Thursday morning we woke up early again (this was a theme of the Dublin trip I didn’t love so much) so that we could go to the Book of Kells, the exhibit is at Trinity College so we didn’t have very far to go.

IMG_1235The Book of Kells is a manuscript dated around 800 AD that contains the four Gospels written in Latin, it’s famous for the beautiful illustrations. Before we got to the book, we walked through an exhibition that talked about ancient bookmaking, I loved it. Everything was so carefully done: the binding, the handwriting, and the illustrating. It was such an art form. I loved walking through and reading all about it,  when I came to the actual book  I was suitably impressed. It’s  in such amazing condition; the drawings are still so incredibly clear and vibrant.

After the Book of Kells is the Old Library, I was unprepared for the level of awesomeness that resided there.

IMG_1248 IMG_1322There were so many books in this one area, the look of awe on my face is genuine.

I just feel like when that many books are in one place they make a room larger than it is; all those far away lands and the potential for adventure. The added element of the preservation of particularly old books makes it all the more impressive to me. I would have been happy to live in the Old Library for awhile.

Afterwards I went with a group to the Kilmainham Gaol. The Gaol has historical significance, partly because it’s really old (so if the choir members at Christ Church really had been 300 years old they too would’ve been historically significant by this measure). It’s also the place where some of the members of the 1916 Easter Uprising were executed. It was eerie to stand in the place where the firing squad had killed those men.

IMG_1310 IMG_1307What’s interesting is that when the uprising first occurred the public opinion was against it, but when the men were killed and the people started reading about the execution in the paper, public opinion was swayed.  If the government had just given the men a regular trial and left them in prison for life, the public would likely have continued  viewing the rioters as crazy troublemakers.

One of the men, Joseph Plunkett, was engaged to be married to Grace.  The night before his execution he was allowed to marry her. They were given ten final minutes together before he was killed. Grace was later held in the same prison for a little while.

On a completely different and way less depressing note: over the course of two days I rode the bus several times, each with a different driver. One driver in particular was our absolute favorite because he sang. He was actually pretty good, he sang about the 1916 uprising, Molly Malone, and one song of inappropriate nursery rhymes. After our singing driver all others paled in comparison.

Also, while we were in a Starbucks someone asked me and one of the other gals where we were from and then told us we had really cool accents. We were kind of excited by this compliment.

Some Dublin pictures:

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Dublin doors, they’re kind of  a big deal.

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Molly Malone, “the tart with the cart”

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At Trinity.

Friday we left Dublin and took the bus to Enniskerry to go to Powerscourt Estate.

It was beautiful there.
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We spent awhile walking around and taking pictures.

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But the best part of Powerscourt didn’t involve the scenery. While we were walking around a group of three Irish women asked my friend and I to take a picture of them, then they took a picture of the two of us. We walked a little further and  they asked us to do it again, we did this several more times. At one point one of the ladies jokingly told us we should follow them around all day because they had champagne and strawberries. After that we went in separate directions for awhile.

Just as we were headed back to meet the other two in our group we heard someone yelling “Girls, girls!” from across a pond. It was our new picture friends. We ran over and chatted with them for about fifteen minutes and they were so much fun. One of the first things they said was: “We were saving you champagne but we figured you weren’t coming so we finished the bottle, but we do have some strawberries and chocolate covered nuts to give you.” The giving of fruit and chocolate meant that I was instantly endeared to them.

We then had one of my favorite confused about New Mexico conversations ever. It went something like this:

One of our new friends: So where are you girls from?

Me: I’m from New Mexico.

Them (staring blankly): Like connected to…old…Mexico?

Me: Well, um, it’s down in that general direction…

Them: that’s by Florida! Right?

Me: Oh no, it’s over by Arizona, Colorado, and…

Them: But that’s desert! You’re so fair!

Me: I wear a lot of sunscreen. *laughing not because it’s funny, just because it’s true*

Them: You look more Irish than anything else!

I feel like the fact that an Irish person told me this must mean that I basically am Irish.

Right before we left they offered to take our picture one more time, in front of a fountain. They thought the best way to do this was with us looking like we had been drinking the bottle of champagne (even though, you’ll remember, the champagne was in fact, gone when we got there).

IMG_1541All in all an amazing time in Dublin.

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