Monday, November 1, 2010

Ireland Trip Day 13, Dublin

Our second day in Dublin Mark took us on a couple of walks.  The first was through Trinity College on our way elsewhere,  Mark is a recent grad of Trinity College so he told us a few interesting stories about the school.  One was that and early Dean said that the only way women would enter Trinity was over his dead body.  He died in 1904, women entered Trinity in 1905, they reburied the dean under the floor behind the main entrance to the college so the women where actually passing over his dead body.  I don't know if that's true but it sure makes a great story!  After passing through the college we walked to No.29 Lower Fitzwilliam St, a Georgian row house that has been restored as a museum.  I think there were 4 flights of stairs in that house!  The servants truly got a work out!  Life for them, the servants, was incredibly difficult.  I was intrigued by the small things, glove stretchers, boxes to store peat logs by the fireplaces, a piece of furniture designed to hold dirty plates, etc.  Also by the doll houses.  They had a visiting exhibit of bonnets made by women and girls who had migrated to Australia, some by choice, some by force.

After that it was on to the National Museum of Ireland for a look at the Bronze Age gold work and a look at the "Bog people."  The gold was interesting, the earliest was very thing and frail looking and it got heavier over time.

Then we had free time.  I first visited the Hugenot Cemetery as it was close by.

While my Hugenot ancestors did not come through Ireland it was interesting to see that some had gone there as I had not read that.

After that I headed back to Trinity College and The Book of Kells.  I purchased an audio tape of the exhibit and enjoyed it very much, illustrated manuscripts are amazing!  At the end of the Book of Kells exhibit you enter the long hall which is filled with early printed books and manuscripts from floor to ceiling on both sides of a center isle.  The shelves are open for two floors.  They had books and manuscripts important to Ireland's history on display there.  The University library is like our Library of Congress in that it holds copies of all books published in Ireland.

After that, I went shopping!  I had a mental list of things I would like to buy while there when I left home-I didn't get them all :(  I did buy a small linen and lace tablecloth in the west of Ireland but had not found any of the other things.  So I went to the House of Ireland store and finally found some woolen things I liked:  an Aran knit cardigan sweater, a shawl and a scarf (everyone wears scarves there.)   I didn't get any more crystal as Waterford is in receivership and so has become a collector's item (the price has gone UP) I just couldn't justify spending a couple of hundred dollars on a bowl I would never use!  There was other crystal but nothing I liked.  I was happy with what I bought so I hauled by loot back to the hotel!

It was only about 4pm so I thought I'd take a walk to the River Liffy and look at the bridges.  Dublin has some amazing bridges and I'd only seen them as we passed the day we came to Dublin.  I was walking down Moss St, next to the hotel (and the garda headquarters!) when I saw an amazing thing.  There was quite a lot of traffic and it was stopped at a light, I wasn't really paying any attention to the cars but a man came round in front of a panel truck (think mid-size U-Haul) lifted a blue and yellow bat and banged it against the drivers window!  Just shattered the glass.  He shouted something at the driver then walked back to his little red car threw the bat in, closed the hatch and got in.  The truck started to push into the car, trying to get him to pull over, then the light changed and they roared off down the street that way!  It happened so fast I was still picking my jaw up off the ground and it was over, otherwise I might have taken photos!  Of course, there wasn't a cop around.  After that I just went back to the hotel!

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