Dublin, Day 1: The Rock of Cashel and Temple Bar

This weekend we decided to take our first mini-vacation since moving to Ireland. Monday is a “bank holiday” in Ireland, meaning Jon has a 3-day weekend. We wanted to do something fun with the long weekend and get out of town for some exploring. And, since our fur-baby (dog) Bota will be flying in to Dublin on Thursday morning (yay!!!), Dublin was the natural choice for our getaway.

We left our home in Cork on Saturday morning and started driving north. One of my favorite spots that I visited on my last trip here, The Rock of Cashel, is just off the main highway between Cork and Dublin. Jon didn’t get to see “The Rock” with me, so we decided to stop by on our way up to Dublin.

The Rock of Cashel is an incredible castle built on a high precipice overlooking the town of Cashel. The Rock is reputedly the site where St . Patrick converted the king of Munster in the 5th century, and was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years.

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It is an impressive space to walk through and imagine what life must have been like inside these walls 1000 years ago.

David’s favorite part of The Rock was running through the cemetery (we got a few nasty looks for this one, but you do what you can to make history interesting for a 2-year old).

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It was un-Irishly warm at The Rock, making for some beautiful views of the castle and the surrounding countryside.

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After our stop at The Rock we loaded back into the car and headed on to Dublin. We are staying in a rental house that we found on airbnb.com. As far as I’m concerned, air bnb is the best travel tool ever created. The site allows individuals to list their homes for short-term rentals–and allows people like me to rent out a full house for the same price as a cheap hotel. Plus, you can rent castles on the website. Real castles. I will do that some day, but for this trip it was a bit out of budget. Anyway, our rental house is comfortable and close to all the action in downtown Dublin so we can walk to all of the local attractions.

Things don’t really get hopping until about 9:00 around here, so we gave the boys a late nap and then took our babies out for a taste of the night life! On our first night in Dublin we walked to the infamous Temple Bar area for some dinner and trad (traditional Irish music).

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We ended up finding a great place called the Vat House. The food was excellent and the music was so much fun! The musicians even invited the boys to dance and help play their instruments.

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We were enjoying ourselves so much that it was nearly 11:00 by the time we left the pub. A late night, but well worth it (well, at least until the boys woke us up at 6:00 the next morning…but I’ll save those adventures for my next post!).

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