Tuesday, April 10, 2012

coffee - you can sleep when you are dead

This weekend, Emily and I hopped on a plane to Dublin to explore the Emerald Isle for Easter weekend.  We certainly had our ups and downs, but - like all good Brits - we kept calm and carried on.  

We woke up early on Saturday morning to catch our flight out of Heathrow at 7:30am.  When we arrived into Dublin, we were greeted by sunny skies and cheerful Irishmen who directed us toward a coach to get to the city.  Exhausted from our early morning, we decided to head first to The Bald Barista, a cafe with supposedly the best cup of coffee in Ireland.  
Outside of The Bald Barista

truer words were never spoken
My Americano absolutely did not disappoint.  In fact, it was the best cup of coffee that I have experienced thus far in Europe.  The barista really was bald too.  

Afterwards, to take advantage of this beautiful sunny day, we decided to go on a walking tour of the city.  We began at Dublin Castle where we took some time to learn about the history of this site and to explore the lawn and gardens. 
The castle courtyard

On the green

We continued our walk toward the historical Trinity College where I - as an obsessive Art History major - jumped at the opportunity to educate Emily about The Book of Kells manuscript, which is housed at the university. 
Trinity College

Since we were both tired, we decided to go for an early dinner at a restaurant called Cornucopia that I had learned about through my favourite vegan resource - happycow.net.  Rumoured to be full of wholefoods and vegetarian, I was certainly very excited for this meal.  Ultimately, the food completely exceeded all of our expectations.  For my main course, I enjoyed a plate of curried sweet potatoes with brown rice, a quinoa and mint salad, as well as a plate of mixed greens.  To top off the perfect meal, I had a delicious coconut oat bar filled with plump raspberries.  Even as a well-seasoned vegan restaurant connoisseur, I think this may have been the most amazing meal that I have ever experienced.  
In front of Cornucopia Wholefoods
The next morning, we woke early again because we were scheduled to take a tour to the Cliffs of Moher.  We waited out at the bus stop, however, for over a half hour, and the coach never arrived.  For a moment, we panicked at what a horrible day this was shaping up to be.  Quickly, though, we regrouped and began to consider our alternatives.  Back at our hostel, we grabbed a brochure for a tour company that offered day trips to the countryside to County Wicklow.  After a few quick phone calls, we were booked, and we headed off to meet our guide.  

Despite being cold, we had a very enjoyable day exploring the Irish countryside.  Quintessentially, we saw plenty of sheep, craggy rocks, and rolling hills. 

Just like with every other aspect of this trip, our tour of County Wicklow did not disappoint.  Ultimately, while we never did get to see the Cliffs of Moher, I had a wonderful weekend enjoying velvety rich coffee, delicious vegan food, and beautiful scenic sites with a fabulous friend.  The cliffs can wait anyways - I have a feeling that I will be back to the Emerald Isle once again.