Wow! We slept for almost 12 hours last night! I guess we were sleeping for two nights though?
Traditional Irish Breakfast in Dublin
Anyway, we got our day started around 10am at a local restaurant for breakfast. We went for the traditional Irish breakfast platters. These include bacon (more like American ham), sausage (not our typical breakfast sausage links), eggs, beans (yes, pork and beans for Breakfast), roasted tomato, toast, potato cake triangles, and black and white pudding. No, not like what we Americans call pudding. Irish pudding consists of pork meat, fat, suet, oatmeal, and blood (black pudding). This is then shaped into a sausage roll, sliced, and cooked. It wasn’t my favorite, but I had to try it. We were full for hours and hours all for 22.40 Euro.
Dublin Walking Tour Route
After breakfast we headed on our walking tour of Dublin. I had found a suggested route on Pinterest. We used this as a starting point and then altered it to our tastes. We started our tour on the north east end of Dublin and walked along the River Liffey. We crossed the river via the Samuel Beckett Bridge, also know as the Harp Bridge.
We were intending to head to St. Stephen’s Green, but due to my superior map reading skills 🙂 we found another neat park on the way. We also passed the National Maternity Hospital…I need to look this one up more. Is there only one maternity hospital? We ended at the Merrion Square. There was some sort of food truck event being held in the park with lots of exotic food choices. Too bad we were still full from breakfast! Walking through the park led us to a neat playground which captured the kids attention for at least 20 minutes.
We finally made it to St Stephen’s Green. This is a beautiful park with lots of sitting areas, water features, and ducks. Unfortunately we experienced one of Ireland’s famous rain showers while we were visiting the park. Don’t know why this park is important? I didn’t either but this is what we found out : One of the battles during the Easter Rising of 1916 took place in this park, and was where over 100 volunteer Irish citizens occupied during this battle against the British. The battle was a loss, but Ireland gained independence in 1922.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin
Next we headed west to St. Patrick’s cathedral. We Americans know what St. Patrick’s Day is, but do you know why St. Patrick is important? And no, he is not a leprechaun that messes up your school classroom. He is responsible for bringing Catholicism to Ireland and for baptizing the first Catholic in Ireland. We watched a video before heading to Ireland that informed us that Ireland was pagan before St. Patrick brought Christianity to the island in 432. I didn’t see that anywhere posted here though… The cathedral is beautiful! We didn’t pay to go in, but the outside is amazing. It is still a functioning Catholic church today.
Dublin Castle Tour
My daughter kept asking all morning, “Is the castle next?,” “When are we going to see the castle?” So next we headed to the Dublin Castle. It wasn’t very easy to find the front entrance. We actually ended up walking down an alley and into the back part of the castle through the Castle cafe. Here we purchased are Heritage Cards which included our entrance into the Dublin Castle. Since both of our children are under 12 and get into the Heritage sites free, it was actually cheaper to buy 2 adult cards for 40 Euros each. This saved us 10 Euro! The castle was not as expected. The only remaining section of the original castle, and the only part that looks like a castle as we know it, is the Record’s Tower. The rest of the castle was destroyed when a fire broke out. Our tour guide informed us they set off controlled explosions to prevent the fire from spreading which in turn damaged much of the castle. I would suggest getting a guided tour as opposed to a self-guided tour. With a guided tour you get the see the State Rooms (including the throne room, drawing room, and dinner area where dignitaries are accepted and the Ireland President is sworn in), the underground medieval section, and the cathedral. A self-guided tour only includes the State Rooms. Best of all the guided tour had no extra cost! The underground section tour included some of the original castle walls and the area that was the moat when it was built. The castle cathedral had a beautiful stained glass window and marvelous organ. Unfortunately the organ is not in working order.
Next we headed to see the last remaining section of the old city wall and Christ Church Cathedral. The old stone work is so beautiful!
Temple Bar District in Dublin
We also explored Grafton Street where we purchased some light snacks like chocolates, ice cream, and a cupcake (from The Cupcake Lad – I love that name!). Our snacks totaled 12.60 Euros. The street is closed to vehicular traffic and is a popular spot to shop and eat. We also saw some street performers including guitar players, singers, and silent statue type. The kids couldn’t believe they were real men! My son kept talking all evening about how hard it would be to sit still that long. Ha! We walked through the Temple Bar district to find somewhere to eat dinner, but instead just took the obligatory tourist picture in front of the Temple Bar.
We ended up eating dinner at a neat, little restaurant called Bach 16 where the kids had a stone fired pizza and Derek and I shared baked brie. The food was marvelous and so far the only food the kids have finished. The meal cost us 25.70 Euros. The kids wanted some dessert and this restaurant only offered a cheese plate – I don’t consider that dessert! So we stopped by a gourmet donut shop and spent 5 Euros for the kid’s dessert. We headed back to the apartment after stopping at Tesco to buy some fruit, milk, and muffins for tomorrow’s breakfast since we will be heading out early. We walked A LOT today, my fit bit counted 23,397 steps! That is about 11 miles total – no wonder my legs are tired.