Visit Dublin, Ireland, by Mouse
We took several day trips to other cities by train from various campgrounds. This time our day trip was from Holyhead in Wales to a city in another country, Dublin, Ireland (Tourist Board). The fast ferry we took covered the 74 miles between the two across the Irish Sea in under two hours. We learned about this trip in the campground in Caernarfon, Wales. The cost was so inexpensive--about $28.00 for the two of us--that we could not resist the chance to visit Ireland, where we never have been, for a few hours. The schedule was such that you could have about 6 hours in Dublin. That would be enough to walk around a bit and to take a city bus tour.
Everything was on schedule. We did walk around a bit and took a city bus tour. The tour allowed getting off and on and we took advantage of that by stopping to visit Trinity College, mostly the library where the Book of Kells is kept. We think that only four original pages of this over 1200 year old treasure of ancient calligraphy and illustration were on display but you learned a great deal about the history of the book, and there were illustrations of other pages. It survived many threats to its existence: Viking raids, having been stolen in the medieval period for the jewels that were on its cover and subsequently having spent a great deal of time buried underground, and Oliver Cromwell's occupation of the church in which it was kept. It has been in the Trinity College library since 1661. It is still gorgeous, amazingly looking as it must have looked when the Monks created it in the 800's. We could not take photographs but you can see some of the intricate designs on some pages of the volume in the preceding link. And you can see a photo of a tea towel with the design of a page from the book on the right hand side of this page. We bought the towel near the College. The Book of Kells and the 65 meter Long Room in the Old Library were the highlights of our visit, and either one alone worth the trip.
You should not take the following statements as in any way a recommendation concerning whether or not you would like to visit this city. We clearly were not there long enough to offer any judgement that anyone should take seriously. Be that as it may, we can share our impressions from the bus tour. We were not overly impressed by the city we saw. It seemed a little dingy to us. Perhaps this impression was formed by the grey day we toured. One of the prides of the city are many Georgian houses. Those we saw are indeed handsome, but rather plain. The best impression was made by the doors to these and other houses throughout the city, which are very pretty and varied. And some of the pubs were prettily embellished with flowers. A very popular stop on the bus tour was the Guinness brewery where many people got off the bus to tour the premises and partake of some free samples in the Guinness Storehouse, a pub in the round that looks pretty nice. However fine the brews are that come from this establishment, the plant is huge, looks like a factory and does not add to the city's attractiveness.
We are sure that this description of Dublin does not do justice to such a historic city.  But it is the best we can do.
Intrepid Traveler
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