Kilmainham Gaol was truly fascinating. It was a challenge getting there from our cruise ship as our port was very industrial without any taxis in sight. So we paid €16/person round trip from ship to Merrion Square via bus and €4/person more taxi to the gaol. The bus tool 30 minutes due filling it up with passengers and due to traffic so we were almost late for our prepaid tour. The history of the jail was indeed somber and explained much of Irish history, from claiming independence from England to Civil War. Our tour guide didn't have the best social skills but was an encyclopedia of Irish history. The limestone jail cells were haunting. The jail section that was an atrium had many movies as well as musical recordings produced there. Fascinating place.
Trim Castle, Hill of Tara, Howth Tour bus met us at the dock and we departed for the town of Trim, about 45 minutes away. Our bus driver was NOT a tour guide, and his brogue was so thick we couldn't understand him at all! Got to the Trim Castle before it opened at 10:00 so we were the first folks in. Had a very knowledgable tour guide and enjoyed seeing the castle, where parts of "Braveheart" were filmed. Very picturesque setting. After lunch (on our own), drove to Hill of Tara, an important spiritual archaeological site. Interesting history, and wonderful views from the top of the hill. Then on to the seaside town of Howth for a brief stop before returning to port. Saw a seal in the harbor. The Irish countryside is very green and lush. Would have liked to hear more about the sites in downtown Dublin as we were passing through.
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