Greetings from Dublin! The past two days have been a whirlwind of walking, eating, and gawking at the beauty this city brings. We arrived yesterday morning exhausted from our plane ride but still hoping to get some of Dublin in before crashing. We made it to our Airbnb and we were not disappointed. It’s literally right across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We dropped our stuff off and got a quick bite to eat at a cafe across the street (Ian had his first-ever scone), and then walked along St. Patrick’s Park. The park is beautiful and we were struck by the greenery and gardens (something we haven’t seen at home in months). It’s a nice park with a beautiful fountain in the middle with a scenic view of the cathedral. There were plenty of people walking their dogs, strolling along the paths—it is so nice to have this park right across the street!
We then made our way past the park and stumbled across a beautiful black gate. Curious, we walked up the steps and came across an old library called Marsh’s Library. In fact, Marsh’s Library is the oldest public library in Dublin! Marsh’s library was founded in the early 18th century by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh. It was designed in 1712 and it is one of the very few 18th-century buildings left in Dublin used for its original purpose. The collections from the library include books from Marsh and Elias Bouhéreau, the first librarian when the library was opened. Visiting the library and looking at the books was surreal; we weren’t able to take photos so we will have to rely on my memory for this one! Two more amazing facts about this library. First, to stop book thieves, reading rooms were locked from the outside and patrons would have to ring a bell to get out (Not sure how effective this was since they had an exhibit of stolen books that have been recovered over the centuries)! Second, we stood in the reading room where James Joyce and Bram Stoker studied! Overall, this was truly a hidden gem.
After a rest in our Airbnb, Ian and I traveled to Teeling Distillery where we took a whiskey tour (Ian had his second scone that day before the tour to fill up). Whiskey plays a large part of Irish history and Teeling is playing a big role in it today. It is the first distillery to open in Dublin in 125 years and is leading the renaissance of Irish whiskey. It was very interesting seeing how whiskey was made and having the chance to try some (not too big of a fan, but it was good!) I then had my first-ever Irish Coffee—now that I enjoyed! It was a cool tour and we highly recommend.
After the tour, we walked to Grafton Street, Dublin’s premier shopping district where we roamed the streets and poked into some shops. It was super eclectic filled with musicians, retail stores, bars, and lots of friendly people! We stopped at a restaurant for some dinner and drinks called Catch 22 where we had a nice fish sandwich and chips.
Exhausted from the time change, we walked back to our Airbnb (and realized that we are in a great, central area for ideal city walking!) and went to bed early knowing that we had a busy day ahead of us!
Our second day in Dublin coming soon!
-Kassondra and Ian