Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Ireland - Day 3

Despite the late hours kept the night before (I think we got in around 3:00am), we managed to find our way downstairs for breakfast before heading out on our third full day in Dublin. We were done with the hop on/hop off experience and, instead, would venture out into the Irish wilds of Dublin in a taxi.

We decided to visit Trinity College, which was founded in 1592. 

The grounds of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland...

Trinity College features some amazing architecture, so my "photo jones" was easily satisfied. Aside from that, however, Trinity houses an incredible library which is also home to the Book of Kells. Believed to have been created in the year 800 AD, the Book of Kells has been housed at Trinity College since 1661. It's an illuminated manuscript, of some 340 "folios" (or leaves) which contain the complete text of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and the Gospel of John through John 17:13. The entire collection is never displayed at the same time, and photography of the actual manuscript is strictly forbidden.

You can read more about the Book of Kells here: The Book of Kells


The line outside the Old Library at Trinity College...

Enlarged folios of the Book of Kells on display in the Old Library...

An illustration from the Book of Kells...

An illustration from the Book of Kells...

The Book of Armagh, also known as Codex Ardmachanus...

A ridiculously ornate page from the Book of Kells...

I have to be honest here. I wish this had been a better experience. While they were controlling the number of people admitted into the exhibit, the powers-that-be didn't seem to be paying too much attention to how many people weren't exiting the exhibit. It didn't take too long at all for it to become almost impossible to move inside the exhibit. Additionally, the actual manuscript which is on display is a relatively small book in a relatively large, lighted glass case. People were standing seven deep at times just to get a quick glimpse of it. I was also surprised that strollers were allowed. I was hit in the ankles four times. They also permit strollers into the "Long Room" of the Old Library. But, since there are no elevators in the building (or restrooms, for that matter), people had to carry the strollers up the stairs. It was just an unsafe scenario in my mind.

So, up those aforementioned steps we climbed, into the Long Room of the Old Library.

The Long Room, which measures 213 feet long, was built between 1712 and 1732. It houses some of the rarest books in the world, and the total number of books contained here exceeds 200,000.

The Long Room in the Old Library...

Some of the books in the Long Room...

Once we got done, my Mom and brother were both still busy in the library gift shop, so I decided to walk around a bit. I came across this cool sculpture outside the college's Berkeley Library, entitled "Sfera con sfera" or "Sphere Within Sphere" by Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro. 


Sphere Within Sphere at Trinity College...

Sphere Within Sphere at Trinity College...

If the sculpture looks familiar, that's because there are examples of it in various places around the world, including the University of California at Berkeley, the Vatican Museums in Rome and the entrance to the United Nations in New York, It can also be found at about a dozen other locations, a total of nine of which are in the United States.

We decided we'd make it a short (well, short-ish) day and head into Temple Bar for dinner before heading back to the hotel. We walked around and did some shopping for a bit before opting for Quays Irish Restaurant for dinner. Of course, we had to start the meal off with a Guinness, but the food wasn't far behind.


The Slow Cooked Beef & Guinness Stew was stunningly good...

We were all pretty spent by the time we climbed into our taxi but, as with every other cab ride we'd had thus far, we enjoyed how the driver educated us on everything from "hurling" (no, it's not the result of too many Guinness) to the difference between being British and being English.We arrived at the hotel, drained and arms full of shopping bags, and retired to our rooms to rest up for the next day...



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