[Kyle]We were up early for the quick train ride into Dublin. Dublin was demolished in the 70s and rebuilt using that period’s unfortunate architecture. There is nothing left of any interest to see.
Just kidding, this 1100 year old city is just dripping at every turn with rich history. Our first stop was Trinity College.
This university is nearly as old as the city that surrounds it. So old, in fact, that when it was first built, it was touted as being near Dublin, only a few hundred yards away. We took a very nice walking tour guided by a recent history graduate who did a good job of giving us the highlights of the college’s long history. Following this, we went to the library to see the intricately illustrated Book of Kells, dating from around AD 800 and one of the oldest books in the world. While there was a certain aspect of being herded past the book itself, the displays leading up to it did a very good job of explaining the laborious process of producing a handwritten, carefully illustrated book in those days.
From Trinity College, we had an amble through Merrion Square, a beautifully landscaped park that is a tranquil respite from the bustling city. In one corner of the park is a statue of Oscar Wilde accompanied by a few of his witticisms. After that, we had a look at City Hall before heading to Dvblinia, an exhibit focusing on Dublin’s Viking past.
Dvblinia lies in the Old Synod Hall, which is attached via bridge to the Christchurch Cathedral, reputedly the prettiest in Ireland, although, personally, I’d go with St Finbarre’s in Cork. Still very nice, though. My favourite part was the giant organ with the circular staircase up to where the organist sits.
With some daylight still left, we headed over to the Castle Gardens for a bit and then returned to the train station via a stroll through Temple Bar, Dublin’s artsy tourist district, and then down the boardwalk on the River Liffey.