My husband and I had booked a trip to Ireland through the travel company called EF Ultimate Break at the end of May and beginning of June in 2023. We would be traveling with a group of other young adults and a group leader around the country in a circle. Starting in Dublin, we were to go south to Kilkenny, travel southwest to Killarney, drive north to Galway, and then return to Dublin. That was the plan!
On a Friday afternoon in May, we boarded a plane in Indianapolis, Indiana and headed to Washington, D.C. Once in D.C., we boarded another plane late at night and flew overnight to Dublin. When we arrived in Dublin, it was approximately 10 am on Saturday. By the time we got through customs and exchanged some money, we were hungry for lunch, but we had to find our tour group and group leader. Thankfully, the group leader, Julia, posted accurate photos and directions to her location in the food court. We arrived there hungry and ready to go, but we had to wait on others flying in from other locations. We were able to get some food from the food court, but my husband, David, was not feeling well. He was not able to sleep well on the plane, so he was quite jetlagged. I felt bad for him, and I was worried. I hoped he would feel better soon so he could enjoy the trip. At the food court, we started meeting our travel mates and introducing ourselves to each other.
Once we had everyone, we made our way to the bus which whisked us away to our hotel, driving on the left side of the road. It did not take long to drive from the airport to the middle of Dublin. I was surprised to not see any skyscrapers. This did not look like a modern city, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked how it was an old city spanning over a river; I liked the bridges over the river in the middle of the city.
Once we got to our hotel and into our small hotel room, David and I promptly took a nap. After napping, we walked a few blocks away from our hotel and over the River Liffey. We found an old church and walked into its garden. While writing this blog post, I Googled, “Saint Audoen’s Church,” and I am surprised to learn that it is the oldest parish church in Dublin and was close to the center of the medieval city of Dublin! How cool! We did not know that fact when we saw it! We then walked back to our hotel where we gathered with our travel mates and group leader to go over some safety rules. Next, we walked to the restaurant, Christophe’s, that had closed down just for us so we could enjoy a welcome dinner. Right next to the Jameson distillery, we enjoyed an Irish dinner.
After dinner, the group split up where some went back to the hotel and some went other places. We joined a group led by Julia that led us to the Temple Bar area. We saw the outside of Temple Bar, but it was too crowded to go inside as it was a Saturday night. We walked around the bars trying not to run into any drunk person and not run into any hen parties. Hen parties are what the Irish call bachelorette parties. Some of the ladies were dressed like hens. It was quite funny! We branched off from the group and went into a bar to get a Guinness for David and a Heineken for me. We had a hard time finding a spot to drink, and I was getting a bit claustrophobic. We drank a bit and then walked back to the hotel. Stay tuned to read more of our Irish adventure!