Saturday, May 25

Ireland Vacation

We have arrived and are on tour in Dublin!! Left Boston Logan airport on Wednesday evening for a  flight across the pond which was uneventful, arriving about 8 AM. We could not check into the Ashling Hotel until 3 pm so we dropped off our bags and took the tram into O'Connell Street to grab our Hop on Hop off Tour bus. The picture above is of St. Patrick's Cathedral under grey skies. Our sunny arrival had turned to light afternoon sprinkles. Toured Dublin by bus checking out the places we wanted to see on Friday and were back in the Hotel for a nap by 3 pm. 

We went out for dinner in a restaurant called the Church, which was in an old Church, built in 1700 with lots of stained glass and old wood with a beautiful organ still in place, Guinness was married here in 1761, We ate on a balcony that ran down both sides of the church and the food was very good. 

Friday we started our tour with a visit to Trinity college, the oldest College in Ireland founded by Elizabeth I in 1562. It was an all male college util 1903 when women were finally allowed entrance. 

Above is the entrance gate to the Quad. A fourth year student in a brown frock coat gave us a tour of the grounds and then we stood in line to see the Book of Kells. We walked in through a small well illuminated exhibit of the Book, it's history and with views of various pages. The manuscript has been bound into 4 separate volumes, and at any given time 2 of the four gospels are on display. There were 2 text pages and 2 decorated pages. Ellen & I were both a little disappointed by the pictures that were on display. They were very detailed in dark browns and blacks with only a couple of small colored sections. The pages are only turned every 3 months.

No pictures allowed in the Treasury, but when you come out, you come into the 200 footlong main   chamber of the old library. The books are arranged by size from the top of the stacks to the bottom with the smallest at the top. Quite impressive and students can still check out books here.

We left Trinity and hoped on the bus for Christ Church Cathedral. It occupies the same site as the 1040 wooden church built by King Sitric in viking times and is the reputed tomb of Strongbow, the English  warlord who invaded Ireland. We had lunch in the Crypt and then on to St. Patricks Cathedral.

After a walk around the nave we hopped back on the bus for our last stop of the day the Guinness brewery at St. James Gate. The brewery tour no longer goes through the brewery but thru a modern display with videos and pictures describing the history and making of Stout. It is now not only made in Ireland but also under contract in 50 other countries. There are 3 varieties, one for Ireland and England, one for export to the US and Europe and the one with the most hops and alcohol to the Caribbean and Africa.

After the Guinness tour we walked back to our hotel for a rest before dinner at the Porterhouse, one of the oldest pubs in Dublin and now the home of the most craft beers. This ends our Dublin tour Saturday we depart for Westport and the western part of Ireland. It will be the first day driving in Ireland.


Lynne Parks Kuhl said...

So glad to hear what you two are up to! Enjoy! ...loved the library and the cameo of Jos with the brew. Xoxo

Lynne Parks Kuhl said...

Loved hearing what you two are doing! The cameo of Joe with the brew and the library are SO great...happy trails. Xoxo