We met one of my dearest friends and her fiancé in Dublin last week to celebrate their engagement and gosh did we have a lovely time. Even without the first-class company, I think I would have been a big fan of Ireland’s capital, from the abundant supply of bookstores to the bright facades and lively pubs. It reminded me more of the states than any other destination we’ve visited in Europe, and yet had a distinct European — or dare I say Irish — flair. We somehow managed to have particularly great weather, despite Ireland’s reputation for gray, rainy winters, so I’m very thankful to the leprechauns (I’ve got that all wrong, haven’t I?)
Gui and I flew into Dublin Thursday morning, checked into our AirBnb and then headed to the camera store to pick up my new Fujifilm baby since there was a waiting list for the camera I wanted in Geneva. More on that in a separate post though — I want to continue to fiddle around with it before I give the camera a proper review. Then I somehow navigated myself to Dublin’s shiny silver spire dividing the two sides of O’Connell Street to meet my Irish friend from my Master’s program for lunch. Afterward, Gui and I visited Dublin’s oldest independent bookstore and did a little window shopping before meeting my newly-arrived friend and her fiancé back at the AirBnb so they could drop off their luggage. We wandered around that evening, stopping for a taste of very decadent donuts (apparantly quite a thing in Dublin) and Irish cider in the Temple Bar neighborhood before finishing the evening at a boisterous pub with live music for dinner.
The next morning we went to Hatch & Sons for breakfast, which I heartily recommend, and then visited Oscar Wilde’s statue before heading over to Trinity College. My friend was unimpressed by the seemingly unordered exhibit surrounding the Book of Kells, but I think we were all pretty awestruck by the Long Room, which houses the largest one-room library in the world. The photos below only begin to capture its elegance. We spent the rest of the day checking out several bookstores, including Ulysses Rare Books and its interesting collection of first editions, relaxing at a tea house and then stuffing ourselves with Indian food. A day well spent.
We took a day trip on Saturday that I’ll describe in a second post, and then returned to Hatch & Sons for our final Dublin breakfast Sunday morning. Afterward, my friend from school met the four of us for a tour of the former Jameson whiskey distillery, which concluded with a very generous serving of my new favorite drink: whiskey, ginger and lime. To my Irish friend’s amusement, we followed up our whiskey session with afternoon tea at La Durée (so Irish, I know) and then did a little shopping before heading to Sophie’s — a swanky and delicious rooftop restaurant — to celebrate our friends’ engagement. Sláinte!