The first thing we saw once we cleared the port was a tall ship flying a Mexican flag. We also found a postbox, which let us mail the postcards we'd picked up in Cork the previous day and made the entire expedition a success. (That was our goal for the day, mailing the postcards; all further exploration was bonus.)
We sighted on Trinity College as destination one. It was pretty enough, but less open and green than I'd been expecting. The Book of Kells exhibition hadn't opened when we got there (9:15), so we kept wandering. By the time we got back, the line was too long to be sure we'd see anything if we got in it. We also found better information about the admission price and the content of the exhibition, so then we felt better about missing it.
Next stop was St. Stephen's Green, a pleasant park with an unexpected photo exhibition on the wildlife of Poland, including a very dramatic hedgehog on a hillock silhouetted against a setting sun. Actual Dublin wildlife consisted primarily of magpies, seagulls, pigeons, and unusual large pinkish pigeons with white neck patches.
From the park we proceeded to Dublin Castle, where we did not take the guided tour and therefore did not see the inside of the building. However, around back there was a little walled garden and a tiny hidden museum about the history of taxation in Ireland. They had a display of various smuggling-related things the inspectors had found, assorted historical documents, and a symbolic sculpture made out of a hundred or so locks welded together to form a sphere. They also had, in a case of artifacts from the process of computerizing the revenue service, a curious metal object, about eight inches tall, in the form of a smooth sphere with eight telescoping legs. Upon inquiring, we learned that this was an award for automating things well, but as there was no information about it in the cabinet we had a good time speculating before we asked.
Somewhere in the wandering around, we spotted this place and took a picture for eeyore_grrl:
Then Andrés tried a Guinness (he says it's less bitter here; I enjoyed watching it settle out from its initial chocolate-colored state into separate foam and black liquid layers, but I don't like the taste) and we got back to the ship in time for all-aboard at 1:30. It wasn't a long day, but it turned out to be pretty full!