Dublin - March 2016

James and I took a short trip to Dublin for our honeymoon and we left the day after we got married which was really exciting. We only had two places on our list that we really wanted to visit, the rest we just sort of winged and wondered around. After Rome, we realised three nights in a city would be more than enough to get some rest and visit a new place. So that was the main idea for this trip - we took the MacBook so we could watch films in bed, stocked our room up with snacks and had nothing scheduled so no pressure!

When we arrived on Sunday, we were both really tired from being awake from 3:30 in the morning so we pretty much wrote the day off. We arrived at our hotel 'Clontarf Castle' and weren't allowed in our room until 2pm so we found a very quiet hidden away area in the foyer which I named 'The Cave' and took a much needed nap whilst James played a game. After being able to access our room an hour early, we also discovered that the hotel did in fact have a gym, so we spent a good 40 minutes in there, then we both had a shower and had a proper sleep in one of the comfiest beds I've ever had the pleasure of flopping into. We then had a posh meal in the hotels restaurant (note to self: never do this again…crazy expensive!) and then we had an early night ready to venture into the city the next morning.

Clontarf Castle, honeymoon hotel, fancy hotel, castle hotel, hotels in dublin, wedding hotel

Day 1 - Dublin Zoo

Luckily, we had already planned out any bus routes and locations beforehand so finding the zoo wasn't too much of a problem. We got a bit of breakfast down at one of the Starbucks on Fleet Street, then hopped on a bus which took us just outside of the Phoenix Park grounds. We only spent around an hour or so mooching around the zoo as it was bank holiday monday and absolutely swarming with small children. We also noticed that some animals had huge pens or enclosures for the tiny size of the animal, yet larger animals had smaller spaces. Perhaps certain animals have a decent sized bedroom and the areas were saw were just 'viewing pens' but apart from that, most animals we saw had a pretty good range of enriched environment activities and were being fed delicious looking meals. Our particular favourite animals were the Painted Dogs and Red Pandas :)

Dublin Zoo, Ireland, Red Panda, Panda, Dublin

After the Zoo, we caught another bus back into the city centre and grabbed some lunch at a really cool place called 'Chopped'. This was like a Subway in terms of system…but BETTER! James had the Vegan Body Builder, which was a wrap absolutely crammed with veggie goodness and tofu. I went for the 'build your own' where you could choose a salad box, a wrap or a sandwich and you picked 1 green option, 1 main, 3 fillings and a dressing. I had a mountain of spinach, organic tofu, sun dried tomatoes, an egg and egg noodles, which they then chopped up altogether and dressed with some olive oil. Beautiful!

We had a wonder around the shops and bought a few bits and pieces then grabbed some dinner in an M&S to eat back in our hotel room. When we arrived back at our room, we found a cheeky slice of chocolate cake my Mum had arranged for us to be sent. It was delish!

chocolate cake, wedding cake,

Day 2 - The Guinness Storehouse

The 29th March was James' birthday so we headed over to the Guinness Storehouse for a birthday treat. Again, we hopped on a bus which dropped us off pretty much outside the gates so it was easy enough to get to. Inside the storehouse is like nothing I ever imagined, it was absolutely enormous. Until we visited, I had no idea just how popular Guinness is worldwide and you learn so much here about how its made and what makes it so special. At the end, you are taught how to pull your own pint (which I was pretty proud of) and with James being an ex barman, he found it to be a breeze! I only managed to drink a quarter of my pint but still, its better than nothing! If I hadn't had a headache I probably would have necked the whole thing…

Guinness, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, Things To Do In Dublin, Ireland

After the storehouse, we went to watch the new Batman V Superman which in all honesty, I had very few hopes for after reading some of the reviews whilst scrolling through my Facebook feed. But it was in fact a pretty good film, I didn't enjoy the first half but the second half was great and I have a new found love for Wonder Woman. It's about time the super hero films featured some female characters, heroins in particular. Having said that, I'm more excited for Suicide Squad…I have waited a long time to see Harley Quinn!

We found that 3 days was plenty of time for us and it was a great little trip away as well as a tick off of our bucket lists! Our hotel was beautiful and the staff were extremely accommodating - we would highly recommend Clontarf Castle if you ever find yourself travelling to Dublin. It was such a treat!

Thankyou for reading,

Ellis x

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