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Dublin, Ireland. (County Dublin)

Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship replica
Arriving in Dublin, we had a few hours to explore before a dinner show with folklore and music at the Brazen Head.  This spot is the oldest pub in Dublin, established in 1198.  Most of the sights to be visited in the city are within a fairly small radius, so it is easy to sightsee without using a vehicle or public transportation.  With one week on our schedule for Ireland, we had set aside just one full day for Dublin.  Our first evening, we walked along the River Liffey located in front of our hotel. The nearby Famine Memorial commorates the million plus Irish who died as a result of the potato famine (1845-1852) but it is also a memorial to the million or so who emigrated because of the famine.  It is built on the departure site of one of the first famine ships to leave the area in 1846 and depicts the emaciated human figures as if walking toward the emigration ships.  Also located along the Custom House Quay is the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship, this is a replica of a ship used to transport emigrants to America from 1847 to 1855.

The Custom House, originally completed in 1791 was responsible for the collection of custom duties.
Ha'penny Bridge
It was severely damaged by fire in 1921 during the Irish War of Independence.  The renovated building now houses government offices but no longer functions as the "custom house" even though it retains that name.  Further along our walk, we found the cast iron pedestrian bridge, Ha'penny built in 1816.  It was originally a toll bridge with turnstiles which required a one pence payment to cross.  The toll continued (with slight increases) until 1919 when the toll was dropped.

Making our way to the Brazen Head, Alan enjoyed a Guinness in the convivial downstairs patio area as we waited for our dinner/show time.  (Unfortunately, no gluten free options for me.)  Ascending the narrow stairway to our dining room, we shared a table with 8 other tourists, and quickly became friends with our table mates.  The program started with Irish history being woven with folklore and was interrupted periodically by the service of our three-course dinner.  Alan opted
At the Brazen Head Pub
for the Beef and Guinness Stew while I enjoyed a Traditional Irish Stew with lamb.  The program was completed with a selection of Irish tunes, so a fun evening.

The following morning, we made our way to St. Patrick's Cathedral.  This Anglican Church (previously Catholic) was founded in 1191 and is the national cathedral for Ireland.  A lovely park adjoins the church.  A few blocks away, we found the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral (previously Catholic) which was established around 1028.  You can experience a drone visit of the cathedral here.

Trinity College, founded in 1592, has a beautiful campus and is home to the largest library in the country with 6.2 million volumes.  The library houses the Book of Kells, created in 800 AD by Celtic monks.  The illustrated text depicts the 4 gospels of the New Testament written in Latin.  The book, which is considered to be one of the oldest in the world, can be seen with a tour of the library for 10 euros, but we decided to forego that opportunity, even though the book is considered a national treasure.

Oscar Wilde at the entrance to Merrion Square
Merrion Square Park laid out in 1762, became a public park in the 1960's.  Previously, the Square had been the home to politicians, lawyers, judges and a handful of successful writers, most notably Oscar Wilde, whose statue greets visitors at the entrance.  Next, we wandered over to St. Stephens Green Park, the largest park in Dublin.  With numerous statues, waterways and well-maintained gardens this park is an oasis in the middle of the large city.

The Guinness Storehouse and Jamison Irish Whiskey distillery tours are popular tourist attractions, but we by-passed on those stops.  Since Alan prefers wine and I prefer bourbon (and can't drink Guinness) and neither of us cares for whiskey, it would have been a wasted trip for us.  But, we were lulled into a pub in the Temple Bar area by the music filtering out the doors and the raucous crowd inside.  With 740 pubs licensed in Dublin, we haven't been able to figure out where we were, but suffice it to say that the Guinness was flowing, the musicians talented and the tourists (including us!) were all having a grand time.

The following morning we hired a taxi to travel to the other side of the city for our rental vehicle.  Now on to the countryside.
St. Stephens Park
At Trinity College campus
The Famine Memorial
At St. Stephen Park 
St. Patrick's Cathedral 
Christ Church Cathedral
The Custom House
In the Temple Bar area

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