So, let’s continue with day 2 in Ireland, which is really Day 1 since it was an overnight flight to get there.
Once we arrived to the hotel to pick up our rental car with My Irish Cousin, which by the way, I highly recommend, we were given a quick lesson on how to operate the car. We were all very nervous about driving in Ireland because of all the horror stories we had read.
The gentleman who helped us with our car rental, Malachy Quinn, was absolutely the best. He could sense our apprehension, so he offered to take us into the city of Dublin instead of having us drive and try to find parking.
Parking in Dublin can be extremely hard to find and that was one of the biggest complaints we had read about during our research.
Click here for the most comprehensive guide to parking in Dublin.
After a short drive, (25-30 mins) Malachy dropped us off in a central location so we could walk to the sights we were most interested in seeing. He then told us to call him when we were ready for him to pick us up.
Sights we spotted during the drive into the city.
Our first stop of the day was Marsh’s Library...
Marsh’s Library, situated in St. Patrick’s Close, adjacent to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, is a well-preserved library of the late Renaissance and early Enlightenment. When it opened to the public in 1707 it was the first public library in Ireland.
Unchanged for three centuries, this perfectly preserved library of the early Enlightenment, with its original oak bookcases, houses more than 25,000 rare and fascinating books from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, in addition to around 300 manuscripts, and around 80 books from before 1501.
What a beautiful entrance!!
The library was absolutely beautiful on the inside!
It reminded me of a much smaller Book of Kells…which I’ll talk about later in this post.
The books were just amazing!
We signed our name in the guest book with a feather and old ink well!
It appears we were wanted for stealing books! 😉
I definitely recommend a stop here ….it was only 5 euros to visit.
Our next stop was St Patricks Park & Cathedral
The church was founded in 1191 and is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. With its 141 ft spire, St. Patrick’s is the tallest church (not Cathedral) in Ireland and the largest.
The church is absolutely breathtaking!
One of the first things I noticed was the beautiful tiled floors….so colorful!
The church was also full of beautiful stained glass windows
I couldn’t stop taking pictures….the church was huge and every corner we turned there was something special to see!
We spotted a tour guide talking about The Door of Reconciliation so we stood and listened for a while.
The hole in the door was cut after a bitter dispute between 2 Irish families in 1492. One family retreated to the church while the other followed. The family that followed ordered that a hole be cut in the door. He then thrust his arm through the door and offered his hand in peace to those on the other side.
After spending about an hour in the church, we walked outside to walk around the St Patricks Park and to snap pics of the outside of the church.
The park was completed in 1904. It is believed that St. Patrick baptised the first Irish Christians on the grounds with water from the River Poddle which flows underground.
After leaving the park, we continued our walk….as we were walking, we spotted the beautiful, old Iveagh Trust Building.
Ireland is full of colorful doors!
Walking the streets of Dublin and spotted this gorgeous building!
We continued our walk towards the beautiful building we had spotted which we later learned was Christ Church Cathedral.
Christ Church Cathedral, originally a Viking Church, is almost 1,000 years old. It was founded in 1028. It is Dublin’s oldest working structure and is the spiritual heart of Dublin. It is also one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions.
I can see why!
We also passed St Audoen’s Church which was built between 1841 and 1847 and is the only remaining parish church of its time.
More colorful doors!
Continuing our walk to Christ Church Cathedral….we stopped as the bells began to ring…I love listening to old church bells!
we spotted this on our walk…apparently it’s the spot where Viking artifacts were discovered back in the 80’s.
We then headed inside the church….another church I highly recommend visiting!
We visited the crypt in the church which is the largest crypt in either Ireland or Britain.
The TV Series The Tudors was filmed here…
Lots of strange things can be seen in the crypt..Made in 1670, these stocks were used to punish criminals in Christ Church Place. They were moved inside the cathedral in 1870.
The mummified cat and the rat….According to church lore, the cat chased the rat into a pipe of an organ and both became stuck.
It felt like a maze at times….
Other things we saw in the crypt…
There was also a gift shop
After leaving the crypt, we walked back upstairs to walk around the inside of the main sanctuary.
This church, like St Patrick’s Cathedral, also had beautiful tiled floors and stained glass windows…
The mummified heart of St Laurence O’Toole….it’s encased in this metal shaped heart and is over 800 years old…it was stolen from the church in 2012 and was found 6 years later!
St Laurence O’Toole was appointed Archbishop of Dublin in 1162 and died in Normandy in 1180. He was canonised in 1225 because of miracles said to have happened at his tomb.
After leaving the church, we snapped a few more pics of the outside and then headed to find somewhere to eat.
I loved the old cobblestone roads
Walking around Dublin…
We decided to eat lunch at the Wild Duck Theatre Bar….it was really cool on the inside.
