Old Books, Bus Rides, and Off We Go

A Watercolor in a Cabinet in the Irish National Museum - photo by Tami Cowden
A Watercolor in a Cabinet in the Irish National Museum – photo by Tami Cowden

I confess that I lied in my previous post. We visited the National Museum in Dublin on Thursday, at least that’s when it was according to the timestamps on a string of photos. This particular painting is displayed for two hours per week. It is a watercolor which they don’t want to deteriorate. As we walked into the gallery, a museum employee came out and said that the cabinet was open. We got lucky! I do not know what the painting depicts, or who painted it, but it is a nice composition with good colors, so I’m glad they’re taking care of it. It was on the way to this museum that we saw the Prime Minister’s official office building, in fact. The cheeseburger place came after. After that, my previous post is accurate. We walked around for a bit, then went to the hotel and slept the sleep of the very tired.

The Long Room in Trinity College Library, Dublin
The Long Room in Trinity College Library, Dublin

Next morning we had a Full Irish breakfast at our quaint hotel. In the basement. It was very good. A Full Irish consists of an egg up, beans, bacon (cured meat, think ham, a black pudding, a white pudding, I believe a few potato bits, juices and coffee or tea. Other than the puddings, you could call it a Full English breakfast. We packed up for our flight to Lisbon in the evening, left our bags in care of the hotel, and eagerly shot out the door headed for Trinity College.

This was a mistake. I had read, specifically, “Skip the Book of Kells,” but somehow that advice left me on this morning. The Book of Kells is the oldest book in Ireland, and as it is an original, one of the oldest extant manuscripts anywhere. The text is the first four Christian gospels in Latin. Ad veniat regnam tuum indeed. The museum display isn’t entirely uninteresting, and seeing an actual book that old is something, but it doesn’t last all that long. Upstairs is the “Long Room” of the Trinity Library, where they store a bunch of old books. You can see the old books to either side in the photo above. That’s what we did, see the old books. You can’t check them out, or even touch them. Makes me wonder what they heck the library is for.

Sort of Looks Like Saint Patrick's Cathedral, but I Don't Think It Is. - photo by Tami Cowden
Sort of Looks Like Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, but I Don’t Think It Is. – photo by Tami Cowden

We hopped on, and off, and on again, a hop on-hop off bus service, which worked pretty well. We toured the city and saw a number of famous and otherwise sights. We did not take the tour of the Guinness facilities. Don’t get me wrong, the Guinness Stout brewed there is one of the finest brews ever brewed. I just didn’t care, and still don’t, how they do it. (It’s true, by the way, that the Guinness Stout is better in Dublin. A lot better.)

I Do Not Know Who This is of, But Tami took this p icture, and it's a good shot.
I Do Not Know Who This is of, But Tami took this picture, and it’s a good shot.

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What we have here, besides the unknown gentleman’s statue, is a bit of the Guinness Storehouse, the world’s second largest Obelisk, behind the Washington Monument, and the West Gate to Trinity College.

We could have done more that day, but we had to get to the airport to catch our plane to Lisbon. Interestingly, on the way in, I could have sworn that the hotel was twice as far away from the airport as it seemed to be on the way back out. Long Hauling? No rideshare allowed in Dublin. I report, you decide. Whatever, after discovering that our checked bags had been forgotten by the Aer Lingus system, we waited in a line at the front of which was a young gentleman who apparently was confused by the computer equipment. Giving up all hope of getting dinner at an airport restaurant, we nonetheless made our flight (a lot like United, if that helps describe it) and bought food on the plane. The food was not at all bad, either. By the time we got to our hotel, it was after ten (I mean 22:00) and we didn’t do much but check out Portuguese TV and go to bed. The hotel was the VIP Executive Marques Aparthotel, an actual hotel with electronic keys, elevators, and a parking garage. More about that next time. For now, it’s time to say “adeus.”

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