We arrived in Dublin on time without any issues and went through the passport control and customs very quickly. Next we had to go to the rental car section and pick up our car. If you think car insurance in New Jersey is expensive you should come rent a car in Ireland. We had to pay a lot more on top of what we had paid online to book the car! There are so many different kinds of insurance required before you can drive away. We had done a lot of research before getting to Ireland and there really isn’t anyway around this especially if you want to have comprehensive insurance and this is your first time driving a stick shift car on the left side! Let’s just say our respond to the amount due was “Zoinks”!! Better safe than sorry I suppose.
We got in the car and put the children’s carseats in place and buckled them up. Kids safety? Check. Ok. Let’s drive. or…stall…and stall…and stall…! Hmmm…could we just roll in neutral to the hotel? Thankfully we didn’t have to find out as we discovered that instead of 1st we kept putting the car in the 3rd gear! We will just blame it on the confusing markings on the stick. Although the car is very new there is no display to tell you what gear you are in but it does tell you what gear you should be in for optimal efficiency.
We could not check-in the hotel yet but I spoke with a lady at the reception desk and she recommended the Halfway House as a good Irish Pub to eat at.
After lunch we parked the car at the hotel and took a bus to Dublin City Center. A double decker bus! and of course we sat on the top. As soon as we got out of the bus we saw a small chocolate shop that also had cupcakes and coffee called, “The Sweetest Thing”. We popped in for some coffee and cupcakes for the kids. The shop was very uncrowded when we walked in so the person who works there had a few minutes to chat and recommended a number of places for us to visit.
We headed out of the shop and walked towards the Trinity College.
The Trinity College is the oldest college in Ireland and If I heard the tour guide correctly they are affiliated with Oxford university. The campus is beautiful.
We walked on to see the “Book of Kells" exhibit which is remarkable.
here was an additional exhibit in the library about Brian Boru. The library was the most amazing one I have ever seen with bookshelf lining the walls from floor to ceiling.
After the exhibits we headed towards the Dublin Castle. It was a bit smaller than I had envisioned but the intricacy of the design wowed me nonetheless. We played a bit in the Coach House Garden, took a few pictures and left to find a place for dinner.
There are a lot of cobble stone streets in Dublin with alfresco dining. We picked a burger place called “Gourmet Burger Kitchen”. The food was really good and Hannah made friends with our waitress and danced with her and played peek-a-boo with her. Silly Hannah!
After dinner we hopped back on the bus and headed back to the Hotel for much needed R&R.