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We arrived in Dublin at 9 am after an 8 hour flight from New York. The Gresham Hotel would be our home for our first and last nights in Ireland. We met Valerie who would be our guide for the next 10 days, and our bus driver Jim. Then we were off on a short bus tour of the city. Buildings in Dublin date from the 1100's. There are beautiful georgian houses built betwen 1750 and 1850. They all have four floors with windows growing smaller at each level. Doors are painted bright red, green, blue or yellow. There is a law in Dublin that no building can be higher than 2.5 times the width of the street.

We visited Phoenix Park which is not only a huge public park but also home to the US Ambassador to Ireland and the President of the Republic of Ireland (who happens to be a woman!).



Moore Street MarketAlthough we were feeling jet-lagged from the overnight flight, our guide recommended we fight the urge to go directly to bed and instead take a nice walk around the city so we could go to bed at a more normal hour. We decided to heed her advice and amazingly started to feel better as we hit the pavement. Our first stop was Moore Street (Barb and Colleen's maiden name). This is an outdoor farmer's market where we found everything from flowers to produce. And the surrounding stores reminded us of the old neighborhood stores that used to be found in the US before strip malls and supermarkets took over. Ha'Penny Bridge


We walked over the Ha'Penny pedestrian bridge to the Bohemian area of Temple Bar with its many pubs and restaurants.Then on to Grafton Street which is the major pedestrian mall and shopping area. We couldn't believe how crowded Dublin is - vehicular traffic is horrible and pedestrian traffic even worse. Grafton StreetYou can't be in a hurry to go anywhere.


We returned to Dublin on the last day of our tour and had more time to visit some of the historic buildings and museums. We chose to see the Book of Kells exhibit at Book of KellsTrinity College. This is a magnificently illustrated manuscript containing the 4 Gospels of the new testament. It was written by monks about 800 AD on parchment made of cow-hide. They hand scripted it in Gaelic and illustrated it with vivid drawings. Every day two different pages from the actual Book are put on display. In addition there is a wonderful exhibit which explains about the making of the Book of Kells and the meaning of some of the illustrations.

Trinity College LibraryEven more impressive than the Book of Kells though was the Long Room which is a huge multi-level library housing 200,000 old books and manuscripts stacked floor to ceiling. Ladders reach from floor to ceiling along each wall to reach the top levels. Our mouths dropped open when we entered the library. We couldn't take pictures but we've included a copy of a postcard we bought to give you an idea how this awesome place looks.

Burlington Cabaret DancersOur last evening in Dublin we attended the Traditional Irish Cabaret dinner show at the Burlington hotel.. Some wonderful singers, musicians and dancers entertained us with traditional Irish songs. A great way to end our visit to Ireland.


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