the Irish countryside to look. It was magical.




On our last night in Dublin, we had dinner at the Brazen Head Pub which included an entertaining storyteller who recounted various fairy and folk tales to us throughout our meal.

Posted by tammy_b 21:43 Archived in Ireland Tagged dublin glendalough newgrange powerscourt_estate riverdance

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