Friday, September 27, 2013

Day 2 in Dublin

We started this day much fresher -- we both slept 12 hours last night! We took our time getting around, having a nice breakfast in the hotel, then taking the shuttle bus to the Hop-on Hop-off starting point. Instead of getting on the bus, we walked down O'Connell Street and found the Vodafone store. I was able to buy an inexpensive SIM for my phone so we can make calls -- especially useful to check in with our B&B reservations. 

From there, we walked on down across the river to Trinity College. We wandered around the grounds for a bit, then went to the library to see the famous Book of Kells. We only had to stand in line outside the library for about 10 minutes, then we were admitted. There were plenty of people, but not the huge crowds I might have expected. The exhibition of illuminated manuscripts was outstanding and we were able to see a few pages from the book under glass. What I hadn't expected was the incredible Long Room, where many old books are kept and conservation is going on constantly.

View from the entry into the long room

Looking up into the second story
After leaving Trinity, we got on the bus again and rode it to the Christ Church Cathedral. This church is built on the remains of a Viking building from 1028. It was restored in the 19th century. I was surprised to learn that this is where the first performance of Handel's Messiah was given.

Carved pulpit
We went down into the crypt which had many interesting displays and statues. Here are two I enjoyed:

Gold plate
Longing for her lost love (I think!)

Another short walk back across the river again took us to the Old Jameson Distillery. After our experience at Guinness yesterday, we just looked in here and decided not to go on the tour. But I enjoyed the chandelier in the main hall, made out of whiskey bottles.

Green chandelier!
As we were waiting for our bus, we noticed a cafe called Cinnamon Cafe and it appealed to us. We both had a small bowl of hearty soup, much enjoyed.

Cinnamon Cafe in lower left, but the juxtaposition of the modern and old buildings caught my eye.
We were glad to get back on the bus and head to the hotel for some relaxation. In the evening we walked out into an area not far from hotel and looked into various bars and restaurants. We finally settled on an Italian place, where Dan had lasagna and I had a veggie calzone. The salads were especially good (so was the main course).


With all the walking and street-crossing, I've been grateful for the warnings painted on the streets at almost every crosswalk. We've seen many European tourists (most speaking German) but not that many Americans.

Watch your step!

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