It's about time we finished our blog!
05/24/2015 - 05/25/2015
The last and final day of our trip back in May was spent in the city of Dublin, Ireland. We found a parking garage to park our Audi in, and we found a coffee shop (as you know, this was a staple on the trip!). Here is Ashley's hot chocolate.
We walked to St. Stephen's Green, which is a park near a nice street of shopping. Here, we found this Irish Potato Famine memorial:
While walking around after the park and on our way to Trinity College, we found lots of street performers, including these guys:
Here are a few pictures we took on the campus of Trinity College.
This is a panorama showing how long the line was to look at the Book of Kells. It cost to do it, and we didn't feel the need to stand in this ridiculous line!
For lunch, we walked around the Temple Bar area, where the city's famous bars and eateries live. Jeremy really wanted to try Bangers and Mash, and Ashley wanted a tuna melt. It took FOREVER to find a restaurant that had both, but we managed to! The night before, a gay pride celebration had happened in the Temple Bar area because the Irish had just voted in favor of gay marriage the day before, and we saw the remnants of all the celebrating! In case you wanted to see the Bangers and Mash, here is is!
After lunch, we headed in the direction of Whelan's bar, which is the bar on P.S. I Love You where Gerry's band is playing. Ashley wanted to go, but was disappointed when she couldn't place where any of the scenes occurred. Jeremy noticed a couple of other girls who were there, presumably for the same reason, and then felt obligated to order a Guinness. Neither girl could drink it. For the record, Jeremy didn't drink any either.
Somewhere along the way, we walked by St. Stephen's Cathedral. Ashley wanted to go in because having been to Italy taught her that Cathedrals are beautiful on the inside! Too bad they were charging to get in, and again we opted to save our funds. Here is what it looked like from the outside!
We returned our rental car and took the shuttle back to our hotel and we were in for the night. We had to get up early the next morning for our flight home. It took an awfully long time to get through Customs, so if you're ever flying back into the U.S. from Dublin, expect a super long wait.
When we got home, we had to check out all of our loot! If you recall, we had a bunch of this shipped home with our biking clothes. We did carry a couple bottles home with us in our backpacks (which we checked). We have since opened a few of these to share with friends. The Cantillon bottles will be opened on special occasions!
Ashley realized when she came across a tiny treasure that she had fulfilled a childhood dream she didn't remember she had. In Fourth Grade, Lifetouch, which was the school photography company, gave everyone a "Stickys Passport" and sticky versions of their school picture so they could share them with their classmates.
Upon opening the cover, this is what she found! Sometimes dreams really do come true! Just ignore the 4th grade spelling error...
We had the best time, and we can't wait to go back to Europe! The plan is to go every couple of years, so let's hope we can stay on track! When we got back, lots of people asked us where our favorite place was. We both liked the Netherlands (Holland) about the best, probably because we had Dutch tour guides and the bike tour really submerged us into the culture of the country. We truly felt like locals. If you are good at biking and like craft beer (or even if you are willing to try it), we highly recommend checking out Beercycling, the company we booked our tour with. The tour guides, Henk and Betty, were awesome, and the experience is truly unique! Visit http://beercycling.com to check out the variety of tours. Ours was the Dutch Tulips tour. Here are a couple pics from the airplane of the tulip fields we were promised to ride by during our tour:
Ireland was beautiful, and we are so happy that we got to be there. However, we wish we would have devoted more time to it because we tried to cover so much ground and it takes a deceivingly long time to drive from place to place. Our advice about Ireland would be if you want to drive around the outside like we did, you probably need more than 10 days! And you can skip the Ring of Kerry. But, if you only have a few days to devote, the Ring of Kerry is probably where you should go since it has so many of the charming features of the rest of the country all in one place. If choosing between the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula, go for the Dingle Peninsula, hands down, and drive the road tour busses can't take! In Northern Ireland, the best thing we saw (and possibly Ashley's favorite landmark of the whole trip) was the Giant's Causeway.
Each country has it's high points. Belgium's was Cantillon! We keep saying that we will always go back no matter where our future European journeys take us! We hope you enjoyed reading our blog, and if you ever travel Europe, remember the lessons we learned! Thanks!