Thursday, January 14, 2010


For my 31st birthday I was able to take a trip with a girlfriend and my son to the beautiful country of Ireland. We spent three days and three nights touring the city and surrounding countryside. We were able to get accommodation on Pembroke st, in the Ballsbridge area. A very nice townhouse that had been converted into a small hotel. We were about a mile from St. Stevens Green, and a half mile from the tour bus stop.
Being with out husbands, the first day we decided to hit the shopping district on Grafton St.. This is a pedestrian only area filled with many shops and a large indoor mall. It is located across from Trinity college, so the area was covered in co-eds looking for shopping bargains. We lunched in a small pub off of Grafton st. and enjoyed traditional Irish fare with a couple of pints of Guinness.
The following day we took the Dublin Tourist Bus through the town where we were able to visit the Guinness factory, and see all of the major attractions Dublin has to offer. The Guinness factory is well worth a visit to any beer enthusiast, and even if you don't like beer, it's an interesting place to visit to see how the process works. On our bus tour we were also able to see St. Patricks cathedral, Cathal Brugha Street, Guinness Storehouse - St James's Gate, Abbey Street - Lower O'Connell St, Museum of Modern Art - Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Trinity College Dublin - College Green, Kilmainham Gaol - Old Kilmainham, Nassau Street - Nassau Street, Heuston Rail Station - St. John's Road, National Gallery. - Merrion Square West, Dublin Zoo - Phoenix Park, Government Buildings - Merrion Sq West., Ryan's Victorian Bar - Parkgate Street., St. Stephen's Green - Grafton Street.,National Museum - Collin's Barracks, Tourism Centre - Suffolk Street., Old Jameson Distillery - Smithfield, Temple Bar - Dame Street.,Liffey River Cruise - Bachelor's Walk, Dublin Castle - Cork Hill, Dublin Bus HQ - Upper O'Connell Street, Christchurch / Dvblinia - Christ Church Place. ans the Writers' Museum - Parnell Square North Whew! It was a good thing we were on a bus! Here's a map of Dublin:

Our final day in Dublin, we decided to leave the city and see the surrounding area. There was a tour of county Wicklow with stops at Glendalough and Avoca. This all day tour left Dublin in the morning and drove to the monastic settlement founded by Saint Kevin. Deep within the Wicklow Mountains, surrounded on all sides by steep mountain passes Glendalough the valley of two lakes, is one of the most spectacular locations to visit in Ireland. The ruins of the monastery coupled with the centuries old cemetery made this stop on our tour worth the twisty motion-sickness induced-ride to get there.
Our last stop on the tour was in the town of Avoca to the The Handweaving Mill. The mill is the oldest working woollen mill in Ireland. It is also Ireland's oldest surviving business. Not only do they weave wool there, but they have a terrific little cafeteria that fills the rumble in your belly just in time.
In all, our stay in the Emerald isle was a beautiful delightful one, and I look forward to the opportunity to go back- taking the rest of the family with me!
If you're interested in Ireland, here are a couple of great books to read by Edward Rutherford:
The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga, The Rebels of Ireland: The Dublin Saga
A link to some photos of the place:

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