Published On: 2013/10/09

Ireland. Just wow. Sorry for the lack of descriptive adjectives (I really should know better by now), but I was most definitely just wowed by this country — in the best possible way! I got back from Ireland less than 48 hours ago and already dream of going back.

I pretty much expected to find mostly sheep, green meadows, and drizzle in Ireland, but what I actually got was amazing people, gorgeous landscapes, and impressive architecture. It will take weeks (and several posts and photo essays) to recap my wonderful time in Ireland, but for now I just want to share first impressions via the Instagram photos I took on my phone.

Fall at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

My first stop in Ireland was in the little town of Bansha in the county of Cork, where I attended BlogHouse. BlogHouse was founded by successful professional bloggers, who wanted to pass on their knowledge about blogging to clueless younger bloggers like me in an intensive four day workshop. The term “house” seemed a bit inappropriate though, because we actually stayed in a castle in Bansha! Yes, I lived in a castle in rural Ireland for four days! How amazing is that — especially for an art historian obsessed with anything old and castle-y?! The best part however, was learning more about the things I love — writing and photography — and meeting the most inspiring people! I was so nervous about attending BlogHouse at first, but I left with so many new ideas and so many new friends!

Bansha Castle, Ireland Bansha Castle surrounded by beautiful fall colors

Bansha Castle, IrelandSee the tower window in the upper right corner? That was my bedroom!!

After BlogHouse I headed back to Dublin to attend one of the biggest Travel Media Conferences TBEX (Travel Blog EXchange), which started on the same day BlogHouse ended. My first few days in Dublin thus were filled with keynotes, breakout sessions, networking, and partying — or in other works drinking way too much Bulmers coffee. But despite being sleep-deprived, over-caffeinated, and having a slight information overload, I had the best time seeing so many old friends I met earlier this year in Rotterdam and making so many new ones.

Expedia Party, TBEX Dublin Nights out in Dublin! 

At Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, IrelandTBEX Opening Party at the Guinness Storehouse

After three days of TBEX events and festivities, I finally found a little time to catch my breath again and actually see a bit of the city I stayed in. I was so glad to have a little break from small-talking and elevator-pitching and spend some time by myself to explore Dublin and its surroundings. While I loved meeting so many brilliant people at BlogHouse and TBEX, strolling through the beautiful grounds of Dublin’s famous Trinity College in the sunshine (!) and finding stunning art and architecture by myself was just what I needed after all the blogging world craziness.

Reading room of the National Library, Dublin, IrelandThe gorgeous Reading Room of the National Library in Dublin

Inside the Irish National Library, Dublin, IrelandFinding wisdom (literally!) at the National Library

St Stephen's Green, Dublin, IrelandA fall morning in St Stephen’s Green park

St Stephen's Green, Dublin, IrelandRainy but beautiful St Stephen’s Green 

Doors in the rain, Dublin, IrelandDublin’s iconic colorful doors

Trinity College Bell Tower, Dublin, IrelandTrinity College on a perfect fall day

The Long Room, Trinity College, Dublin, IrelandThe famous old library at Trinity College 

Signs of fall, Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland

I fell in love with Dublin, its people, and Irish live music right away. I gazed at the beautiful Irish North Coast in awe, was fascinated by ruinous medieval graveyards, and intrigued by Ireland’s many mysterious legends. I will write about all this depth soon, but first I’ll just let the images speak for themselves. Pictures say more than thousand words and I really hope my newly discovered love for Ireland shines through.

Malahaide Castle, IrelandPretty Malahaide Castle 

Hill of Tara, IrelandThe Hill of Tara on a moody day

North Coast Dublin, IrelandDublin’s stunning Northern Coastline

What do you love about Ireland?

PS: You can find me on Instagram as JulikaSarah.