June 21, 2024

Dublin, Ireland (29 Nov-7 Dec 2022)

This year, for my birthday and Christmas, Pat asked where I’d like to go. Dublin, Ireland, was my immediate response. We had planned a trip to Ireland, with one night in Dublin, before Covid-19 played havoc with everyone’s plans. That trip was to be with David, Michelle and Claire, with everyone flying into Dublin, but immediately heading to the West Coast. Only Pat and I were to stay one night in Dublin.

As usual, we flew Delta, through Boston. When we arrived at the Dublin Airport (DUB), we stopped at a SPAR (convenient store) and purchased two 7-day Leap Visitor Card. This card allows unlimited rides on all Dublin bus services, the trams and the DART trains. Along with the Citymapper App on our phones, we were set to get around Dublin with ease. As we have often mentioned (to anyone who might listen to us), Citymapper is the the best tool for transportation in major cities around the world. We have been using it since 2014 in London, Singapore, Stockholm, Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Munich, Brussels, Tokyo, and many more cities.

Our first stop, after the airport, was our hotel for the week – The Morgan Hotel in the Temple Bar area. May of the sites we wanted to see were located in this area so this hotel was very nice, convenient to transportation, and a good base for our many walks.

Highlights:

  • Trinity College – Our first stop, after the hotel, was Trinity College where we headed to see the Book of Kells. This is the oldest place of learning in Ireland. It was created in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth, of England, to bring Protestant education to the Irish. At this particular location, it certainly shows it age. It is stately but not an architectural gem like many colleges are.
  • Book of Kells – The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels of the Christian Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). It was created around 800 CE (Common Era). There appears to be no consensus as to where it was created, although most scholars believe it was of Scottish or Irish origin. The calligraphic craft is amazing. For it’s age, the colors were still bright and stunning.

    I recall seeing another famous illuminated manuscript, the Lindisfarne Gospels, somewhere in Wales.
  • The Long Room in the Old Library – The Long Room is a 200-foot-long main room in the Old Library. It was built in 1732 and contains over 200,000 old books. Walking into it is breathtaking.
  • Traditional Irish music at Cobblestone Pub – This pub was recommended by our Australian friend, Phil Finnimore, so our first night we walked to it, thinking we could also get something to eat. Unfortunately, they server no food! The music, though was wonderful, and one of the best things we experienced in Dublin. Being a couple of miles from Temple Bar, the Cobblestone doesn’t get the huge crowds of tourists packing those venues. Another feature we noticed is that here there are no microphones and amplifiers – this is Irish music as it has been for years. What a treat!
  • EPIC Museum (The Irish Emigration Museum) – We are, generally, not museum people. However, this museum was recommended to us by many of our friends. They were correct – this is the one museum we will recommend to any of our friends that head to Dublin.

    The museum is a delightful, interactive (the electronics are amazing) story of how the Irish have travelled around the world and their influence on other countries and cultures.

    As you enter, you are issued a “passport” you can stamp at various stations along the journey through the exhibit. As you can see in the example, the exhibits cover many topics: Leaving Ireland, Conflict, Sports, Scientific Discovery and Invention, Creating and Designing, Eating and Drinking, and Music and Dance.
  • Variety Jones – Pat’s son, John Bonk, is a Chef in Boynton Beach, Florida. Every time we travel, he likes to recommend restaurants (usually, ones with Michelin Stars). We picked this restaurant to keep him happy. The tasting menu was delicious!
  • Locks Restaurant – This restaurant was the one Chef John recommended. Since we had already made reservations for dinner at Variety Jones, we reserved a lunch at Locks. While we were there, sitting next to the window, it started to snow. Glad we were inside eating great food.
  • Marion Square Park (Geocache and Oscar Wilde Memorial) We found this park, not because it was on our list of things to visit but because of the geocache [Merrion Square GC202FH]. Funny how geocaching allows us to find more than we were looking for. Ray helped take a group photo at Oscar Wilde’s rock of a group of tourists. He does this often…
  • St. Stephens Green – On Easter Monday, April 1916, the Irish Citizens Army, under the leadership of Michael Mallin and Constance Markiewicz, occupied the park as part of the Easter Uprising to remove British rule and establish an independent republic. The Citizens Army blocked the roads around the park with cars and dug trenches in the park. Eventually, the British, firing from the building around the park which drove the Irish from the park.
  • Howth – On our next-to-last full day, we hopped on the DART train to Howth Station, about 8 miles north of Dublin. Although the weather was cold and wet, we like this place and have decided we want to stay here for several days in the future. There is good seafood and hiking available. Unfortunately, because of the weather, we didn’t spend enough time here, although we got a geocache, saw some interesting sites and ate a good lunch. Pat got to indulge in one of her favorite activities – walking on a beach. We would have liked to go hiking on the Cliff Walk. We also found the Radio Ga Ga geocache [GC1F992].

  • Dun Laoghaire – Dun Loaghaire (pronounced “dun leery”) was our destination on our last full day in Ireland. Once again it was cold and windy, and worth the ride on a DART train. We walked to the end of the East Pier, grabbed a bite to eat, and took a bus back to our hotel (the entire time on the bus, it rained heavily). Another geocache found here near the boat yard. BRPT – 15 Irish Lights [GC3X9W7]. Rain and cold does not stop us from geocaching most of the time.
  • Beer – Many of our beer-drinking friends have always told us theat a pint of Guinness Irish Stout is much tastier in Dublin than in the United States. We can attest to that. It is obviously fresher. However, there is more to beer in Dublin than just Guinness. The craft brewing is part of the scene now. There was even a Brew Dog pub (one of our favorites, around the world.
  • Geocaching – We always like to get at least one geocache, wherever we travel – this time we got three. The first one was in Dublin; the next one in Howth; the third, in Dun Laoghaire. They are fun to find and helps prove we were at these locations. [GC202FH – GCiF992 – GC3X9W7].

With all of the rain and windy days our trip was a great success. We saw most everything we had on our To Do list. Will be fun to return in that warmer months. It was surprising how many flowers were still blooming and still being planted. Hearty people and hearty flowers.

2 thoughts on “Dublin, Ireland (29 Nov-7 Dec 2022)

  1. I’m going to have to find out more about geocaching. Sue has been hobbled by back problems and does not want to fly long distances. Crossing the pond may be a memory for us now. But we still travel within the states (Utah?)

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