A weekend in Ireland

A couple weekends ago I went to Dublin, I want to share the top three highlights of my weekend.

Trinity College

The tour of the exterior of the campus was guided,  our tour was very hurried due to the torrential downpour and not that interesting.  The most interesting thing to note is that the school didn’t pay for the design

s of any of the buildings shows in the picture below.  One was unpaid after a design competition and the other the school just decided not to send the architect a check because he refused to come to collect payment in person.  On top of that, the buildings on the left and right are exact duplicates.

Inside the campus of Trinity College Dublin (Wikipedia)



The inside of the library was much more beautiful and fascinating.  Inside the library is the beautiful room pictured below, called the Long Room.  This is in the Old Library and is no longer in use, it was built in the 1700’s.  It includes many treasures such as 14 busts of famous authors, a copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic (their Declaration of Independence) and the oldest hard in Ireland (from the 15th century).

Image result for the long room trinity college

The Long Room Trinity College (Wikipedia)


Last but not least the thing that Trinity College is most famous for, The Book of Kells.  The Book of Kells is a 1200 year old heavily decorated manuscript containing the four Gospels of the New Testament.  The book is there on display are some pages of it as well as some pages of other smaller and less ornate manuscripts from that era.  It’s part of a big exhibit breaking down major parts of the book as well as how and where it was created.  The guided tour plus entry to this exhibit and the Long Room were all part of a ticket that was under $20 USD.

Page in the Book of Kells (Wikipedia)

Jameson distillery tour

I did a couple of alcohol distillery tours.  This one was by far the best.  The tour takes about an hour in total.  It consists of a short film documenting the history of Jameson company and how they got to where they are today then it continues with an interactive explanation of how whiskey is made and it finishes with a comparative tasting in which you taste Jameson and it’s foreign competitors (Scotch whiskey and American whiskey).  The ticket also includes one free drink at the bar upon the conclusion of the tour.  Between this tour, the Guiness tour and the Irish Whiskey Museum tour (all of which I did), the Jameson tour was by far the most polished and informative experience.


Cliffs of Moher day trip

This was my favorite thing I did in Ireland and probably my favorite thing I have done the whole semester.  We took a full day bus trip (6am to 7pm).  First, we drove from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher (4-6 hours) which was absolutely the most beautiful thing I saw this semester.  Two of my favorite pictures are below but you can see a few more including higher-res versions of these two here.  After the cliffs, we took a two hour drive to Galway a charming town in West of Ireland (It was raining so I didn’t get any good pictures) but it’s definitely worth a short visit.  After that was a four hour drive back to Dublin.  The bus ride was beautiful and everywhere we stopped was beautiful.  The whole day trip cost under $50 USD and was easily the best and most beautiful thing I’ve done this semester.

Esztergom and Štúrovo


This weekend we went to Esztergom, Hungary and Štúrovo, Slovakia.  Esztergom is small city located about 30 miles north of Budapest.  It took us about an hour and a half to get there via train.  This charming little town is home to the Esztergom Basilica, the largest church in Hungary.  It is also home to the largest Christian museum in Hungary (which we unfortunately

forgot about and did not visit).


Our visit started off by crossing

Sign on the Mária Valéria Bridge indicating entry to Slovakia

the Mária Valéria Bridge to see Štúrovo, Slovakia.  We were shocked to find that there was no border protection whatsoever, people were free to cross the bridge back and forth. Štúrovo is very underwhelming, it’s just a normal town with many pastel colored apartment buildings.  It’s an ancient town that’s been inhabited for at least a thousand years but being a border town especially one on the Danube will bring war and destruction.  Becuase of this much of the town is not very old and the biggest attraction in the town is a large thermal bath resort (which we did not visit but saw on the map).

Apartment building in Štúrovo, Slovakia

View of the Basilica from Stúrovo, Slovakia

We ate lunch at a restaurant in Štúrovo and then crossed back for the night.  The next morning it was raining but we hadn’t walked around Esztergom and we wanted to see the Basilica and another cool looking church we had spotted while searching for dinner.  All of my pictures from inside the Basilica didn’t come out very well because I was using my phone.  But the Basilica is much much bigger than it looks unfortunately the dome and a third of the church were under construction and we were unable to see many of the paintings.

Church on top of hill in Esztergom, Hungary

We made the trek across town to this church which was nothing special, but it did give a spectacular view of the Basilica.

View of Esztergom Basilica from other side of town

The town was small and homely.  We took this trip to seek reprieve from city living and we certainly got it.  We have a lot more trips in the upcoming weeks and months we will be going to Lake Balaton (wine country in Hungary), Athens, Barcelona, Prague, Vienna, Italy with more to be planned.

Stay tuned,