My parents flew in from Austria on June 6, late in the evening. After getting them home from the airport, we caught up a bit before turning in to sleep (it was late, after all!). The next morning, the weather didn't appear to be too bad so we formulated a plan to go see something. Malahide castle is not too far away from the Dublin area, so it seemed like a likely candidate. We decided to drive down to Bray (a town just south of Dublin) and hop on the Dart train and take it all the way up the coast and through the city centre all the way up to the castle. It turns out that this was quite a bit longer a trip than we thought ... and with less coastal views than we rememebered. The Dart train isn't really something we take on a regular basis. Oh well.
Still, we made it to Malahide and wandered around the grounds for awhile trying to find the castle itself. There's a fairly sizeable park there, with a lot of trails, playgrounds, sports pitches and general grassy fields. It was a nice day though so we enjoyed a bit of a walk until we came across the castle itself. For some reason though, we came across it from the back entrance which was slightly confusing.
There was a guided tour starting right away, so we got in on that. Unfortunately, no photography was allowed inside (seems like too many places these days have a no photography policy). The tour was actually quite interesting -- It's pretty cool to hear about a building that has so much history. I'm not too sure how much I can remember from the tour, except for just a couple of details. The first being that in one of the rooms, there was an amazing marble table in one corner. The table's surface had several colours of stone inlaid like a mosaic, and it was incredibly beautiful. According to our audio tour, no one's been able to figure out how the person accomplished it ... The second thing I remember from the tour was a portrait in the stairwell of the castle. The portrait depicts a child wearing red shoes being held by her mother Mrs Talbot. The child would grow up to be the woman who sold the castle to the Irish State.
After the tour, we stopped in the cafe there for a quick lunch and then wandered back out onto the grounds for a bit. Eventually we returned back to the dart station and headed home.
That evening, we headed into the city centre on the LUAS and headed in for some dinner at the Gourmet Burger Kitchen. It had been on our list of places to go try, since several people had recommended it. Turns out it was actually quite good!
So that's how we spent the first full day my parents were here. Throughout the week, I went to work, so the next stuff I saw with them would be on the next weekend: our trip to the Irish West Coast.