Thursday, August 11, 2011

Vikings in Dublin???

On Tuesday we left Killarney and headed up to Dublin since we had an early flight on Wednesday to Athens. The drive itself was uneventful but Josh wanted me to share one more thing about his driving in Ireland before we start talking Greece. A few days after we arrived, he went to pass (or overtake as they say there) another car...only he misjudged the space between my side of the car and the other car and his the other guy's side view mirror. Yes, too close. And yes, I freaked out. But then we moved on and again I must overall applaud his driving because there is no way I could have driven on those roads on the wrong side and in a stick no less.

Taken as we were driving...

On to Tuesday... the drive took us more thru the midlands of Ireland and away from the coast. I was sad to say goodbye to our coastal drives but the midlands were just as beautiful and as a bonus, the roads seemed significantly wider and we eventually ended up on a highway which was a bonus. We arrived to our bed and breakfast just before 2. It was the boys first time in a B&B and they really thought it was cool that we were staying in someone's house essentially.

We left the B&B shortly after arriving in order to do some exploring in the Dublin area. Our B&B was actually in Swords which is just north of Dublin but only about 4 miles from the airport which was essential since our flight was at 8:30AM. The owners suggested we stay outside of Dublin since you really needed more than a few hours to explore it so we went to Malahide Castle ( for a little bit. The kids ran around in the huge fields of grass and then we grabbed a quick snack before we headed into Dublin.

Malahide Castle

Huge amount of grass!


And run some more!

Close up shot

They insisted on these hats which I thought originally were bulls but turns out they were Vikings

Each of them "had" to have a hat...

Just chilling...

We went to Dublin because once we got to Malahide, Josh mentioned the Viking tour to me (he claims he mentioned it before we left but I didn't hear him). The Viking boat tour is pretty much the same thing as the Duck tours in Boston but everyone wears Viking hats (since the Vikings did in fact land in Ireland too). The kids loved the idea of doing the boat tour and the fact that it went in the water and on land. We've never done the one in Boston and I've always wanted to do it.

So we drove in to the city which reminds me so much of Boston. I can see why so many immigrants go to Boston from this area - it's like home away from home. The feel of the buildings and the streets and even the park by the Viking boat tours looked like the public gardens.

I really liked the doors

Museum of Natural History... just walked by but thought these were cool

Getting a ride from Daddy

My lady... I bow before you!

The gardens... really, it looks so much like Boston Public Garden!

More of the gardens

Josh holding Liam on the bridge

Benches and flowers

Liam picked a flower for me

The kids played in the park while we waited for our 6:30 tour. It was the best playground we've been to since the Mullen Hall one in Falmouth when we were home last summer! Yes it's been that long since we've been to or seen a really great playground. The kids did not want to leave but once we got them on the bus/boat they were excited.

This climbing area was like an obstacle course for Aidan - he loved it!

King of the mountain!

And more of an obstacle ahead!

Look at me!

Liam loves the slide!

Liam finally conquers the rope bridge!

Woo hoo!!!

My monkey on the monkey bars

They also loved that we had to roar as random Celts - the tour guide would tell us when we were approaching a group of Celts and would tell us to roar. It was a lot of fun and actually the tour was really informative. The other thing that was a bummer was that I never really had a great view of much since I was seated on the inside on the wrong side of the bus - so my pics aren't all that great. 

Yes, we all wore Viking helmets - though none fit Josh's big noggin that well ;)

Our tour guide

More doors that I liked

This was the original Lever (as in the soap) building... it was very cool and there are small murals along the outside that depict various washing scenes...

Where we enter the water

Yikes, we're in the water!

Supposedly this is where U2 has their music studio

Our reflection

I will admit to being a little ambivlent about going in the water despite the fact that these things go in every day, multiple times per day.  But I would never have told the kids that.  I definitely breathed in a sigh of relief when we finally emerged from the Grand Canal area.

We finally headed back to the B&B around 8ish and got the kids to bed since we had to be out the door pretty early (6AM) to head to the airport.  I didn't sleep a wink (probably that chocolate I had right before bed - shame on me!) but everyone else seemed to get a good night's sleep and off we went to the airport again!!


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