September 26, 2015

The Scotland Adventure Begins ... First, in Ireland

May of 2015 will forever remain among one of the very most favorite and unforgettable times of my life, for it is when we adventured to the land Matt and I had always longed to see: Scotland.

Thanks to the generous help of our families in helping to watch Makenna back at home, Matt and I were able to plan a fun-filled extended vacation including a two day stop in Dublin and seven full, glorious days to explore Scotland's cities, villages, and countryside at our leisure.

I've long mulled over how to share about our dreamy experiences on this here blog of mine. Should I do a day by day recap? No, there were too many days. On top of that, so many of our experiences in Scotland involved visiting castles and estates {I believe we saw at least fifteen!}. Nothing could be more fun for Matt and myself--we are, after all, history-lovers who both majored in history during college. However, I realize that perhaps seeing countless photos of countless castles may not be the most interesting thing for my readers?

Thus, I have decided to break up our Scotland post into sections regarding sights, food, Bed and Breakfasts, the countryside, etc.

But first I shall begin with a big, fat posting about experiencing the lovely city of Dublin, Ireland!


A bright and glorious sunrise greeted us as we rolled off the airplane in Dublin. Our adventure had officially begun!

We took a taxi into the city center to our hotel. Our taxi driver was especially lively and chatty for it being 5:30 in the morning. The city seemed to be still sleeping for the most part, and with the time difference, our bodies were crying out for some rest. We checked into our room, showered, and set our alarms to sleep for several hours.

By about 12:30 pm Dublin-time, we were awake, dressed, hungry, and very ready to explore this famed city. We had only the latter part of Monday and most of the day on Tuesday to see the sights before we would hop on another flight to Edinburgh.

Dublin is a lively, bustling city, full of charm. Just walking from one destination to another afforded us wonderful sights and experiences.

A delicious pub lunch with a view of the city from Arthur's Bar.

We made multiple coffee stops to rest our tired little feet. I was delighted to indulge in some Costa coffee again. Costa is a coffee chain in the UK I fell in love with when I spent a summer working in England back in 2008. There was a drop of sentimentality in each sip.

We ventured to the incredibly lovely Trinity College.

For the die-hard book lover in me, we first saw the ancient Book of Kells. It is an illuminated manuscript of the gospels dating from about 800 AD--an unimaginable work of art and beauty. A single page laid open, and I could have stared and studied it for days. It is forever etched into my memory.

We then got to see the monumental library itself. A dream among dreams for book lovers like myself!

A morning view of the river Liffey spurred us on to fresh adventures on our second day.

A simple and perfect breakfast: a latte, freshly squeezed orange juice, and the most delicious raspberry scone I've ever tasted at the Queen of Tarts.

We stumbled upon this tiny and serene cemetery located within the city center.

Before we had to end our tour of Dublin, we stopped for a delicious supper at the Pieman Cafe.

We have vowed to return to Ireland again, one day. The emerald isle fills my heart with happiness, and I feel so at home there.

{Not pictured are the several lovely museums we visited. The history fanatics within us both leave us desiring a good dose of museum-exploring during our travels. We are the couple who carefully examines artifacts and stands around reading all the plaques. Aren't we a match made in heaven?! Dublin has some outstanding museums unlike any others we've ever visited.}

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