Dublin Days 1 & 2

We’ve traveled to Dublin for our first major vacation together since returning from Alice. It’s been great to get away from work for a while and even better that the flight is less than 8 hours. Hoping to beat the jet lag, we spent a good bit of our first day hanging out in and around Trinity College.

We’re staying in the dorms which are a great deal for anyone looking to see the city on the cheap. The rooms are a bit small, but tidy and comfortable with free wifi (a big deal for us when we travel). For our first evening, we visited the Chester Beatty Library. The collection of ancient religious texts are absolutely amazing with lots of other artifacts to highlight the different creation, storage, and spread of the books. Sadly, we couldn’t take any pictures of the exhibits but we did get some of Dublin Castle which is nearby.

From there we went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for evensong. The weather turned against us and got a little grey, but we still enjoyed the walk over. The cathedral was stunning and the service was lovely. However, the quiet atmosphere and peaceful music had us struggling to stay awake. We finished the night by having a pint a great local pub and then ate fish’n’chips while watching the crowds in Temple Bar. It’s somewhat amusing to hear a crowd belt out “Take Me Home” from half way down the block while not actually having to be in a bar with them.

After a quick brekkie the next morning, we made our way to St. Stephen’s Green. The green would be a great place to jog or wander through on a morning commute. We walked almost the entire way around and enjoyed sitting by one of the ponds and watching the swans. The National Museum of Archeology was next on our agenda. The museum crammed full of exhibits with a collection of artifacts from the Bronze Age through Medieval times. Ashley was particularly enamored by this cloak pin – if anyone can find a replica (or knows a good jeweler), you know what you can get her for Christmas this year. We didn’t go and look at the bog bodies, but the displays surrounding them were interesting and do a great job of giving people an option to view them or not.

And the gold. So much gold.

After lunch we visited the Book of Kells. The exhibit wasn’t laid out perfectly, as it funnels everyone towards the book but has three different tracks to get there. ¬†Each of the different sections has great information about other illuminated manuscripts but you walk back and forth through a crowd that is trying to go in one direction. The book itself is amazing even if the crowds make it hard to see. We probably spent more time in the Long Room looking at the impressive stacks of books. This room is a frequent contender for most beautiful library and it was one inspiration for the library in Harry Potter.

We didn’t have much time to dawdle though, as we needed to go watch our high school team play football (real American style football). Pics are here and we’ll talk about the gridiron action in another post.