UK travel 4

We came with great expectations to Dublin, which none of us had ever visited before. The experience was certainly a very mixed bag. The city has been developed greatly, whole areas have been rebuilt and it was interesting to see the glaring contrast between the past and the present. But there were also many areas in midtown that were dirty, rubbish laying around everywhere, and it seemed that the reinvention of Dublin did not include maintaining some decent standards of housekeeping. Most of inner Dublin seems to have become a party mile, with endless eateries and tourist shops, and gargantuan waves of tourists waddling through its streets. I was reminded of Florence at the height of tourist season, though architecturally Dublin does not compare with the splendour of Florence nor the grandeur of Glasgow. To escape this commercial hellhole we took the train to Sandycove and visited the James Joyce Museum aka the Martello tower, where the opening chapter of his Ulysses takes place. This visit and the impressive National Gallery made up for the otherwise disappointing Dublin experience. I forgot one distinctive highlight: