Landing at Dublin airport after a 2am start, I was exhausted yet completely ready to explore. After finding where our hire car was, I completely chickened out of being the first one to drive and instead let my friend drive us into the city whilst we worked out traffic signals etc. (at least in Ireland its all still on the same side of the road which was definitely a huge benefit!)
Arriving in the city centre, we were ready to climb into bed and sleep. However check in at the hotel wasn’t until 4pm so we had about 6 hours to kill before we could even consider bedtime. Deciding to get something to eat and explore the Dublin city centre a bit more we soon found that none of us had the energy to make decisions on what to eat or where. In true tourist style we ended up at the nearest Starbucks for a latte and sandwich (talk about embracing the culture lol!)
After refueling slightly we took a walk and found a beautiful park right on our doorstep. It had the loveliest fountains, ponds, birds and sculptures. We walked round the park, taking pictures and watching the birds gliding on the pond.
After we explored this park we all admitted to feeling completely exhausted and expressed our need for sleep. We phoned the hotel and asked if we could check in early so we could rest and luckily the guy on the end of the phone was so lovely he said yes!
Hello comfy beds and sleep
Getting to that level of exhaustion reminded me just how important it is to take time out to rest, listen to your body and speak what you need.
If we hadn’t admitted to being exhausted, we would have got grouchy and had a mini fall out through sheer tiredness.
Not phoning the hotel and asking for what we needed wouldn’t have got us an early check in so we could rest.
Assuming there were limitations in place on what we could or couldn’t access would have kept us feeling limited and frustrated.
Knowing what you need and having the courage to speak and ask for it is such a courageous thing to do. When you show that bravery the universe responds and delivers
Waking up refreshed, getting a shower and changing out of our airport clothes into something a bit more feminine was the best feeling. We were ready to go explore fully and find some tasty and nutritious food.
After wandering around for a while, we found this amazing little Farm Restaurant. The food was incredible! Locally sourced, organic, free range, clean ingredients, veggie and vegan friendly, tasty meals, cooked to perfection (serious food orgasm happened!). And to make it even better the staff were so friendly and chatty. They found us a perfect little table by the window and recommended great places for us to check out during our stay. (If you are ever in Dublin I highly recommend a visit here!)
On the Sunday, we decided to do a day exploring the city. It was such a beautiful day so it felt like the perfect opportunity to walk around and sight see. Although in true Yorkshire girl style, we started the day at a Nail Bar for a manicure and free Prosecco (another must for a girls trip, check out the nail bar here).
After doing the main tourist sites, we then headed to The Brazen Head Pub. The Brazen Head is the oldest pub in Dublin (dating back to 1198) and is renowned for its Irish Stew. I personally don’t eat meat but both of my friends do and they wanted to sample to famous Irish dish so we decided to do it in style and go to the best pub for it. When we arrived at the pub we were astounded to see how busy it was (seriously, if you visit go before you get hungry as it takes a while to find a table) but we soon realised why it is so popular.
After finding a table in a small bar room, we ordered our food and drinks and got comfy. Next thing we know, a traditional Irish musical group sets up their instruments and starts playing songs. It was awesome. Their voices were incredible, they interacted with the audience so well and it was amazing to see them playing live, spreading their joy and positive energy through their music and voices.
That afternoon, full of energy and good vibes, we headed to the Guinness Storehouse
I was so excited to go and see the Storehouse, mainly because I had never actually tried Guinness before so I was super excited to have my first taste at the heart of its creation.
The storehouse is definitely worth a visit and has loads of interactive sections throughout the tour.
We stopped off at the Guinness Tasting Factory where we got to smell the separate ingredients that make up Guinness. Then we were given a mini pint which we were taught how to drink the proper way to taste all the flavours that make it up.
I love anything where I get to interact and experience as part of my learning so for me the storehouse really met that need. Fast forward through the tour and we were on the top floor at the roof bar where we got served a cold pint whilst being able to look out over Dublin. It really was spectacular.
The Monday was my birthday and it was all about things I wanted for the day. Trying to plan my birthday breakfast was basically me sat there saying “I just want poached eggs and avocado”. Still not really knowing many places where we could eat, we just happened to be walking down a street and passed a bagel bar which in the window, had a massive photo of their new breakfast bagel – Poached Egg with Avocado! – Hell Yes, thank you universe!
After that my only wish was that we had a nice, laughter filled day. The weather was amazing with the sun shining so brightly in the beautiful blue sky. One of my friends had really wanted to visit Kilkenny so we decided to take the opportunity to go on a road trip there.
Kilkenny was just beautiful. It has this gorgeous river which flows through it with lovely little bridges, secret walkways and the most mind blowingly beautiful churches. It also has the cutest little shops with their own quirky feel and trinkets.
