Although its 18th-century Georgian streets and parks are both regal and elegant, 20th-century industrial and commercial developments have cursed Limerick (pop.

80,000) with a featureless urban feel. In the past century, what little attention Limerick has received has mostly focused on its squalor a tradition exemplified by Frank McCourt’s celebrated memoir Angela’s Ashes. Despite the stigma, Limerick is a city on the rise and a fine place to stay en route to points west. The Hunt Museum, in the Custom House on Rutland St. has been recognized for its outstanding and diverse collection; among its treasures are a gold crucifix given by Mary Queen of Scots to her executioner and a coin reputed to be one of the infamous 30 pieces of silver paid to Judas by the Romans. ( 312 833. Open M-Sa 10am-5pm, Su

2-5pm. ‚6, students and seniors ‚5.) Limerick’s student population adds spice to the nightlife scene. The area where Denmark Street and Corn Market Row intersect is a good place to quench your thirst or listen to live music. Dolan’s, on Dock Rd. hosts nightly trad and rambunctious local patrons.

Trains (315 555) leave Parnell St. for: Cork (2!hr. 5-6 per day, ‚20); Dublin (2hr. 7-10 per day, ‚37); Ennis (2 per day, ‚8); Killarney (2%hr. 3-5 per day, ‚22); and Waterford (2hr. 1-2 per day, ‚15). Buses (313 333) leave the train station for: Cork (2hr. 14 per day, ‚14); Derry (6V6hr. 3 per day, ‚24); Donegal (6hr. 4 per day, ‚22); Dublin (3%hr. 13 per day, ‚15); Ennis (45min. 14 per day, ‚7.50); Galway (2hr. 14 per day, ‚14); Killamey (214hr. 3-6 per day, ‚14); Rosslare Harbour (4hr. 3 per day, ‚19); Tralee (2hr. 8 per day, ‚14); and Waterford (2Vyir. 7 per day, ‚15). The tourist office is on Arthurs Quay. From the station, walk down Davis St. turn right on O’Connell St. then left at Arthurs Quay Mall. ( 361 555. Open July-Aug. M-F 9am-6pm, Sa-Su 9am-5:30pm; Sept. and May-June M-Sa 9:30am-5:30pm; Oct.-Apr. M-F 9:30am-5:30pm, Sa 9:30am-lpm.) A number of B&Bs can be found on Ennis St. or O’Connell St. Cherry Blossom Budget Accommodation O, several blocks south of the Daniel O’Connell statue, has comfortable and relatively spacious rooms, quality bathrooms, and serves a delicious breakfast. (469 449. Singles ‚20; doubles ‚40.) Next door, Alexandra House B&B , O’Connell St. is a red brick townhouse with a pleasant pastel interior and sunlit upstairs bedrooms. (318 472. Irish breakfast included. Singles ‚26; shared rooms ‚24-32 per person.) Dolan’s 0 (see above) is Limerick’s best choice for evening meals, serving traditional pub fare. ( 314 483. Entrees ‚6-10.

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