Friday, November 20, 2009

Malahide and Last Day in Ireland

Today turned out to be one of my most favorite days of the trip. After a short drive from Cashel to Dublin (straight to the airport to drop Katie off for her afternoon flight to JFK), we had a decision to make. Once we dropped our things off at the airport hotel, would we go back into Dublin and do more exploring or would we just stay at the hotel and be low-key and responsible- pack up our things and get totally organized for the long day of traveling ahead of us?

Sawnia had mentioned going to Malahide, "They have a castle there." But we decided it would be much more fun to end our trip with a visit to the Jameson's Distillery. I mean, perfect, right?

But as the day wore on (and on), we kept thinking that maybe we'd just return the rental car and call it a day. That would be the easiest thing to do, right? I think we all can agree that we had more than enough fun on the entire trip and playing it safe on the last night certainly wouldn't harm any of us. As we pulled out of the hotel to return the rental car, I spotted a sign for Malahide- only 6k away and figured since it was so close, we could do that and then if we felt up for it, go into Dublin.

And I'm so glad we did. Malahide was by far the fanciest place I've been to in all of Ireland. The town part was super cute.

We went into a pub, Duffy's, for lunch and it was filled with very cool Guinness advertisements and cute old men lunching and talking.

Afterward we walked around Malahide (there was a Starbucks and a Pizza Hut, I almost felt like I was back in the States) before making our way over to the castle. We followed signs for the castle and I ended up walking along a very pretty and quiet nature path that sprawled around a park, a playground, soccer fields which eventually led me to the castle. It was a little bit of peace and alone time during my last hours in Ireland and I treasured it.

In front of the castle was the greenest green of any lawn I've ever seen. That's saying a lot considering just how much time I've spent in Ireland. I took endless pictures trying to capture just how green it was, but I don't think my camera did it justice. What do you think?

Intense, right? I have an amazing camera, but I don't think even that could capture just how lush this grass was.

From there I walked up to the castle. It wasn't a busy day, so I could wait for everyone crowded around the entrance and just outside of the castle to go in, and take pictures without anyone getting in. The castle was beautiful- simple yet elegant. And small enough to get in one frame.

I met up with Erica & Sawnia at the entrance and after walking through the gift shop, we continued around the perimeter of the castle. More pictures of more beautiful Irish landscape. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful backdrop to typical Irish countryside.

I liked today because it was unplanned and unexpected. And it turned out to be so beautiful and rich with color, life, history and surprise. It was a wonderful way to cap off our trip.

Because Gene couldn't meet up with us and the Malahide trip took a little longer than we thought, we opted not to go into Dublin. I'll have to save the Jameson's Distillery for another trip! Instead, we stayed in, ordered in Chinese (yes, seriously) and got our bags packed for the long day of traveling ahead of us tomorrow.


Anonymous,  December 3, 2009 at 7:49 PM  
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