Ireland: Dublin

My last Ireland post! Connor and I got into Dublin late on Thursday, we checked into our hotel and immediately got ready for bed. When we woke in the morning we headed into town to spend the day exploring the city. Our first stop was, of course, breakfast - Connor and I decided on a little donut spot called The Rolling Donut Cafe for some sugar and coffee to start the day. Connor picked a cinnamon apple donut, and I had a jelly-filled (my favorite). 
We had a full agenda for the day and wanted to make sure we were able to see everything we wanted to. Our first stop for the morning was Trinity College where we waited in line to see the Book of Kells and the famous Long Room. It's true what they say, the ceiling-high shelves filled with old books really is like a scene from Harry Potter. It also reminded me of the library from Beauty and the Beast.  
After wandering through the library we decided to make our way to St. Patrick's Cathedral. We opted to walk and take in the scenery rather than jumping on a tour bus or taking a taxi (and I also felt I needed some extra exercise after the donuts). We made some stops along the way, including Christ Church Cathedral, the Dublin Castle, and St. Peter's Green.  
We got lucky and couldn't have asked for better weather. It was sunny all day and even got into the 70s - something that was unheard of for us as it was usually in the low to mid 60s. The sunshine felt perfect and warm, and many people (and ducks) were out and about in the park. 
After playing with the ducks in the park, Connor and I stopped for lunch at the Copper Alley Bistro. We popped in not knowing anything about the restaurant, but were so glad we found it. The bistro was elegant yet rustic and had the best grilled cheese and tomato soup. It hit the spot after the whole day on our feet. 
Our next stop was St. Patrick's Cathedral. I was expecting a traditional Catholic cathedral, but was surprised to find that the inside was quite different. Flags over 100 years old hung above the alter and around the church and busts of medieval helmets lined the isles. The church has been converted to more of a museum, with many different plaques with information and random objects scattered around. It didn't have the same "holy" feeling a church usually has, but was still very interesting none-the-less.

We then decided to buy a ticket for the Guinness Storehouse and walk over to take the tour. The storehouse takes you through all of the steps to see how the beer is made, touches on the branding of the company, and leads you up to the top of the building to the Gravity Bar for your complimentary Guinness! The bar at the top has windows on all sides with views of the Dublin skyline including the Wicklow Mountains, Trinity College and St. Patrick's Cathedral.
After the Guinness Storehouse we walked along the river back to our hotel to freshen up for dinner. We stayed at the very cozy Roxford Lodge Hotel, the perfect little hotel for the two of us. It was complete with two very comfy beds and AIR CONDITIONING. Even though it wasn't very hot out, the cool air felt so good, and is relativity hard to find in hotels in Ireland.
We had several different spots we wanted to try for dinner, but ended up choosing the Winding Stair. The restaurant was small and rustic, and filled with bookcases. I was actually seated next to a bookcase, and was flipping through books from the early 1900s before our food arrived. After dinner, we headed to Temple Bar to check out the bar scene. We spent the night listening to live music sipping Guinness, the perfect way to end our time in Ireland. 

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