It was finally time to visit Dublin. We had landed eight days earlier at the Dublin airport and had immediately left, headed to the Galway area. Now it was time to visit the city itself. Our course, there was the difficultly of navigating the train payment system. First off, as we were leaving from Leixlip and the train station was too far for us to walk, we had to pay for parking at the tiny little lot. On a weekend, this was not a problem - many open spots. Remember to have some coins handy for the machine. There is an app that allows you pay online, but we couldn't figure out how to use it time before the train arrived. The ticketing system was also a touch confusing for those of us who have never used it. Arrive early to figure it out and not feel rushed.
We arrived at Connolly Station north of the River Liffey late in the morning. The station was easy to navigate and we were onto the streets of Dublin in no time. Our first stop was lunch, and we ducked into a mall that housed the EPIC Irish immigration museum, along with many other things. This is not a place for that special meal - it's a mall. But, we did have a decent lunch at Freshii. Sometimes, you just have to do that sort of thing.
Our first interesting stop was the Jeanie Johnson, a ship used during the famine to transport passengers to North America and a new life. The guide was excellent and took us through the ship and told the story of the famine, the crew, and several of the passengers. It was a very interesting visit and I learned quite a bit about the famine, one of the key events in Irish history.
We wandered the streets south of the river and down to Merrion Square, home of the famous Oscar Wilde statue and a nice place to while away a lazy afternoon.