This is post two of fourteen on our trip to Northern Ireland and Croatia, minus our mini Game of Thrones tour. Those posts can be found here.
- Intro to Northern Ireland & Croatia
- Recovering from Jetlag in Dublin: Dublin Castle and Trinity College
- Bubblin’ in Dublin: Dublin Eats
- Chasing Scully: Staying at the Hilton Belfast
- The Land of Giants and the Northernmost Point in Ireland
- Hiking Glenveagh National Park
- Singing the Blus in Dublin & Letterkenny
- Heating up in Zadar
- Azure Waters Await at Kornati National Park
- Falling for Picturesque Plitvice
- Let’s Never Split
- The Jewel of the Adriatic: Dubrovnik
- Walking the Wall in Dubrovnik
- A Brief Stop in Bosnia
After back-to-back red-eye flights, Mr. Selfish and I landed in Dublin. We were exhausted, me in particular due to the pregnancy. We spent two nights in Dublin and took it pretty easy since we had already been. Of course, last time, we only searched the city for the best pint of Guinness. This time, we figured we would hit up some of the sights.
Dublin Castle: Inside, Out, and Underneath
The first place we visited was Dublin Castle, which was largely completed by 1230. Most of the original construction has not survived, other than the Record Tower (photos below). Today, Dublin Castle is a major Irish government complex.
Mr. Selfish and I decided to take the guided tour of Dublin Castle since they take you inside to the state apartments, as well as underground where you can see ruins of the castle.
While we were waiting for our tour to start, we explored the Upper Yard, where a sand castle exhibit was taking place.
The tour started with the ruins underneath the castle. Apparently, there used to be multiple towers and you can see their foundations. As I mentioned above, only the Record Tower remains today. Mr. Selfish always enjoys ruins. I’m not such a big fan of them.
Next, the tour guide takes the group through the state apartments.
They were quite ornate and over-the-top. The blue and gold room is St. Patrick’s Hall and is used today for presidential inaugurations.
We learned an interesting piece of trivia – the Irish coat of arms is distinct from Guinness’s logo since the harps are reversed.
This is an old photo from our Guinness tour in 2012. I can assure you that I’m not drinking a pint while pregnant.
Trinity College: The Book of Kells and the Old Library
Mr. Selfish and I had considered going to see the Book of Kells, which is located at Trinity College, the last time we were in Dublin. We decided against it since it was 9 euros per person. This time, I read online that the Long Hall of the Old Library, which is included in admission to the Book of Kells, was equally worthwhile, so we opted to do it.
I enjoyed the exhibit for the Book of Kells. There were multiple rooms with tons of information about the detailed artwork in the book. The last room contained the Book of Kells itself but it was, of course, behind very thick glass. Unfortunately, you couldn’t take any photos of the Book of Kells exhibit.
However, you could take photos in the Long Hall of the Old Library, which I thought was equally impressive.
The Long Hall had an exhibit concerning Brian Boru, an Irish king who reigned from 1002-1014. The exhibit was by Cartoon Saloon, the studio behind the Secret of Kells. The banners were absolutely epic. Mr. Selfish and I just sat in the Long Hall for a long time admiring them.
The exhibit ended in October 2014. I wonder where those banners are now…
Just Wandering Around Dublin…
After hitting up the two main sights in Dublin, Mr. Selfish and I just wandered around and enjoyed the city. The following are some of the places and sights we enjoyed.
This concludes my post on the Dublin sights we visited. Next up is the food we enjoyed in Dublin.