Kicking off in Dublin: Ladies and Gentlemen...

Dublin Travel Blog

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Honestly, I started off in Dublin in order to get a fellowship through my college. They promised to pay 80% of my airfare to where I'm studying. Well, in July I'll be studying in Galway, so I figured why not fly to the Irish capital and do a little learning before the real learning begins.

I've only been here one day (and it will be the only day), but Dublin is quite exceptional. It has proven to be quite a city, offering richness in culture and tons of places to shop without seeming all that crowded or congested. I think I'm a little early for the busy season anyway. Most of the people I've met are Irish, even in the hostel.

The architecture is stunning to say the least. I took a tour of Trinity College and the Book of Kells. In short, the Book of Kells is a really old book. It is supposed that it was written by Irish monks sometime in the 6th Century. It was written on vellum (calf skin) and is extremely stunning. It is art and script of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). This would be one of the top things to do in Dublin: see the Book of Kells. It's written with an Irish alphabet that's derived from Latin. It's similar to the script that is often associated with Ireland.

On the tour of the college, the tour guide was great. William always said at the end of a stopping point, "Now I would like to ask you all to join me at the _____," and then at the beginning of the next stopping point, "Ladies and gentlemen." It was great. I think he studied language as an art or something. He was very deliberate with his words. Very enjoyable, and easy to pay attention. I wish we could see more of the campus, but I think they know people will spend at least an hour in the Book of Kells exhibit. I'm probably just partial to college campuses, but now I'm looking forward to studying in Galway!

After the Book of Kells, we were directed to the Old Library. WOW. It was quite... long. and tall--bookshelves floor to ceiling on two floors! It's even named the "Long Room." This is really a wonder room for me: my dream library. There are so many old volumes there. It puts Illinois main stacks to shame. There were some students there and they were shelving on the very top shelf on the first floor. They were wearing aprons and nitrile gloves and face masks. Quite extreme indeed. I bought postcards.

The rest of the day, I walked around and saw the sights: the Christchurch Cathedral, the River Liffey, Temple Bar, tons of pubs, the numerous stores. All in all, a very full day, and it's only 8:05pm here, and the sun is still high in the sky! I'm sad that I'm leaving tomorrow, but I'll be back in late June, so that makes me happier. I didn't get to do all the touristy things yet, but I'm really enjoying just wondering around aimlessly.

Odds and Ends:
Travel to: by plane to Dublin Airport and by bus to the city center
Hostel: Kinlay House in Temple Bar -- great hostel, super friendly staff, and feeling quite safe
Food: Pub grub
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photo by: fransglobal