Trip Start Mar 19, 2006
Trip End May 11, 2006

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Flag of Ireland  ,
Friday, March 24, 2006

When I found out that high speed ferries ply the Irish Sea in less than two hours, I could not resist heading to the Emerald Isle for another stamp in the passport. Took a train from Paddington to Holyhead Wales then took the Irish Ferry across.

Due to the somewhat limited high speed ferry schedule and the need to be in Liverpool by Saturday noon for the match at Anfield; I only had but an evening up to the following early afternoon in Dublin so I had to pack it in.

Took almost two hours to get from the Dublin Port to my room at the Berkeley Court Hotel (up the road from Landsdowne Road!), which I think I could have walked in half an hour. Exacerbated by the rainy weather got a taste of the unfortunate Dublin rush hour traffic--the city is apparently the only major European capital without an underground.

That evening, the concierge directed me to a live music/dinner at the Arlington Hotel near the O'Connell Monument. What seemed at the start to be a huge tourist trap actually was fairly pleasant meal accompanied by a skilled gypsy violin-guitar duo playing Irish tunes as well as a short Irish step dance routine (a la Riverdance sans Flatley). I would have been convinced that it was strictly tourists only fair but I was surrounded by Irish grandparents from outside Dublin--go figure.

The next morning woke up early to get a start on the day but was hampered again by the weather as well as the fact that all the sights and tour buses start up at 10am. Mostly due to lack of planning and dependence on the concierge, I opt for the tour bus. Manage to drop by St Patricks (with a noteably large tchotckes vendor inside) and the Kilmainham Gaol (Irish Bastille). Did a Tom Cruise-like flyby of the Guinness Storehouse, Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Customs House, Christ Church, St Stephens Green, the Mayors Mansion, Temple Bar and Dublin Castle.

I had to cut the gaol tour short so that I could hustle over to Dun Laoghaire for the Stena Lines back to England.
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