The flight from Chicago to Dublin on Aer Lingus was actually quite nice. Because it leaves at 8 pm, by the time food service is done, you are ready to get some sleep because it’s your actual bed time. Food was actually good, the entertainment choices were not too exciting and service was impersonal but because I slept most of the time, these shortcomings did not bother me. Plus the flight is very short compared to other trips so I wasn’t exhausted.
The Dublin airport is nice but I didn’t spend any time there, just long enough to get the bus to our hotel. It was great to be dropped off right in front of the hotel.
We stayed at the Schoolhouse Hotel. It is a lovely old school that was transformed into a hotel. The restaurant and bar each occupy one of the beautiful school rooms with beamed vaulted ceilings. Each room has an author’s name. We stayed at the John Millington Singe room. It had a nice canopied bed. It wasn’t very big but had enough room and a convenient bathroom. Because we arrived in the morning we weren’t able to get in so we went for a walk. There was a food market by the canal so our first meal in Ireland was a Falafel Wrap. It was great. I was shocked to find so many Mexican stalls and restaurants here.
The hotel is a 15 minute walk to town. I wanted to see the Book of Kells but the line was so long that I didn’t want to tackle it while jet lagged. So we opted to visit the free (both of people and admission) National Museum. It shows the history of Ireland from prehistoric times through its vast collection of artifacts. The most amazing part was all the gold. There were many necklaces that look like they could be sold today. Some were very intricate while others were utilitarian. But they all show the craftsmanship and wealth that existed in Ireland thousands of years ago. The Treasury shows some really cool religious objects such as The Chalice of Ardagh and St Patrick’S bell as well as the Cross of Cong. Plus you get to see the Faddan More Psalter in case you missed the Book of Kells like me. We also stopped at the National Gallery and saw some of their masterpieces. I really liked this painting of a boy tickling a dead saint with a feather. It was humorous.
After a much needed nap, we walked all around town. Because it was later in the day many things were closed or closing. So we just enjoyed the sights: O’Connell street, temple bar, Dublin castle, Trinity College. We had an excellent dinner at our hotel’s restaurant.