Dublin, Ireland — arrival day and touring

We left JFK, New York at 9:30 p.m.; our flight arrived in Dublin, Ireland at 9:00 a.m. the  next morning, allowing for a five-hour time change and a six-hour flight.  A word of advice:  When you get to your hotel, don’t give in to a  nap.   There’s too much to see in Dublin, and if you only have two days to see it all, then brave the feeling of jet lag, have a cup of coffee and hit the city hard.  I promise you’ll get a good night’s sleep.

It was a beautiful sunny day so I could not imagine not greeting the city streets with a smile on my face and a skip to my step.  I had wanted to visit Ireland for a long time, and now I’m here. My agenda is too thick to tarry. We were all checked in at the Merrion Hotel, a posh five-star place, and walked a few blocks over to Grafton Street for breakfast and a hot cup of coffee.

The Merrion Hotel in Dublin

The Merrion Hotel in Dublin

Ireland is easy because everyone speaks English.  Of course, there are those with a sweet brogue or lilt in their intonation.

Our agenda included the Temple Bar for our first experiences listening to authentic Irish music in person. The crowd can be overwhelming at times.  Although, tables move quicker toward the back or inside the atrium.  The seats up close to the music are a bit harder to catch.  But it’s fun, entertaining and the food is the usual Irish fare-fish and chips, sandwiches and soups. That first pint of Guinness is all too perfect to the taste.

The atrium

Atrium section of the Temple Bar

We made our way to Trinity College and the Guinness Factory with the double decker bus system.  The buses run about every twenty minutes and cost approximately 14 Euros for seniors, but the tickets are good for two 24-hour consecutive periods.

The Temple Bar

The Temple Bar

Outside the Merrion Hotel

Outside the Merrion Hotel

At Trinity College, we followed the crowd to the Exhibit of the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells(Trinity College Dublin MS 58) is celebrated for its lavish decoration. The manuscript contains the four Gospels in Latin based on a Vulgate text, written on vellum (prepared calfskin), in a bold and expert version of the script known as “insular majuscule”.  (No photograpy allowed).

Long Room at Trinity College

Long Room at Trinity College

The Long Room of the Library is as unique as a four-leaf clover.  The main chamber of the Old Library is the Long Room, and at nearly 65 metres in length, it is filled with 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books. When built (between 1712 and 1732) it had a flat plaster ceiling and shelving for books was on the lower level only, with an open gallery. By the 1850s these shelves had become completely full because since 1801 the Library had been given the right to claim a free copy of every book published in Britain and Ireland. In 1860 the roof was raised to allow construction of the present barrel-vaulted ceiling and upper gallery bookcases.

Next, we’ll be headed to the Guinness Factory.

 

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