Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is a little overwhelming to try and see in a day and a half which is all the time we had here.  Frequent shuttle buses took us to the museum area of town and I was able to immediately get on a hop-on hop-off bus which made about a 2 hour loop around town.  This weekend is a long weekend in Ireland and the city was very busy.  In addition to the normal tourist and Saturday traffic, there was a Zombie March for charity which stalled traffic for some time.  However, I got a very good idea of the city and decided to start touring at Trinity College where I took a student-led tour and then went into the library to see the Book of Kells.  The book, which was probably produced in the 9th c. by the monks at Iona, is a highly decorated copy, in Latin, of the four gospels.  It came into the possession of Trinity college in 1653 for reasons of security during the Cromwellian period. A page of one of the gospels showing text and another showing a decorated page, in the current case, the beginning of the gospel of Matthew, are shown.  These are changed every three months.  In addition, two pages of other ancient manuscripts in the possession of the library are shown. It is a must see attraction in Dublin.  At that point, the day was over and most attractions were closing so I wandered around the downtown shopping area for awhile and then returned to the ship.  We were docked next to the Queen Elizabeth. I watched her sail at 9:15 pm at which time we moved into her berth on the orders of the Harbour Master.  She is a spectacular ship and looked very pretty with all her lights on (photo).  This morning, I returned to town early and wandered for quite a few kilometres around mostly deserted streets looking at the interesting architecture, much of it Georgian (photo).  Then  I went to Dublin Castle, (photo) and Christ Church Cathedral (photo) and the area around the new city hall.  This latter was controversial when it was built because the contractors found ancient artefacts and after a public uproar, the city agreed to halt construction for a few years while the archaeologists searched the site.  Apparently over 1 million artefacts were found, mostly related to the old Viking settlement, and some  are displayed in the History and Archaeology Museum. Stone plaques are set into the pavement around the city hall showing the types of artefacts found (two photos). As museums opened variously at noon or 2:30 today, and as it was raining, I alternated taking the other hop-on hop-off routes with visits to the National Gallery and the History and Archaeology Museum.  The former is under renovation but had two large galleries open, one containing European Masterpieces (think Rembrandt, Carvaggio, etc.) and the other notable Irish painters.  At the Museum, I went to see the relatively small collection of the Viking  artefacts and the very large and stunning collection of bronze age gold jewellery. I did not visit the Guinness Factory though it would appear to be the most popular tourist attraction in Dublin.  It was apparently very crowded and it is probably best visited mid-week and off season.  After a day’s sailing we will reach Torshavn, Faroe Islands.

Snapshot 1 (05-08-2012 8-39 PM)IMG_1988IMG_1985IMG_1996IMG_2001IMG_2002

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One Response to Dublin, Ireland

  1. Pingback: Dublin, Ireland | Leslie's Travel Blog

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