The village of Ducaj near Boge, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Tirana Airport, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Porto, Portugal on June 25th!

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Into the big city of Dublin

We had another delicious breakfast in the hotel, then packed our things in Max and said our goodbyes to the rest of the wedding party and guests. 

Then we did the short drive over to historic Castletown House. Again, we made use of our English Heritage Pass to take advantage of the guided tour of the house itself.

Our breakfast table.

Castletown House was built between 1722 and 1729. It's considered to be the first and largest Palladian style home in Ireland. Personally, I find the exterior to be kind of boring, but the interior was interesting.

Castletown House.

We booked the 12:00pm tour which gave us some time to wander the garden behind for a few minutes.

No, this is not a leprechaun!
This is a Pooka... a type of Irish fairy.

The back of the house.

The back of the house.

The tour was quite long. It started at 12 noon and we didn't finish until just after 1:30pm. There were three children on the tour, and although they were really good, they didn't last and they called it quits about half way through. Our tour guide Pauline was fantastic... what a wealth of knowledge she was.

Pauline giving us an introduction talk.

The cantilever staircase.

The grand entranceway.

Looking upstairs.

A lot of the tour talk was about the lifestyles and idiosyncrasies of the owners and their servants who lived here over the years. It was pretty interesting. 

Originally built by wealthy landowner William Conolly, it was completed just in time for his death in 1729! It passed through several generations of heirs, before the estate was eventually sold to a developer in 1965 when the house needed extensive repairs.

However it wasn't until 1994 that the Office of Public Works accepted the home into its collection and began extensive and ongoing restoration.

The dining room.


The chandeliers in the ballroom were amazing.

We enjoyed the tour!

Afterwards, we relaxed in the parking lot for a while, then later in the afternoon we drove into Dublin. 

Dublin is big on toll roads. There is a sort of a ring road that has a toll, but there are no toll booths. 

You have to pay online before 8:00pm the next day.

I tried to pay online, but it's not accepting my Canadian credit card. So I need to find a "payzone" location in the city where I can pay by cash. Apparently there are lots of them.

Then there is a very expensive tunnel you can use... it's only €3 on weekends (but €10 during daylight hours Monday to Friday!), and I was going to take it just out of convenience, but I missed the turn! We ended up on fairly busy city streets, but managed our way through unscathed. Then, at the port we had to pay a small toll bridge as well.

But, I found us a suitable free parking spot near the port where we are comfortable leaving Max while we walk the forty minutes or so into central Dublin. There are quite a few things we want to see here, so we'll probably stay three nights.

Nice deal on this Hydroponic Garden Seed Kit.

And in Canada...


  1. My first thought when I saw the picture of Castletown House was that it looked like a boys reform school.
    That decorative plasterwork is impressive.

    1. Lol, yep that or a boarding school!

      We wee told that the plaster work was actually done on the walls itself, not made beforehand and then stuck to the walls, we though that was pretty impressive.

  2. I would hate to be the person who has to dust those chandeliers! Very impressive interior, but I agree with you about the exterior. Insane asylum chic, perhaps?!

    1. No kidding, that would have been a task in itself. We were glad to see that the inside of the house made up for the lack of grandeur on the outside, definitely not as impressive.


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