May 30, 2009

Dublin Day 1

We enjoyed two days of spectacular sunshine in Dublin!

Our first destination was Trinity College for the Book of Kells, a richly decorated medieval (9th century) manuscript of the Christian Gospels. The Long Room contains 200,000 of Trinity College's oldest books. The special exhibit was on mystery writers, our favorite genre. Of course, no photos were allowed so I copied a few from the Trinity College website.

Then it was on to the Chester Beatty Library and Gallery of Oriental Art at Dublin Castle. Beatty was an American mining magnate and collector. We spent hours admiring copies of the Koran by master calligraphers, Greek papyri, Chinese jade books, Japanese woodblock prints, and even Western European manuscripts. Courtesy of the museum website, photos of a Chinese rhinocerous horn cup and a Qur'an fragment.

After such intellectual pursuits, it was time to find the Guinness Storehouse. This is a tourist destination where thousands could be handled comfortably! We kept walking up and around a spiral for many floors, learning about ALL aspects of Guinness (family history, beer production, advertising, and safe consumption). We tried to get a free pint at the viewing bar high above the city but it was hot (all that sunshine) and crowded. We went back to the 4th floor to get our free pint and learned we could draw our own. We learned where in the glass to fill the first draw, to wait 2 minutes, then fill to the brim. That was fun!

Based on the recommendation of our neighbors Dace and Bill, we ate dinner at Bentleys Oyster Bar and Grill on St. Stephen's Green - a delicious end to our day.

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