Spring Has Sprung in Dublin…

Explorer Beastie With Baby Daffodils - CrawCrafts Beasties…So Explorer Beastie and I could hardly wait to get outside and enjoy some unexpected sun yesterday afternoon! And with St Patrick’s Day coming up next week, where better to hang out than in St Patrick’s Park? The park is right beside St Patrick’s Cathedral, so you really can’t miss it… The Cathedral’s tall spire dominates the skyline for miles around!
St Patrick's Cathedral - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd once you get up close, it’s really striking.
The Front of St Patrick's Cathedral - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe site of the Cathedral was chosen because St Patrick is said to have baptised people into Christianity here, back in 450AD. There has been a church dedicated to him in this area for more than a thousand years – its first documented mention was in 890! Although it has grown and changed a lot since then, most of what you see here today was built between 1220-60. The exterior is covered in interesting little details, for anyone with the time to take a closer look…
Cathedral Closeups - CrawCrafts Beasties…Although only one of us was small enough to be able to sneak in for a full investigation!Explorer Beastie Goes for a Closer Look - CrawCrafts BeastiesOnce I’d managed to persuade Explorer Beastie to rejoin me on the right side of the fence, he had a great time tearing around the park. There were trees to climb…
Explorer Beastie Climbing Trees - CrawCrafts Beasties… Steps to scale…
Explorer Beastie on the Steps - CrawCrafts Beasties…And of course, he had to take a look at the fountain in the centre of the park!
Explorer Beastie at the Fountain - CrawCrafts BeastiesThey’ve also been busy filling the flowerbeds with brightly-coloured plants for Spring, as you can see.

“Check these out – they’re the same colours as me!”
Explorer Beastie Enjoys the Spring Flowers - CrawCrafts BeastiesAll this left him pretty tuckered out, so we sat on one of the benches for a while and watched the world go by…
Explorer Beastie Takes a Weight Off - CrawCrafts Beasties…Before heading off into the sunset!
Explorer Beastie Heads for Home - CrawCrafts BeastiesIf you should find yourself in Dublin, St Patrick’s Cathedral and Park are open year-round (although the park does close earlier in the winter). A visit to the Cathedral will set you back €6 (€5 for OAPs and students)… but access to the park is totally free! Although it’s a popular tourist spot, many locals also use the park as a place to relax, walk their dogs or enjoy a bit of greenery on their way to work.

And once you’re there, you’re well on your way to exploring the lesser-travelled paths of Dublin 8… But we’ll save that for another day!

Do any of you have a favourite local park? Let us know in the comments!

Nice Day For A Monster Wedding…

Bride Beastie with Crocuses - CrawCrafts Beasties
Well, it’s been a long old winter… but over the last few weeks, it really has started to feel like spring is on the way! The flowerbeds in the park on my way to work are a riot of colour, there are fresh green leaves on the trees outside my window, and the sun is even daring to peek out from behind the clouds every once in a while!

The arrival of spring also heralds the start of the wedding season… and it looks like this event isn’t limited to Dublin’s human population! A recent burst of sunshine saw me taking a day trip to the National Botanical Gardens just north of the city centre, where I encountered a blushing Beastie bride posing for photos among the flowers!
Bride Beastie in Heather - CrawCrafts Beasties
I first found her standing in a patch of heather. The tiny purple and white flowers really work well with her delicate pale blue skin tone, don’t you think?
Bride Beastie at the Miniature Waterfall - CrawCrafts Beasties
We also took a picture at the picturesque Beastie-sized waterfall that flows through the rockery and Japanese-style garden!
And of course, it’s not a proper springtime photoshoot without a host of golden daffodils in there somewhere, so…
Bride Beastie with Daffodils - CrawCrafts Beasties
After that, we took a stroll through the crocuses in search of more photo opportunities inside the glasshouses… the one you can see in the background of this picture is the Palm House, which is the largest in the gardens. It’s full of awesome tropical plants, such as coffee, banana trees and enormous bamboo canes!
Bride Beastie heads for the Palm House - CrawCrafts Beasties
But Bride Beastie preferred something a little less exotic as a backdrop, so we set her up against these richly-coloured cyclamens instead.
Bride Beaste with Cyclamens - CrawCrafts Beasties
It also turned out to be a prime location for some closeups of her elegant wedding hairdo, veil and bouquet!
Bride Beastie's Hair and Veil - CrawCrafts BeastiesBride Beastie's Bouquet - CrawCrafts BeastiesAfter all that, I figured it was time to let her get back to her wedding party! Hopefully she’ll keep in touch and send on some photos from her honeymoon…