Last week Tim and I embarked on another empty nester adventure to celebrate our anniversary. (26 years!) We were originally planning on going to Lisbon, but after checking flights and loads and realizing the impossibility of getting to Newark to get the Lisbon flight, we did what all good non-rev travelers do and we changed our plans. We decided to go to Dublin instead. Yes, Dublin in February is overcast, rainy, and cold…but the flights were wide open and we got a great deal on our hotel, so off we went!
I mentioned that we got a great deal on a hotel, but I have to say a few more words about our hotel. We stayed at The Shelbourne and it was one of, if not the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed in. From the moment we arrived, everyone went out of their way to ensure we had a pleasant experience…and we certainly did! The hotel itself is beautiful and is located directly across across from St. Stephen’s Green and down the street from Trinity College. When we awoke from our “jet lag nap” after arriving, we were delightfully surprised by a sweet surprise from the hotel.
A bit of trivia about The Shelbourne; in addition to the many famous guests who have stayed there over the years, the Irish Constitution was written at The Shelbourne, in room 112, which is now known as the Constitution Room.
We strolled through St. Stephen’s Green, which was lovely – even in February.
We did the touristy hop on-hop off tour bus, went to Dublin Castle (which was, frankly, disappointing. It was built in the 1800’s. Big deal. We have stuff older than that in the U. S. 💁🏻) and saw the Chester Beatty Collection, which was quite amazing. We tried to tour the Kilmainham Gaol, but the queue was over two hours and it was 40 degrees and raining. No thanks…maybe next time!
The next day we took the train to Kilkenny, where we saw a real castle, Kilkenny Castle, (dating back to the 1200’s. Now, that’s what I’m talking about!) It was beautiful. We strolled along the old cobblestone streets and ate lunch in an old pub in front of a huge fireplace. We saw gorgeous old cathedrals and abbeys. It was a cold, but fun, day.
Finally, we went to Trinity College where we saw the Long Room(old library), which was nirvana to a book nerd like myself. It was a huge, wonderful room filled with old books and busts and beautiful wood and soft light. I wish I could adequately describe the smell of the room. It was old books, and knowledge, and history…and as you walked in and breathed in you could smell it. My only complaint was that I wasn’t able to wander up and down the aisles and peruse the old tomes to my heart’s content. But, it is a working library, and the students at Trinity College do have access to all the books, so….
We also saw the Book of Kells exhibit, which is also at Trinity College, and that was also very interesting and beautiful…and quite amazing.
There were many other things we would have liked to have done. We had hoped to be able to visit some museums our last day in Dublin, but we forgot that museums are closed on Mondays. Oops. Oh well, it just gave us a bit more time to shop, and drink a bit of tea, and pop into a pub or two and grab a pint…or two.