We also stopped by the castle in Kilkenny which has the hugest, greenest lawns you have ever seen. If you have kids this is definitely a place to visit as they have so much space to run about, burn energy and have fun.
In the evening we returned to Dublin where we got changed, put our glad rags on and headed out onto the streets for some good food, giggles and drinks.
We had a lovely meal at this cute and quirky bar called 37 Dawson Street. It has the most amazing furniture and a life size sequin horse in the window! I had the vegetable quesadilla with sweet potato fries and it was amazing! So tasty and all of the dips and sides tasted fresh too.
We then headed out to a variety of cocktail bars, our favourite being Pygmallion. This bar seemed to be the place most people headed to away from the tourist bars for some good music and a variety of cocktails.
We also then headed to a nightclub near our hotel called Diceys Garden. From the street outside it looked like a quiet garden bar inside a hotel. This is because the street was quiet and there wasn’t really anyone about. We then went inside and got the shock of our lives as it is clearly the student hang out of the city and was packed to the brim with people. It does however do cheap drinks and deals on drinks (which in a city as expensive as Dublin is sometimes needed) and does play current music so it was great to let the hair down and throw some moves.
Nothing cures a hangover quite like climbing a mountain. So after breakfast we decided to head out on a drive to The Great Sugar Loaf just outside of Dublin.
As much as we’d heard it was a mountain, we thought it was probably more of a hill and a good walk. However when we got there, we discovered multiple professional walkers/mountain climbers who told us we wouldn’t be able to do it due to not having the right footwear and gear.
What do you mean you can’t climb a mountain in pumps and jeans?!
But we decided to give it our best shot and started walking. It was so incredibly windy and the incline was a lot steeper then we had thought but we had committed to giving it a try and there was a halfway point that we were sure we could reach.
After a lot of sweat, huffing, puffing and the start of a pretty big stitch, we got half way up the mountain. At this point we could see that there was no way we could go any further as it was all loose rock and would’ve been tough for those professional climbers to get up.
The excitement and elation I felt at that half way point was huge. Being told I couldn’t make the climb by others, feeling the challenges the climb brought along with the readily available option of giving up and turning around made the joy so much greater for me.
Knowing my own strength and not letting others perceptions and projections get in the way of my goals was such a huge lesson for me and made me internally reflect on all the ways I have been allowing this to happen in other areas of my life.
Just down the road from the Sugar Loaf is the stunningly beautiful Powerscourt Waterfall. This is an absolute must to visit, regardless of where you are staying. The waterfall and its surroundings are an amazing display of mother nature working at her very best and shows stunning scenery.
Standing at the bottom of the fall and experiencing the heavy water booming to the ground whilst delicate droplets splashed on my face and then seeing the delicate flow that danced its way through the rocks below was breathtakingly magical.
Wednesday was the only day that we had rain, and my god did it pour from the sky! We tried to continue with our sight seeing plans and not let the rain affect our day. However a rather unsuccessful visit to the Guinness Lake soon made us realise that we needed indoor plans. We tried to visit a stately home however after being told the house was shut and only the gardens were open, we quickly became stuck with where to go and what to do.
Baring in mind that by this point, 3 girls had been driving around the Irish countryside in the pouring rain for 2 to 3 hours with no food or water. We were getting hangry and frustrated so there was only one thing to do.
We drove into Bray and found a perfect little eatery called Maison Moli. It is a gorgeous little shabby chic cafe and shop with some beautiful gifts and treats available. There we found the most friendly team of ladies who happily made us hot chocolates and served the most delicious meal (picture below).
As we sat there, 3 hangry girls soaking wet through, we started to laugh about how tense the day had got. It always amazes me how the right combination of food and drink can really set the tone for the mood around the table. Warm comforting drinks alongside a healthy, energising, uplifting and nutritious sandwich was the perfect combination to get us relaxed and happy again.
On the Thursday we flew home. Since it was our last day, we went out for one last breakfast in the city together before heading back to the airport.
Leaving and returning home is always a strange day for me, filled with mixed emotions and conflicting desires.
The adventure seeking free spirit inside of me wants to stay and explore and continue to live by impulse and intuition, going where feels right and being open to the magic. There is also the part of me that seeks comfort, safety and my loved ones close to me.
Ireland was an amazing experience and is a place that I want to visit again and explore more of. As a result of my week embracing and experiencing the luck of the Irish and all they had to offer, there are some lessons I learnt that will stay with me.
- Speak what you need and the universe will deliver it
- Speak with truth, from the heart and you will receive words of love from another heart
- Always be open to new experiences
- Know your own strength
- Be confident that you know you
- The perceptions and projections of others do not need to be your truth
- Say yes to what lights you up and brings you joy
- Listen to your soul, it knows the answer
- Mother nature is the most powerful soul on the planet and we need to support her and replenish her
- It’s not just OK to have fun, it’s frickin’ awesome!