Thursday, 6 April 2017

National Botanic Gardens (Glasnevin)

I have to agree this time with the popular quote "Best things in life are free", because the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin are at the top of my list of best free attractions in Dublin (actually they are also at the top of my list of best Dublin attractions in general!)

 We went to visit the National Botanic Gardens last weekend and we absolutely loved them!

Asked my kid to write a short sentence about them to upload to this post and he wrote:

What else can we add???

Sun was shining on Sunday, when we arrived and there were not many people around so we had the chance to wander with no specific route (you can get a map at the visitor's centre, but what fun would that be? Much better to go "wild" without a map!)

First stop:

The Palm House - the spectacular glass house that can be seen at the top of the little hill when you enter the gardens.

Beautiful from outside - no doubt! - and stunning when you discover the inside... the plants transport you to different parts of the planet:

When you open the door, you immediately go into the desert, with cacti and succulents of different shapes and colours.

Sun was shining, which helped our imaginations place ourselves in the American deserts of the western movies.

Still in the glass house, you cross a door and you automatically move from John Wayne to Tarzan - the rain forest! (not bad eh? just by opening and closing a door the temperature increases a few degrees and the humidity increases.... an awful lot)

Can't remember any of their names, and the kids neither, but they WILL remember that there were plants that looked like dangerous octopus-like creatures directly imported from "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea"

...others that looked like giant peacocks - with their tails open, of course:

and others like beach parasols.

The second glass house (the Curvilinear Range, it's called) looks just as astonishing from whatever angle you look at it, with flowers of all kinds

Once we had explored the glass houses we let our feet take us around the park: from the vegetable and herb garden (very useful for the kids to see that spinach do not grow in plastic bags ) to the Tolka river. Those artichokes.... mmmmh!

The fun part would be climbing a couple of trees and all the walls in the gardens, rolling down every little hill we see, throwing stones to the river, looking for the biggest bee inside the flowers, chase the ducks (if ducks could talk!), talking to the squirrels.... I know - heaven!!!

Going from one place to the other with our imaginations working at full speed made us hungry so we  it was time to try the cafe by the entrance:

it certainly looks great and we have heard the cakes are really good, but unfortunately it was full so, we came up with the perfect alternative second stop in our adventure day:

GRIFFITH PARK  It is a lovely spot located only minutes away from the Botanic Gardens and has a super good playground (tested by the experts, you know...) and lots of space to organise an improvised picnic.

Kids had a lovely time in the playground and playing ball afterwards while adults enjoyed the sun and the unbeatable pleasure of doing nothing for a while.

As I was saying at the beginning, BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE

By the way, before I leave you: just wanted to mention that there are some workshops and events for children scheduled for the next weeks that are worth checking here - Enjoy!

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