My current destination…Dublin! Sneaking in a trip with my daughter, the promise of a college visit. Making it work in three days, not a problem.
Choosing the Fitzwilliam Hotel primarily based on location. The hotel sits at the end of the super fashionable Grafton Street. The ability to walk anywhere in the City Center a bonus. Comfortable rooms and a stellar staff completed our smart mini-break.
By refusing to give into jet-lag on our first day we were able to secure tickets to Once! Based on the 2007 film of the same name. This musical ended up on Broadway, where it won 8 Tony awards in 2012. I was feeling delighted to see this show again where the story all began in Dublin. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip! With the intimate venue and energizing atmosphere, Once and the Olympic Theatre should be on everyone’s to go list. The show starts before the show starts as the all Irish cast joins you on a stage set as a barroom. Allowing you to listen to the live musical performances before you even take your seats. Then settle in for this captivating love story and let yourself connect to the joyous production through the music.
Trinity College is situated in the heart of Dublin and its historic campus is not to be missed. There are numerous tours all day long for anyone who wishes to learn more about this historic institution, including the Book of Kells and the Old Library.
After the scholarly college visit, I though it might be fun for my daughter to get an entirely different type of education. Onto the Temple Bar area. With a variety of bars and music starting around noon in most of the establishments, you can always count on a good time. We stopped into The Auld Dubliner and at three o’clock in the afternoon the bar was an abundance of twenty-something year olds. Dancing, talking, and drinking beer. Then onto the legendary Temple Bar Pub for a bit of Irish music. Dublin never disappoints!
Thirteen hour bus tour around Northern Ireland – ouch! Just reading the itinerary was exhausting. My daughter was in for the Game of Thrones film locations and I was in for the Giants Causeway. The bus departed Dublin filled to capacity. As we ventured North I noticed a light fog engulfing the area. After two hours we arrived at a rest stop for coffee and provisions. The rain was pelting down from the sky. Gathering our rain gear, trying to stay dry as our day had just begun. Luckily the weather in Ireland can change in minutes.
The Giants Causeway…one of the most dramatic landscapes I have ever seen. I could have wandered and walked there for hours. We only a few hours. We walked and climbed on the rocks. I gazed at the water and let my mind wander. Feeling free and alive and blessed. We brought a picnic and enjoyed the charm of the unspoiled landscape. We are going to visit a total of three film locations for GOT. Bringing the show to life and wondering how anyone could actually find such beautiful places in which to film was inconceivable to me.
Last stop Belfast! We had an hour. I needed a coffee. We were on the home stretch. We walked to the City Hall. Down the shopping streets. Then the rain came yet again for probably the fourth time that day. Starting with a little drizzle then somewhat harder. Back on the bus just in time before the rain started pummeling us. Driving out of the city we saw the outline of the Titanic Museum. Yes there are many reasons to come back to Belfast.
Fun Fact: Driving through the small villages of Northern Ireland I was reminded of a funny movie that I love…Waking Ned Devine! Watch it for great scenery, laughter and good Irish fun!