We started out the day headed over to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells in the Long Room. We got over there at about 10 AM, which was late enough for the crowds to already be gathered. The line was about fifteen minutes, which wasn’t all that bad. This was another re-visit for us, but definitely worth the time spent in line to get into the Long Room and smell that wonderful smell of old library. The exhibit down the center of the room this time was on Napoleon, which didn’t thrill me. The interesting part of it was the discussion of political cartoons at various points in his historical rise and fall. Shrug. The important part was the LIBRARY.
In our attempt to escape Trinity College we had to dodge a literal swarm of tourists from one of the Royal Caribbean cruises. We slowly trickled away from them by tromping down Nassau St. and poking our heads in various shops. We went into a couple of the more reputable woolen dealers to see what they had for sale. There was a big pile of mohair blankets that made me flash back on my mother’s ancient orangey-pink blanket that Grandma Pat brought back for her in the ‘70s. FE picked up a few pairs of socks for her parents, but despite trying things on, neither CK nor I purchased anything. I just got some good giggles from it instead.
After poking and window shopping, we were running out of time between lunch and CK’s evening happy hour with his work people, so we decided on convenient over exciting for lunch. We hit a Chinese restaurant about a block from the hotel. It was wholly adequate.
After a brief stop back at the hotel to digest and get directions for CK, we headed out for St. Stephen’s Green, where CK picked up the Luas tram off to the suburbs to see his guys. FE and I wandered through the Green, then headed off towards St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We almost got there, but were side-tracked by a little gate labeled Marsh’s Library. The Lonely Planet Dublin guidebook spoke quite highly of it, so in we went. It was a pretty little library with quite the character people inside. The gent who met us at the door insisted on speaking Irish at us first, then translating everything he said into English. He was a likeable little gent, who I could picture in a few decades evolving into a library brownie or other being for whom books were his all… except that he also rode his bike to work and had a healthy glow about him. He also cracked us up by saying that today was too hot for him to eat outside. It was probably 65 degrees again today, and vaguely sunny through an overcast sky.
We went into St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which was notable for its recognition of the various corps of Irishmen who have fought in the various wars and battles throughout the centuries. There was a nifty spiral staircase, some good stained glass, and a lovely boys choir rehearsing for the 6PM service. What else can I say? It was another cathedral...
FE and I wandered back to the hotel only slightly before CK got back from his happy hour. It started to lightly mist down rain, and the umbrellas sprouted all over the street. Either these people are oddly allergic to rain, or they are massively paranoid that the sprinkle will change to “downpour” without notice. (It didn’t.) We headed out on a quest for “traditional music” and dinner, which is a combination that – we discovered – is hard to find without a reservation on a Friday night. After a fun walk down the Quayside and a lot of side trips to read menus and ask about wait times, we ended up in the Citi Hotel Bar for fish & chips. CK had beef curry that was bland enough for me to eat – boo hoo – and a nice pear cider that went down well. And the other upside of this evening’s learning experience is that we have reservations for Arlington House for tomorrow night’s dinner-and-dance-performance at 7 PM.
Tomorrow, we have plans for a train trip north to Skerrie’s Mill and Malahide Castle, followed by the Arlington House dinner theater. Yay for Ireland!