After looking over the menu, I decided on the chicken sandwich and fries..the food was ok but the service wasn’t the best…..after coming home and reading reviews of this place, I wouldn’t recommend it.
After lunch, we headed for dessert….my sister wouldn’t let us leave Dublin until she had macaroons from Laduree…so off we went!
Pics I took along the way
The castle was completed in 1230 and is a major tourist attraction in Dublin.
Read here about the history of the castle
We didn’t have time to tour the castle so we just snapped a few pics
We continued our walk to Laduree…we passed this church along the way.
Click here for more churches in Dublin
We finally made it to Laduree after about a 5-10 min walk….their stores are so pretty and colorful!
Before this visit, I had only had the macaroons from the Laduree store in Los Angeles…they are so good!
Each of us picked out 3 macaroons to make up a dozen since it was cheaper that way….yea there’s only 9 here…we had already started eating them! 🙂
Of course, I had to take 249 pics before we got there!
Arriving to Trinity College…it’s a beautiful campus…it was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592.
We then headed to the Book of Kells which was on campus. You can purchase your tickets online for a designated time but we just bought our tickets when we arrived. We didn’t have to wait in line very long but if you are pressed for time, you may want to buy them in advance.
Buy tickets here
Update: The library will be closing in Oct 2023 for 3 years for renovations
The Book of Kells Exhibition displays the Book of Kells, a 9th century manuscript that documents the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ. The Book of Kells is Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript.
The Exhibition also features access to the Long Room, one of the world’s most beautiful libraries, that houses 200,000 of Trinity College’s oldest books.
Walking through the exhibition…Two of the four volumes of the Book of Kells are on public display, one opened to a major decorated page and the other to a typical page of text. The volumes and pages shown are regularly changed.
Heading through the Long Room…..what a sight!
The 213 ft long main chamber of the Old Library, the Long Room, was built between 1712 and 1732 and houses 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books.
In 1860, The Long Room’s roof was raised to accommodate an upper gallery.
The Long Room is lined with marble busts. The collection was formed when 14 busts from the sculptor Peter Scheemakers were acquired by the college. The most outstanding bust in the collection is of the writer Jonathan Swift, created by Louis François Roubiliac.
The Long Room also holds one of the last remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic.
You can also view the Trinity College harp (also known as the “Brian Boru harp”) in the Long Room ….it’s one of the oldest of its kind in Ireland dating back to the 15th century. The harp is made out of oak and willow and includes 29 brass strings.
Read about the history here
After leaving the Book of Kells, we walked back toward the Trinity College and snapped a few more pics…
We then called Malachy from My Irish Cousin to have him come pick us up and take us back to the hotel so we could pick up our rental car and head to our first hotel in Kilkenny.
Kilkenny is approximately 1.5 hrs from the hotel where we had to pick up our rental car. I volunteered to drive first….It was a bit intimidating driving on the wrong side of the car and the wrong side of the road!
Thankfully, it was later in the evening when we arrived to Kilkenny so the roads hardly had any traffic on them. Yay for me!!
Our first stop, was the clothing store Penney’s ….Aer Lingus failed to transfer my step mom’s luggage so she only had the clothes she wore! So, we had to stop and find her some more clothes.
We later found out that there was an umbrella street in Dublin also.
After making our purchases, we headed to our hotel, the Kilkenny River Court Hotel.
We had requested rooms with a view of Kilkenny Castle but sadly we didn’t get them …we had to walk outside on the terrace area of the hotel to get these shots of the castle.
Some shots of the hotel/room..(sadly, I didn’t get any pics of the room before we destroyed it)….we had two, 2 bedrooms since there were 4 of us…4 women can’t share 1 bathroom! 😉
After getting settled into our rooms, we headed out to find something to eat…we didn’t have many options since so many places close early.
Walking through the streets of Kilkenny….not much going on!
We found a pizza place called Mizzoni’s that was still opened…
We ordered one pizza and two of the garlic cheese breads and it was very good!
After leaving the restaurant, we headed back to the hotel and saw a beautiful sunset!
You can see John’s Bridge in the background…our hotel was very close to the bridge.
I took a few pictures on the way back to the hotel… 😉
The City of Kilkenny is often referred to as “The Marble City”. The footpaths of the city streets were paved with limestone flagstones, which, when wet, glistened.
A shot of our hotel and the Kilkenny Castle as we were walking back to the hotel
Well, this concludes our 1st day in Ireland….stay tuned for Day 2!
Read Day 1 here
Other things you can do in Dublin:
Duckett’s Grove Walled Garden and Castle – 35 mins from Kilkenny – 1 hr 5 mins from Dublin
Take a Walk over Ha’penny Bridge