Right next to the traffic island where I took that picture is Trinity College, where I spent a wonderful afternoon having an "academic date" with another grad student there who was working on a dissertation about shaped notes. After lunch in the school cafeteria and a couple of hours geeking out about his research in his office, he took me to see the Book of Kells. Trinity students can get in free, and they can bring a friend, which was pretty cool. Trinity College:
Walking down the road from Trinity, after a few false starts, you come across this rather charming facade. It's the headquarters for Dublin's oldest surviving charity.
It's strategically located, as right beyond it is Dublin Castle, home of the city government. The Castle itself is actually more of an eighteenth-century palace, but the chapel does look kind of castle-y.
At the sides of the door, locked in eternal conversation, are Famous King Brian Boru and Famous Bishop Saint Patrick:
Getting up close, you have to love their expressions.
Dublin has some lovely parks. In one of them, there's a monument to Oscar Wilde, featuring a couple of columns of his witticisms, and the man himself presiding over his little corner:
In another park, there are more memorials to Famous Irish Persons. Among these memorials is a subtle one that was, for me at least, the most moving of all. It's a bench with a small plaque dedicating it to the inmates of the Magdalen laundries. Apparently, it's the most recent of the memorials in that particular park, since it's taken the Irish government quite a while to acknowledge that imprisoning and enslaving rape victims was a Bad Thing (and I think it took them until the 1990s to actually stop doing it). But the bench is a lovely idea. The Magdalen laundry slaves, who were worked to death, are honored with a place of rest.
To end on a lighter note, the bit of Dublin that's just south of the river has some gorgeous Georgian architecture. Even the street lamps are fancy:
But it's the doorways that are the most famous of all, and they are well worth a gander. All the doors are different colors, and they have really nice fan windows arching over them.
I loved this purple one with the face on the knocker. And I still get a kick out of the idea that all the doorknobs are in the middle of the doors! It seems like the idea of a Hobbit hole with a round door with the doorknob exactly in the middle wasn't quite as fanciful an invention as I'd imagined. The only thing Tolkien seems to have pulled from his imagination is that the door itself would be round. The things you learn when you travel!
Anyway, those are the highlights of my jaunt through Ireland. Hope you enjoyed them, and sorry about taking so long to finish.