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I’ve finally begun sorting through photos from the Europe trip, and I thought I’d share a few with you. This first set of images are all from the Dublin city centre. I’ll follow up later this week with the place that is nearest & dearest to my heart, Killiney Bay (one of the reasons I get drawn to Ireland again & again).

There are a number of fabulous hotels in Dublin’s city centre (The Clarence, The Merrion, & The Shelbourne to name a few). But for this trip, I decided to venture out & stay in a boutique hotel called The Fitzwilliam. Its location is perfect…right on St. Stephen’s Green (the main park in the city centre). It is also located right at the top of the primary shopping street, Grafton.

The Fitzwilliam’s lobby has eclectic decor & I love the purple & green color combo. In fact the purple theme went through the entire hotel. Even the doormen wear purple coats with tails & there are purple umbrellas hanging in each room! *LOL*

When I arrived in my room, I was greeted with this fresh plate of fruit & a box of chocolates.

Orchids were sitting on a table near a window overlooking the Green.

I decided to head outdoors with my camera & get some shots of the area. I started off on the Green. On any given day, you’ll see dozens of folks lounging around on the lawn, having a picnic during their lunch break, feeding the birds, or just sunbathing (on those rare days of Irish sunshine). There are several small ponds in the Green as well as a center section with fountains & manicured lawns:

I noticed several monuments built for famous men & women in Irish history. I was really taken with the female sculpture in this one. The monument was built for a man called James Clarence Mangan who was a famous poet from the 19th century. (Some of the greatest writers in the world have been Irish by the way – Yeats, Beckett, Shaw, Heaney, Joyce, Wilde, and the list goes on. Even Bram Stroker of Dracula fame was Irish. Weird, eh? ) According to the park directory, the woman in the middle of this monument represents Roisin Dubh, the last work of Willie Pearse.

Whenever you’re in an Irish garden, you’re bound to find gorgeous Irish roses. They almost look painted here:

Most of the street lamp posts in Dublin are decorated with flower baskets like this one. I love that… just makes you smile to be surrounded by flowers, ya know?

Grafton Street is a terrific place to go “people watch”. You can see all sorts of folks there since it is the main pedestrian shopping street in the city. There are always a number of street musicians performing, like this fabulous brass band. Have any of you seen the movie “Once” that won the Oscar this year for best song? In the film, the two main characters meet on Grafton street. 🙂

You can also find several vendors selling fresh flowers along the street. They were selling all kinds of varieties – from lilies to daisies to wildflowers. Just beautiful! If I had one of these on my street corner, I think I’d have fresh flowers in the house every day!

At the bottom of Grafton Street is Trinity College (the main college in Dublin). This is where the famous Book of Kells is housed. This beautiful monument sits in the center courtyard of the campus:

Eating out in Dublin can be a bit pricey (as can any European city with the dollar so weak right now), but there are still some great deals to be found. When I wasn’t in the mood for a big meal, I dropped into this lil’ restaurant. Not sure who came up with the name, but it’s a great place. 😀 It’s actually a fast food restaurant with a healthy twist. They sell stews in bread bowls, fresh lean meat & vegetarian wraps, & homemade smoothies. Really good stuff – the chicken pesto wrap was to die for!

That’s all for now – tune in for more pics from Killiney & London soon!

Hope you’re having a great week,