Dublin – Cobblestone Streets and a Pub or two….
When I woke this morning I looked through my hotel room window and the countryside view that greeted me was breathtaking.
We enjoyed a relaxing breakfast at the Manor House. Some of my passengers went for an early morning walk and saw deer. This resort property is massive – 1100 acres.
At 8:30am we departed for Dublin.
Our first stop was at Trinity College which was established back in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth 1st. This is Ireland’s first college. The reason why thousands of tourists flock here is to see the famous, “Book of Kells”- which most believe is over 1000 years old. Back then Monks copied the Bible using amazing illustrations and text. They had to produce everything including the colour dyes. The greenish blue colours came from rocks in Northern Afghanistan – red was from crushed beetles in Spain. The Monks created 1 volume but it was rebound into 4 volumes. Two of those volumes are opened and on display – the pages are turned only once every few weeks to avoid causing damage.
We also saw the very impressive Long Room or the Old Library. Scenes from the Harry Potter movies were not filmed on location but the set was modeled after the Long Room. Two Hundred Thousand books are on display but there are over 5 million books in the collection ….. similar to my cookbook collection at home!
During our tour, Connor our guide talked about the Harp being the National Symbol of Ireland. If you owe money to the government you get a letter with a black harp on the envelope. You might find a green harp on government envelopes during election time. If you are celebrating your 100th birthday you will get a letter with a Gold Harp and a cheque from the government for 2500 Euros as a congratulations gift.
We past the impressive Millennium Spire.
We learned that there are more taxis in Dublin than New York City!
A free public bike system has been set up in Dublin – there are over 5000 bike you can use throughout the city.
The Guinness Storehouse welcomes over 1 million visitors a year making it the number 1 attraction in Ireland. We toured this amazing facility. It’s a must to drink a Guinness in the panoramic lounge that overlooks the city. We also enjoyed a delicious Irish luncheon in the complex’s 1843 restaurant. We were given a few minutes for some last minute shopping in the massive gift shop. Guinness has done such an amazing job marketing their product they have 1 floor of the Storehouse dedicated to this. Years ago, Guinness was the first company in Ireland to provide free health care to their workers and if a husband passed his wife would continue to receive his pension so available Guinness workers were highly sought after.
Dublin has an upcoming Abortion Vote so the city is covered in posters – For and Against. It was thought that the YES vote would easily win but now it is believed that it will be a close vote.
Dublin was the home of Oscar Wilde – we saw a colourful statue of him in the area where he lived.
Years ago groups of homeowners would often share a private, adjacent park. Now parks are open to everyone except for one that is still private – a key is needed to enter.
Photographers enjoy taking pictures of Dublins colourful doors – the yellow ones really pop.
It was such a beautiful day – perfect for strolling down one of the pedestrian shopping streets. The locals love their flowers so there are many fragrant flower stands between the stores. My passengers all purchased souvenirs to bring home.
Tonight’s dinner was more casual. It was held in the Golf Club House adjacent to rage Manor House Hotel where we are staying. This is a private members facility but my group was allowed in for a private function. We had a entree choice of steak or salmon – both received rave reviews – the jumbo lemon tart that followed was the perfect ending to another excellent meal.