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Published: July 22nd 2019
Samuel Beckett Bridge
Samuel Beckett Bridge over the River Lee. Designed by Santiago Calatrava and opened in 2009.
Returning to Dublin the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough, we drove up the left bank of the Liffey, admiring the many bridges. Because of the delayed arrival of Caribbean Princess at Dublin that morning, the tour was about two hours behind schedule. The motorcoach let us off at Trinity College for some planned free time to explore. We made a dash for Trinity College Library to see the Book of Kells exhibit before it closed at 5:00 p.m. The Book of Kells is an elaborately illuminated manuscript book of the Gospels ca. 800, a must-see in Dublin. We made it in time to see it and its companions on display, as well as the Long Room, the original reading room of the library, now a museum. Afterwards, there was time to see the main campus area and the neoclassical Bank of Ireland building (originally the Irish Parliament) outside the main campus gate.
The motorcoach returned to pick everyone up along Nassau Street. From there, we saw the famous Georgian Doors of Dublin, Christ Church Cathedral (Church of Ireland), St. Patrick's Cathedral and then up the right bank of the Liffey. A landmark I wanted to see was the Four Courts and
Irish Museum of Modern Art
Irish Museum of Modern Art. Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Built as a home for retired soldiers of the Irish Army in 1679-1687.
its famous dome. (The courthouse burned during the Irish Civil War and was later rebuilt.) I did see it, as best I could, as the dome was under scaffolding and much of the facade obscured by summer foliage. Reaching Phoenix Park, we saw the Phoenix Column, the Irish President's residence and the Wellington Monument along Chesterfield Avenue. (Our guide questioned why the Wellington Monument, erected between 1816 and 1861, had not been removed. Wellington, however, was born in Dublin in 1769, though I imagine he does not find favour with Dubliners.)
Driving through the Kilmainham district, our driver/guide told of his grandfather who, as a teenager, had taken part in the Rising of 1916. He had been held at Kilmainham Gaol, but released due to his young age. (We were near the Kilmainham Gaol museum but did not see it.) Our driver was of the opinion that violent action, then and in more recent times, while regrettable, had been necessary to achieve the goal of independence. He hopes for the eventual reunification of Northern Ireland with the Republic, which he believes will happen in the not very distant future. Returning to Dublin Port, we noted the newest River Liffey
Rory O'More Bridge
Rory O'More Bridge on the River Liffey. Built in 1859 as Victoria & Albert Bridge. Renamed in 1930.
crossing, the Samuel Beckett Bridge, opened in 2009. This modern bridge is in the shape of an stylized Irish harp.
There is no passenger cruise terminal at the Port of Dublin, so the ship was docked at a cargo pier near the point the River Liffey enters the harbour. (The ship actually swung around and backed into the pier.)
Caribbean Princess sailed at dusk providing a view of the sunset behind Dublin. In the evening Susan and I enjoyed the Irish music of Laura Callahan. She performed most evenings during the cruise and was always a delight to hear.
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