Dublin

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In November we visited Dublin.  This was our first ever visit to Ireland and we decided to fly rather than take Priscilla all the way there and back again.  The cost for both of us to fly return was about the same as a good meal out for two whereas the ferry crossing for Priscilla needed a mortgage!

The main purpose of our visit was to go over to see Brian who has been working in Dublin since September.

We had a really enjoyable few days and intend to visit again in 2011.

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Our first day was sunny and we took the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) out to Howth which is north east of Dublin city. We walked around the headland which was supposed to be a pleasant stroll and which ended up being at least a 10km hike around the coastal path.  Enjoyed the walk but very cold and tired at the end.  We only had town shoes on!

Day two was spent exploring the city of Dublin and visiting Trinity College.  Above (left) is a snap of Molly Malone on Grafton Street.  Also known as ‘Tart with the Cart’,  ‘Trollop with the Scallop’, ‘Dolly with the Trolley’, ‘Dish with the Fish’ etc.

 

Captions please for the two characters on the right that were snapped in Trinity College grounds!

 

We were impressed with the cleanliness of the city and the quality of the food.  The pubs were always busy and welcoming at anytime of day and it is true that the Guinness in Dublin tastes completely different from what you know as Guinness in UK. It is sweeter and nuttier and slips down very easily!

 

The highlight of the day was a visit to the Old Library of Trinity College. We pondered upon the €10 entry fee but decided as it was alleged to be ‘the attraction’ to visit in Dublin we would go for it and we were very glad that we did.  There was no photography permitted inside the Old Library but below are some postcards that we purchased.

The two postcards above show the amazing Long Room which contains 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books. The room is 65m long (71 yards in old money) and has a wonderful barrel vaulted ceiling.  The upper floor is reached by beautiful wrought iron spiral staircases.

 

On the ground floor of the library you will find The Books of Kells. Something that we had vaguely heard of but did not really appreciate exactly what is was. It was, frankly, mind blowing!

 

The Book of Kells was produced by monks in the 9th century on the island of Iona and also for a time in Kells in Ireland where the monks moved to after 806AD. It is one of the very oldest books and tells the story of Christ through Latin text and lavishly decorated pages.  It is a true ‘work of art’ and the fine detail of the drawings can only be appreciated by viewing the original book which is securely guarded in a plate glass cabinet.

The monks used a variety of pigments which included lead compounds for the reds and arsenic compounds for the gold.

 

The postcard on the left, below, shows a number of the pages within the Book of Kells and the card on the right shows a more detailed view of the first column, third down illustration.

 

If you visit Dublin then go and see the original—you will not be disappointed!

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