It's hard to believe that it has already been almost two months since our spring break trip to Ireland - time really flies at this time of the year! While I reminisce (and write about) our trip, I thought that I would share a few of my favourite Instagram photos from Ireland.
Our first stop on our Ireland trip was County Wicklow where we stayed at the Powerscourt Hotel just a short drive from Dublin Airport. Our room wasn't ready yet when we arrived late morning so we headed out to explore the Powerscourt Gardens which are also part of the Powerscourt Estate. The gardens stretch over 47 acres with magnificent views of the countryside and Sugarloaf Mountain and are considered to be one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. The skies were cloudy and overcast while we wandered through the gardens which made for some moody photos but once we left the gardens to sit on the terrace, the clouds parted and the sun came out and I was wishing that we had timed our visit better.
The following day we went for a drive to Wicklow Mountains National Park where we visited the monastic settlement at Glendalough founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and followed one of the walking trails to the park's Upper Lake.
My husband had been doing research on his family history prior to our trip and discovered that his great-great-great grandparents had been married at the church in Inch, County Wexford in 1843 prior to emigrating to Canada. The area was within driving distance from where we were staying in Wicklow so we were able to pay a visit with our daughter and make an important connection to the past.
My husband did some research before our recent trip to Ireland and discovered that his great-great-great grandparents had been married at this church in Inch, County Wexford. The church was built in 1831 and they were married there in 1843 - 4 years before they emigrated to Canada. It was really cool to be able to visit the site with our daughter and make that connection to the past.
After two nights in Wicklow, we drove to County Clare to spend the night at Dromoland Castle. It was an incredibly beautiful day so we checked in and headed out on a drive to the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs were simply stunning set against the blue skies and the blue seas. The sun was shining so brightly that it was difficult to get good photos with the glare but the image will remain etched in my mind forever.
One would expect a stay in a castle to be a memorable experience and Dromoland Castle lived up to all of our expectations. The castle is one of the most beautiful places we have ever stayed and family-friendly as well.
When my husband and I visited Ireland 20 years ago we stopped in the village of Adare en route to Killarney from Cong. I wanted to stop again this time to see the thatched cottages which were as lovely as I remembered.
It was late afternoon before we arrived in Killarney and checked into The Killarney Park Hotel. We headed to Killarney National Park anyway and found that we were just in time to enjoy a jaunting cart ride to the Gap of Dunloe with a horse named Dandy who had a personality to match his name.
Our last three nights in Ireland were spent at The Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin which was ideally located for exploring the city on foot. A highlight for me was visiting the Trinity College Old Library to see the 9th century Book of Kells manuscript and the Long Room which houses 200,000 of the library's oldest books. I was particularly pleased to see the Long Room as it had been closed for renovation the last time that I was in Dublin - definitely one of the most beautiful libraries in the world!
In my opinion, Dublin is one of the most photogenic cities in Europe and this pub in the Temple Bar neighbourhood is a perfect example of why.
We travelled to Ireland for spring break in order to be there for St. Patrick's Day so seeing the buildings lit green for the holiday was a highlight. Trinity College was particularly beautiful as we walked around Dublin one evening.
One of the iconic sights of Dublin - the Ha'Penny Bridge over the River Liffey. You can't visit Dublin without taking a photo of this bridge!
The Ha'penny Bridge over the River Liffey in Dublin yesterday morning. The first pedestrian bridge over the Liffey was built in 1816 to replace ferries that transported Dubliners from one side of the river to the other. A toll of a half penny was originally charged to use the bridge and so it became known as the Ha'penny bridge. It is estimated that approximately 450 pedestrians used the bridge each day when it was originally built whereas today 30,000 cross the bridge free of charge each day.