Welcome to Dublin!

Trip Start Apr 12, 2012
Trip End Apr 30, 2012

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Where I stayed
Cassidys Hotel Dublin
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Ireland  , County Dublin,
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I have always dreamed of going to Dublin, the land of my ancestors. I finally made it, and I'm so glad I did. Our hotel - Cassidy's - was in a great location, walking distance from many attractions. Gary and I decided that since there were so many things we wanted to see that we would try out the HoHo, or Hop On, Hop Off bus. It worked out perfectly, allowing us to get off at different spots around the city and then hop back on for our next stop, plus get a feel for where things were located.

Our first HoHo stop was to find Murphy's Ice Cream. I had seen a Bobby Flay special on eating in Dublin, and this was a place he recommended, so I was on an ice cream mission. And it was delicious - thank you Bobby! The scoops continue to be small - three scoops would equal one US scoop - so it's a bit more guilt free. In other words, we enjoyed a lot of little scoops on our trip.

After walking around the shopping area enjoying our ice cream we boarded the HoHo again and went to see St. Stephen's Green. This is a beautiful park in the center of the city comprised of 22 acres of greenery and flowers. It is Ireland's best known Victorian park.

Christ Church Cathedral, or more formally the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, was our next stop. It is officially claimed as the seat of both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic archbishops of Dublin, which I find totally confusing. It contains the largest cathedral crypt in Britain or Ireland, constructed in 1172-1173. Having been renovated in the early 2000s, it is now open for visitors, and there's even a restaurant down there. Perhaps the most unexpected thing I saw at Christ Church (in the crypt) was a mummified cat and rat, permanently captured in a chase. Apparently the pipe organ had not been fully functioning for a while, but it was not until the organ was serviced that the mummies were found.

The other cathedral we visited was St. Patrick's, or more formally Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Patrick. Founded in 1191 it has been designated as the National Cathedral of Ireland. We joined in on a free tour, which is always a great way to gain more information than just walking around looking at things.  There are flags hanging from the ceiling, many of which are basically just rags they are so old.  There are also the coat of arms flags of the Knights of St. Patrick hanging over their armor. It is a very beautiful cathedral full of artifacts.

For dinner we walked around the Temple Bar area and decided on The Shack Restaurant. It was the first and only place we were not only given a free glass of water, but an entire pitcher of water, and it was cold!!! That alone made us fans, but we were in store for a delicious meal. We ordered Irish Stew and pan-fried garlic chicken and the food was incredibly good. We had the "early bird" meal - served from noon to 7pm - which included salad, mains and dessert. The dessert we tried was actually an Italian fare called profiterole, a cream puff pastry filled with whipped ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce. It was good, but way too sweet for us. I may have to give it a try when we're in Italy, though ice cream in a cone, not a pastry, is really more my style.

Back at the hotel we found the kids in the bar watching the Chelsea - Bayern soccer match. We watched a bit of it with them then went to bed. We were leaving for the airport at 5:30 AM the next morning which meant a very early wake-up call.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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