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Dublin is both the largest city and capital of Ireland. It is located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin Region. Founded as a Viking settlement, the city has been Ireland's primary city for most of the island's history since medieval times. Today, it is an economic, administrative and cultural centre for the island of Ireland and has one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city.
The city has a world-famous literary history, having produced many prominent literary figures, including Nobel laureates William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. Other influential writers and playwrights from Dublin include Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and the creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker. It is arguably most famous, however, as the location of the greatest works of James Joyce. Dubliners is a collection of short stories by Joyce about incidents and characters typical of residents of the city in the early part of the 20th century. His most celebrated work, Ulysses, is also set in Dublin and full of topical detail. Additional widely celebrated writers from the city include J.M. Synge, Seán O'Casey, Brendan Behan, Maeve Binchy, and Roddy Doyle. Ireland's biggest libraries and literary museums are found in Dublin, including the National Print Museum of Ireland and National Library of Ireland.
There is a vibrant nightlife in Dublin and it is reputedly one of the most youthful cities in Europe - with estimates of 50% of inhabitants being younger than 25. Furthermore in 2007, it was voted the friendliest city in Europe. Like the rest of Ireland, there are pubs right across the city centre. The area around St. Stephen's Green - especially Harcourt Street, Camden Street, Wexford Street and Leeson Street - is a centre for some of the most popular nightclubs and pubs in Dublin. The internationally best-known area for nightlife is the Temple Bar area just south of the River Liffey.
We enjoyed our trip to Ireland immensely. The hotel accommodations were all very nice, including the breakfasts. The locations worked out well, allowing us to walk to some destinations in each town.
One suggestion regarding the car rental: Driving in Ireland was very nerve-wracking, mostly due to the narrow roads (not to mention driving on the "other side" and the roundabouts). We purchased extra insurance, which was a very good idea as I put a large scratch on the side of the car, running into a wall on the Ring of Kerry. We lost the deductible (250 Euros) but it would have been much worse had we not purchased the extra insurance. I would recommend adding that into the car rental cost and giving the customer the option to decline - that way they are at least alerted to the possibility of incurring damage and what it will cost if they do. I am glad that we considered the possibility, but I think others may not. Also, I think the car rental companies should put strip of molding on the doors so that repairing something like a scratch could be done more cheaply. They told us the body work would be expensive as the scratch went across the two doors - but if there had been molding on the door, it would have been much easier and cheaper to repair.
The GPS was very useful. However we were not able to enter the coordinates, which was used for most of the hotel locations. We asked someone at a hotel for help and he wasn't able to enter the coordinates, either. Full addresses for the hotels should be included with the vouchers. We ended up finding the hotels by "trial and error" once in the towns.
I think that's about it for the "ugly". Most of the trip was beautiful and I would recommend your service to others traveling to Ireland.
Attached is a picture of me with the dancers statue in front of the Bru Boru Cultural Centre, near the Rock of Cashel.
Feel free to use it on your website - and let me know if you do.
All the best...Anne Stratton
Anne Stratton, Bethesda, MD, USA