This week has been a "hit the ground running" kind of deal. It's Wednesday morning and I haven't parked myself in front of the TV in far too long. That's how you know I'm actually busy. Really, it's so hard to believe that a mere week ago, I was exploring foreign cities and on an altogether different continent. A jarring thought, but one that's also comforting. Traveling does tend to mellow people down, I've found.
I still have so much European goodness to share, starting with (and putting an end to) our time in Dublin. My friends and I were there for St. Patrick's Day weekend, and I can pretty much say for sure that I've never seen so much green in my life. As if that wasn't enough reason to celebrate, Ireland also won the Six Nations rugby championship while we were in town, so we observed all the rowdy, festive, prideful best that Dublin had to offer. In general, I found Dublin to be grittier, grungier, and not-as-glamorous as most European cities, but in a way that enhances its character more than anything.
A few things we did:
1 // Hit up brunch at Bewley's Cafe.
Sweet, airy pancakes and a nice mocha started our day off on the right foot.
Bonus // Grab marshmallow hot chocolate and cronuts at Butler's Chocolate Cafe.
Just do it, as the Nikeans say.
2 // Visit St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Out of all the European churches and cathedrals I visited, this was one of my favorites. Surrounded by beautiful, green grounds and easily self-guided with lots of interesting bits of information, this cathedral was a treat to explore.
3 // Take a breather in St. Stephen's Green.
A smaller, cleaner version of New York's Central Park. On a sunshiney day, this park is an absolute beaut. Giggling Irish children, leaping puppies, mischievous ducks, and lots of suntanners - "it's the best place in Dublin when you're hungover," according to a friend.
4 // See the Book of Kells and the Old Library at Trinity College.
The college itself is situated on a lovely, picturesque campus. But for a truly amazing experience, I'd line up to go see the Book of Kells, one of the earliest illuminated manuscripts. I have no idea what that actually means, but I learned about the Book of Kells in high school Art History, and was fascinated by the exhibit at Trinity. Afterwards, you get to meander through this absolutely breathtaking library, commonly spotted on Pinterest! One of my favorite things that we did in Dublin.
5 // Something random,
like stumbling upon a carnival and deciding to board the Ferris Wheel in hopes of catching a grand view of the city (and oh what a view we got!).
6 // the National Gallery.
Although it lacks an extensive collection of artwork, it has the perfect amount to study in one hour or so, if you want a bit of a break in your day. There are a couple of great pieces that we found!
7 // Nosh at a traditional Irish pub.
We hit up O'Neill's, and although it was packed, the Shepard's pie kept me one satisfied gal.
8 // Watch the sun set on the River.
9 // Grab a pint (or dinner!) in the Temple Bar area.
Although overpriced and quite crowded, I thought the area was nevertheless incredibly charming!