These last few days have been very happy for me: my parents and siblings came to visit me in Madrid! I was so happy to see them all for a few days, and was happy we could be together for Christmas. It was definitely sad to watch them leave, but I’m so grateful to have had the chance to spend the time with them that I did.
When they planned their trip to come visit me, I thought it would be fun if we all travelled together to Dublin for a few days at the end of their trip. I visited the city in 2014 and loved it so much, and I thought my family would enjoy seeing it as well. Some of my pictures below are from the 2014 trip, as I didn’t take as many this trip because I already had them saved to my camera roll!
I call Dublin the best city in the world. I love it. If given the chance, I’d move there immediately. It’s a beautiful city full of incredible things to see. It was also a little refreshing to be in an English speaking country again. Living in Spain is fun, and not too difficult when you speak Spanish, but it’s always simpler to be in a place where everything is in your first language. I also could stop translating for my whole family, and I think they were relieved to be able to not need me for every little thing.
As an Arizona native, what made me fall in love so much with Ireland was all the greenery. Everything is green and I just can’t get enough. I probably have a 100 photos of the same fields because I was so amazed that it was all so lush. We didn’t get a chance to leave the city on this last trip, but the city of Dublin had plenty to offer.
On my first trip, I didn’t visit inside Dublin Castle, but we went inside this time. While not as large as Madrid’s Palacio Real, it’s very interesting in its own way and has a wealth of information inside about the role of the British monarchy in Ireland and the revolution.
There are also some huge staterooms, decorated very lavishly and with the coats of arms of different Irish families.
The grounds of the castle are also very beautiful and green, with architecture very distinctively castle-like. On this site there used to be a dark pool (Dublin comes from the Gaelic dubh linn, meaning ‘dark pool’) that isn’t there anymore.
Dublin is pretty easy to get around, though Madrid’s public transportation system is vastly better. Dublin has no metro system, and people use buses instead to get around. The system is a little confusing and we landed on a national holiday, making the bus system even more limited. However, it’s pretty walkable and as long as you know where the river is, you can find your way around.
It was nice to show my family to all the places I loved when I came to visit, but we also went to a few new places, like the Natural History Museum and the Botanic Gardens. The Gardens are huge, and composed of a series of greenhouses as well as extensive grounds. It was incredible that there were so many tropical plants in Ireland! It was a little chilly because we visited in December, but we were sweating inside the greenhouses.
The national museums and Botanic Gardens were also free, which definitely was nice!
While we didn’t have a ton of time in Dublin, I’m glad I had the chance to go back and that my family could see a little of what I saw during my last trip to Europe. Maybe they’ll have caught the bug and will go there another time- my brother seems to agree with me about the charms of Ireland!
It was difficult leaving a place I love so much to come back to Madrid, but I’m sure I can visit again. It was even more difficult having my family leave, but thankfully with modern technology we can keep in touch easily. Nothing is the same as having the people you love around you though!