Monday, after landing in Dublin, we jumped right on the train heading south to Limerick (yes, it is a city). The next day, we drove west, stopping at Bunratty Castle that included a reconstructed Irish village (much larger than the Scottish one) then on to the Cliffs of Moher. What a fantastic sight, but it is also hard to photograph! Continuing the rock fascination, we putted around looking for the Burren (not so easy to find, but we explored an abandoned church along the way). We did eventually find it; a field of rocks broken apart in small crevasses… well, you have to see it to understand. Also featured was a small monolithic manmade rock formation. Very neat landscape!
And again, to continue the rock theme, on Wednesday we drove to the Rock of Cashel. This was a monastery in its day, built atop a hill with a commanding view of the Irish countryside. We took the guided tour, then made our way back to Limerick to catch the train up to Dublin.
Thursday was my birthday, and I wanted to see some awesome libraries. Our first stop was at Trinity College to see the famously lovely library; however, no photography allowed. No photography allowed!! I was so put out. So we left for the National Library, also no photography… then to the Beatty Library at Dublin Castle (we toured the castle as well) â€“ it was featuring an old religions exhibit we walked through â€“ but not very photogenic, and finally the Marsh Old City Library that was exhibiting old medical texts (some â€œcuresâ€ were very interesting), but again, no photography! It was not my day. We wrapped it up with a new local play called Bookworms, a humorous drama about a book club that invites their husbands and secrets start popping up.
We had seen a lot of Dublin walking around on my birthday, so we filled in the last day with a walk to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Guinness Storehouse. Comparing the Guinness brewery to the Heineken brewery, I liked the one in Amsterdam more. Of course, I don’t drink, so a drinker may say otherwise. The next day we flew back, quite exhausted from our vacation. I’m thinking attaching the second leg of the trip (Ireland) may not have been ideal, but I am glad we went.