Up at a reasonable time and out to find breakfast. Then we grabbed the hop On Hop Off to continue our guided tour of the city. These bus tours are so worth the fee for the excellent history and comical narration from the bus driver. Dublin is fascinating with its rich past of fortune and despair. We even saw bullet holes in some of the statues from the Easter Rising of 1916. Our first Hop Off was in the south quarter where we strolled through St. Stephen Green to see the statue of James Joyce and then made our way through quaint cobble stones streets to the Marsh’s Library (1700’s) where Ireland’s notable literaries (James Joyce, Jonathan Swift and Bram Stoker of Dracula fame would have sat and read for hours).
Continuing on the bus tour we arrived at the Jameson Whiskey Distillery and thoroughly enjoyed the interesting tour ending with a fantastic tasting of three whiskeys (Irish, Scottish and American)… of course the Jameson was the best 🙂 After the distillery, we continued on the bus tour to the north quarter passing many famous landmarks along the way. What a great way to see a new city. Final destination for us was Trinity College where we strolled through the campus grounds. We had every intention of seeing the famous Book of Kells (world’s oldest known illustrated manuscript of the new testament – 7th century) but the $30 entrance fee to see just a single page for 2 minutes was a bit too steep for us…so we passed by). Instead, we carried on to Merrion Square and enjoyed the statue of Oscar Wilde – poet and dramatist – for free. We shopped our way back along Nassau Street and were surprised at the throngs of people on Grafton Street – literally thousands of folks cramming the streets of this high end shopping district.
A quick rest at the hotel and we were off again to find dinner at the Quays Restaurant (pronounced Keys). Fantastic Lamb Shank and Seafood Pasta. The evening was calm and warm and music wafted through the air as musicians performed on the street corners. We strolled around until we found the perfect quiet little café and sipped our Irish Coffees to 70’s music. Our final night in Dublin was absolutely perfect. Tomorrow we are off to Kildare and Kilkenny for what promises to be an incredible Irish feast for the eyes.