My two visits to Dublin were vastly different. The first, I was alone and although enjoyed the rich history, I couldn’t fight the wave of loneliness. The second, I scurried around town taking ridiculous pictures with my wife, laughing and having a ball. I must admit that I felt quite adept at the whole travel thing when I navigated us around town, reliving memories from the summer before when I was alone. I was trying to impress her, still in the early phases of our relationship, hoping she would find me worldly.
We lounged around the green in front of Dublin Castle, admired the Georgian homes with a multitude of colored doors, and marveled at the architecture of Christ Church Cathedral. Rain deluged our attempts at photographing the scarlet hued tulips in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, but enjoyed its beauty nonetheless.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is where St. Patrick baptized converts to Christianity in 450 AD. It is also where Jonathan Swift is interred in his tomb.
My favorite place in Dublin is Trinity College, founded in 1592. The Long Room houses over 200,000 books and exhibits the 9th century manuscript called the Book of Kells. It is a bibliophile’s paradise.
We frolicked to and fro delighting in the beauty of every building, both notable and common. We toured Kilmainham Gaol where the leaders of the 1916 rebels were executed, poured our own Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse, and strolled along Grafton Street and St. Stephens Green.
Dublin was the first stop of our summer backpacking tour of Europe, when we dipped our toes ever so slightly into the waters of traveling as a couple. We gelled perfectly, our travel styles aligned seamlessly, and the summer flew by in the blink of an eye. We always recall that summer traveling together as when we both knew we would spend our lives together. Travel being such an integral part of each of our lives, something nonnegotiable, and something that we eased into so well as a couple. Dublin will forever be earmarked as a definitive moment, when the path of my life bent a touch to the left, just enough to encompass her in my journey. There aren’t many moments in life so pivotal, and they are truly unforgettable.