Published: March 19th 2008March 18th 2008
Today was yet another beautiful day in Dublin as we headed to the south side of the city centre. Found a central car park and headed off for a tour of the religious beauty of Dublin. First stop was the Book of Kells in Trinity College. The college grounds were everything you would think an old world university would be and being in the middle of it, it is very easy to imagine the historic figures who graduated from the famed college walking around the same cobbled grounds we were walking. Taking the tour of the Book of Kells was fascinating but as a book lover, I think the most awe-inspiring site was the Long Room in the floor above where the Book of Kells is displayed. The Long Room is an amazing library that boggles the mind in both the architectural design and the plethora of books whose ages are no doubt counted not in years nor decades but rather centuries. BTW, the Long Room was apparently used as inspiration for the Jedi Library in the second Star Wars trilogy, or so said a tour guide as we were walking around the room. Unfortunately, no pictures are allowed so you
will just have to come see the place for yourself.
From there we headed to St. Patrick's Cathedral. It was a nice walk with several, rather many, stops to the numerous shops that dotted the way to the cathedral. The cathedral was closed for renovations so we could not go in, but just gazing at the structure from the outside is enough to take your breath away. The courtyard is almost as beautiful and along the north side are plaques dedicated to the many famous Irish authors. Spent quite a bit of time in the courtyard taking pictures and resting on the benches just admiring the spectacular view.
We completed the triangle by heading back towards St. Stephens park and going again through the many shops and cathedrals that are in the area. It's unbelievable how many cathedrals are in such a small space.
Having spent the day criss-crossing the south side of Dublin (I can't tell how many times we walked down a street just to realize we had come that way about an hour before), it was time for an early dinner as we had to return to the hotel to pack and map out
the drive to Waterford and then to Cork in the morning. Marisa had seen an interesting restaurant during one of our earlier wrong turns, so we decided to check it out. As we walk in, we realize that it was not a restaurant but a small neighborhood pub called The Villager. It was perfect...the exact shape, look, and feel that I had always imagined an Irish pub would have. Even down to the older local gentlemen looking up from their Guinness' while standing at the bar talking to the bartender. Not wanting to admit defeat and walk right back out and look for another place to eat, we walked up to the bar, ordered drinks (my 6th or 7th Guinness of the trip - Marisa has met her quota of Guinness for the week...well, really, for the year as she's not a big beer drinker) and sat down to relax, watch some football (no, not NFL) and enjoy the atmosphere.
On the advice of both the bartender and one of the locals, we walked up the street to another pub, The Mullingar House, that was serving food. Another good meal of fish and chips (and another Guinness....God, these things
are the best here) and it is time to head back to the hotel and prepare for tomorrow. Can't wait to drive along the coast and take in the view!
There are more photos below