Saturday, May 12, 2012

May 4 - Dublin

Our b&b is called Ariel House. With our still off sleeping habits it's hard to get up in time for breakfast, but we make it. I choose fruit and pancakes. Love those b&b breakfasts, but no desire to try a full Irish one. All that sausage and pudding things don't appeal to me at all. I'm a breakfast traditionalist, MY traditions, that is!

Then we take the DART, the Dublin light rail into the city, only 2 stops away. We wander through Trinity College, go to the Book of Kells exhibit and the old Library. The Kells exhibit is good. Besides displaying the beautifully illuminated manuscripts, there is a clear explanation of how and why these books were made, which makes it much more interesting. The old library is so beautiful! Yards and yards of books in a gracefully arched space.

Back in the gift shop Lee buys a Trinity College baseball cap for, our first official souvineer of the trip, but more a purchase of necessity than desire, since he forgot to bring a hat and his head is feeling bare.

Next we stroll through the Temple Bar area (mostly bars) and Dublin castle, whose tower (although not the right one, that tower is actually somewhere on the coast) has me thinking of Stephen Dedalus and the beginning of Ulysses.

Then we walk over to to St. Patrick's cathedral, smaller and a bit more decrepit than St. Paul's. There's no mention of snakes but there is a memorial to Jonathan Swift, who was a health nut that bathed and exercised when such activities we're considered unnecessary.

Finally we head over to Grafton street, a shopping and restaurant area for coffee, cakes, and Irish berets for both of us. Its darn cold in Dublin and we both need something to cover our heads. My hat is a wool tam that I end up really liking and wearing all the time. We walk through St. stephen's Green and Marston Place on our way back on the train, beautiful bits of greenery in a somewhat grey city. We have time to rest a bit before eating at the Lobster Pot, another wonderful restaurant close to our b&b.

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