After our Guinness Storehouse adventures, we still had so much to see. With the All Blacks v Ireland rugby test happening on the Sunday, the city centre was humming. Our first stop was the beautiful Trinity College, founded in 1592.
My favourite part of the College was the Old Library, home to the ancient Book of Kells and the stunning Long Room. The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript thought to have been created by Celtic Monks around 800 AD. It was stunning to see the level of detail and craftsmanship in every single page.
The Long Room was a bookworm’s dream. It was built between 1712 and 1732 and houses 200,000 of the College Library’s oldest books. I loved the marble busts lining the room and scanning the intriguing titles – I could have stayed for hours!
But there was so much more to see and we headed along the river and up to the Dublin Castle. In continuous occupation since it was built in 1204, it was the main site of British occupation in Ireland from the 12th century to the 20th century. It was an imposing complex and although we only had time to wander some of the outside courtyards, I’d love to go back and explore the State Rooms, which are apparently among the most beautiful in the country.
Dublin was fascinating to wander and I found so many buildings catching my eye, from the Christmas-wrapped department stores in the central city to the Four Courts complex by the riverside.
Another highlight of our wander through the city was our visit to the beautiful Christ Church Cathedral, one of the city’s two medieval cathedrals. Not only was it a welcome relief from the chilly temperatures, but a stunning church inside too!
We had an amazing time exploring in Dublin, capped off by one of the tensest rugby games I ever hope to attend. For those who aren’t fans, the All Blacks are New Zealand’s champion rugby team, and needed to beat Ireland to achieve the first unbeaten year in professional rugby. After playing England the previous week, Ireland were expected to be an easier game for the All Blacks, but instead it went down to the wire, with the All Blacks behind the whole game, and only winning with the final kick! It wasn’t easy to watch, and I really felt for the Irish at the end – they had played amazingly.
The city had an amazing atmosphere, from the history and beautiful buildings to the partying in the pubs. I loved our visit to Dublin, and can’t wait to go back to see more of the city and Ireland!