Dublin and Vicinity
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In Dublin's Fair City

There's something that just exudes culture about Dublin and Ireland in general. From literature to plays, to music and dance, there's a level of energy that's apparent in Dublin. We would have liked to dawdle a bit more in the area, but summer is short on the Irish Sea.

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Trinity College
Trinity College was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I. Its alumni include literary figures Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Nobel prizewinners in science and mathematics, and political leaders around the world. But the present draw is the ancient illuminated manuscript The Book of Kells, gloriously exhibited in the school's library.
Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle was originally built by the Normans as a defensive fortification, and later served as the seat of British rule until Ireland's independence in 1922. Today, it serves a few ceremonial purposes and its restored rooms are a popular attraction for tourists. Here is the Throne Room, which was used by visiting monarchs, including Queen Victoria. The throne itself was constructed for King George IV in 1821, and was last used by George V in 1911.
Tourist Center
Even the Tourist Information Center is in a historical building -- the restored church of St. Andrew.
James Joyce Museum
Martello towers like this one were constructed during the Napoleonic Wars. James Joyce and two colleagues stayed in this one, but Joyce left abruptly after one of his roommates fired a gun in his direction. The incident inspired the first scene in the novel Ulysses, indeed the first words: "Stately, plump Buck Mulligan".
Dalkey Castle
Dalkey, near Dublin, was an important medieval port city, fortified by castles, two of which remain. One houses the Heritage Center, which brings history to life in the form of tours guided by medieval presenters. This guy -- a barber, surgeon, and dentist -- couldn't find any takers among the audience for a tooth extraction with his rusty pliers.