Dublin In A Dash
Dublin Travel Blog› entry 47 of 49 › view all entries
January 4th, 2008 – by: TRE69
Since Mar had been to Dublin before, she suggested that I must see the Book of Kells housed at Trinity College Library. To avoid the long queue into the exhibit, Trinity College was our first stop of the day. Mar loitered about Parliament Square while I explored the exhibit...she even experienced a light snowfall.
The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript of the 4 Gospels of the New Testament which was transcribed by Celtic monks. The majority of the exhibit is informative on Irish history, the influence of Christianity, background on the making of the manuscript, and the symbolism of the images and motifs depicted on the pages.
The final room, and what everyone is in line for, is devoted to an up close viewing of select pages from the Book of Kells. The room is barely dimly lit because the harsh light could damage or fade the beautifully intricate and ornate and amazingly detailed page illustrations. Just looking at the minute motifs and vibrant color after centuries past, there is no doubt that creating this masterpiece was a painstakingly difficult endeavor. And of course, there was no photography allowed whatsoever...don't even dare as there are several security guards in the small room to protect their national treasure.
The exit from the manuscript viewing room leads to the Long Room of the Trinity College Library with its vaulted ceiling housing rows and rows of bookshelves which are highlighted by marble busts of renowned authors and philosophers. This space is a bibliophiles dream come true!
We only had a few hours and we wanted to make the most of it. So we purchased tickets for the Dublin Hop On-Hop Off Bus from the driver (I think it cost 15 euros) at the Trinity College Stop. After driving by 6 stops, including Merrion Square and St. Stephen's Green, Mar and I hopped off the bus the see the Dublin Castle grounds. The Dublin Castle exhibits were not open yet, so we skirted its periphery to admire the architecture.
Afterwards, instead of hopping back on the bus, we decided to walk the short distance to St. Patrick's Cathedral, passing Christ Church Cathedral along the way. St. Patrick's Cathedral interiors are quite impressive and beautiful from the stained glass windows to the vaulted ceiling. I was able to walk through it without paying the admission fee. Mar and I wandered outside to the park adjacent to the cathedral.
Outside St. Patrick's Cathedral, we waited quite a bit at the Dublin Hop On-Hop Off Bus stop for the bus. The brochure said the bus comes around every 15 minutes. Mar and I were very impatient so we looked at the city map and we decided that we could just walk to the Guinness Brewery. Well you can guess what happened...WE GOT LOST! Not only that, it started to rain on us for a good 10 minutes! At one point, we even considered hailing a taxi cab ride but since we were not near the city center, we figured we would be wasting time waiting for a cab to drive by.
With much perseverance, we eventually found our way to the St. James's Gate, the entrance for the Guinness Experience. With our Dublin Hop On-Hop Off Bus pass, we got 1 euro off the adult admissions fee (15 euros). At least a free pint of Guinness or Coke awaits at the Gravity Bar. While I am NOT a beer drinker, I find food science interesting especially since I got my BS in Microbiology and have made beer (albeit a poor execution of a lager) for a microbiology class once.
After our "top of Dublin" refreshments, Mar and I caught up with the Dublin Hop On-Hop Off Bus and rode it back to O'Connell Street where we hopped off to get back to Globetrotters Tourist Hostel to collect my luggage. Then we were off to Busarus to catch the coach to Dublin Airport.
Goodbye Ireland...Hello Scotland!
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