Our second day in Dublin began bright and early with a tour of one of Ireland's oldest castles, Malahide Castle. We jumped aboard the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus, took a seat on the uncovered second level, and enjoyed a swift thirty minute drive to the 260-acre estate. After a brief walk around the courtyard, we entered the ancient castle. Numerous signs hung lopsidedly in the hallway warning visitors to quickly exit if the stone walls began to crumble. We climbed several flights of stairs to reach four open rooms that were once occupied by the Talbot family. The history behind each doorway was fascinating. Our speaker was animated and enthusiastic, describing each member of the family in vivid detail. Our group wandered from room to room, admiring the artwork on the walls as well as the antiquated furniture and decor. The guided walk-through was fairly short, lasting only twenty minutes or so. Afterwards, we had a few minutes of free time to browse the gardens, visit the gift shop, and grab a cup of tea at the café. I couldn't believe how close Malahide Castle was to Dublin, lying just outside the city limits. I also couldn't believe that a family once lived within the grandiose walls of the castle. It felt like Michael and I had traveled back in time, immersing ourselves completely in the rich history of the estate. I loved that feeling. It was definitely part of the romanticism I imagined before visiting Europe, and it didn't disappoint.