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2011 Marco Polo - Grand British Isles
2019 Saga Sapphire - A Story of Ireland

2011: We were not disappointed with Dublin but were a bit disappointed with the tour we chose. The tour itself was very good with another excellent guide and the weather was fantastic but, again, we'd chosen a trip with a minimum of walking. Would have loved to wander down O'Connell Street and visit the Post Office building (the site of the 1916 rebellion) but only had a couple of short photo stops on the tour. Having said all that we did see the sights, also had a pleasant stop in Phoenix Park which is huge and rivals any other in the World.

Daniel O'ConnellSt. Patrick's Cathedral
Daniel O'Connell and St. Patrick's Cathedral

Then a boat trip on the River Liffey which was excellent (the heavy traffic in Dublin had not enhanced the coach tour). An Irish Canadian (if you can have French Canadians why can't you have Irish ones?) was the guide and his enthusiasm was of the type that only a foreigner returning to his roots could be. Terrific buildings, bridges and stories. More time is needed here and it was not Dublin's fault that this was probably the least favourite stop (having said that, the other stops were so brilliant that any Capital City could pale by comparison).

The River LiffeyThe Jeanie Johnston
The River Liffie and the Jeannie Johnstone

2019: We're back again on the Sapphire. Overnight stay this time so we booked a trip on the first day and left our City visit 'til the second day. Bad mistake! The organised tour (Dublin Coastal Drive) was very good but if we'd known..... Anyway, a quick tour of the suburbs before arriving at Malahide Castle. Apparently a "significant piece of Irish medieval history". Very nice but, when one lives within a half hour walk of Windsor Castle...

Malahide Castle

Still it was interesting to hear that International Cricket was played here, in fact Ireland played England here (in an ODI) 8 days later. Rain affected and England scraped home but were given a real scare!

A very pleasant drive along the coast to the coastal village of Howth, where we had a complimentary (at the prices Saga charge for tours it should be!) Irish Coffee (well I did, Edna hates coffee). Pleasant place, then back to the ship to look forward to tomorrow's trip in on the shuttle bus.

Howth (it wasn't as warm as it looks!)

The shuttle bus never came! But Storm Hannah did! Because of the horrendous weather forecast (and it was correct) it was decided that we would forego our second day in Dublin and outrun the storm. We did but it meant that we got to our destination many hours early and had to spend them "cruising" the Dover Strait. Still, I think nearly everyone agreed that it was better than chancing the storm.



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