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 Editor's Review
They say there’s nothing to compare to a pint of Guinness taken on the banks of the Liffey. A day or two in Dublin is all novices need to acquire a taste for the dark stuff, helped by the infectious humour and charm of the locals. Trendy Temple Bar’s bohemian curio shops or the pubs in and around Grafton Street are a great place to start. Cultural treasures are not in short supply: landmarks like the restored Custom House, St Patrick’s Cathedral (Ireland’s largest church), and the lawns and quads of Trinity College head the list. A stop here will let you marvel at the illuminated pages of the Book of Kells, or the grand surroundings of the Old Library and its Long Room, over 200ft in length.
Let’s talk about Ireland. Because talking, the ‘craic’ as they have it in Gaelic, is a compulsory subject if you’re headed there. Guinness is important too, of course, because the Black Stuff comfortably lubricates the conversation to be had in any of the fine hostelries of Dublin’s Fair City. (Be warned that ‘Temple Bar’ is Dublin’s left bank or Latin Quarter, although there is also a pub of that name – very Irish!). Typically too, there’s a real statue of Molly Malone, although there’s doubt that the girl ‘so pretty’ ever existed. Of course, the fiction connection is endless – Swift, Joyce, Wilde, Shaw, O’Casey, Yeats, Beckett, Behan; all with their places of pilgrimage. But don’t let Dubliners persuade you life ends at the city boundaries. The Ring of Kerry boasts some of the finest landscapes in the world – though take an umbrella for the ‘soft weather’. The dramatic Atlantic coast with Galway Bay. Cork, Waterford and Wexford with their festivals (there are 16 film festivals alone in Ireland). As ever, there’s a lot to life in Ireland.

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