arrived in Dublin at 9 am after an 8 hour flight from New York.
The Gresham Hotel would be our home for our first and last nights
in Ireland. We met Valerie who would be our guide for the next 10
days, and our bus driver Jim. Then we were off on a short bus tour
of the city. Buildings in Dublin date from the 1100's. There are
beautiful georgian houses built betwen 1750 and 1850. They all have
four floors with windows growing smaller at each level. Doors are
painted bright red, green, blue or yellow. There is a law in Dublin
that no building can be higher than 2.5 times the width of the street.
We visited Phoenix Park which is not only a huge public park but
also home to the US Ambassador to Ireland and the President of the
Republic of Ireland (who happens to be a woman!).
we were feeling jet-lagged from the overnight flight, our guide
recommended we fight the urge to go directly to bed and instead
take a nice walk around the city so we could go to bed at a more
normal hour. We decided to heed her advice and amazingly started
to feel better as we hit the pavement. Our first stop was Moore
Street (Barb and Colleen's maiden name). This is an outdoor farmer's
market where we found everything from flowers to produce. And the
surrounding stores reminded us of the old neighborhood stores that
used to be found in the US before strip malls and supermarkets took
We walked over the Ha'Penny pedestrian bridge to the Bohemian area
of Temple Bar with its many pubs and restaurants.Then on to Grafton
Street which is the major pedestrian mall and shopping area. We
couldn't believe how crowded Dublin is - vehicular traffic is horrible
and pedestrian traffic even worse. You
can't be in a hurry to go anywhere.
We returned to Dublin on the last day of our tour and had more
time to visit some of the historic buildings and museums. We chose
to see the Book of Kells exhibit at Trinity
College. This is a magnificently illustrated manuscript containing
the 4 Gospels of the new testament. It was written by monks about
800 AD on parchment made of cow-hide. They hand scripted it in Gaelic
and illustrated it with vivid drawings. Every day two different
pages from the actual Book are put on display. In addition there
is a wonderful exhibit which explains about the making of the Book
of Kells and the meaning of some of the illustrations.
more impressive than the Book of Kells though was the Long Room
which is a huge multi-level library housing 200,000 old books and
manuscripts stacked floor to ceiling. Ladders reach from floor to
ceiling along each wall to reach the top levels. Our mouths dropped
open when we entered the library. We couldn't take pictures but
we've included a copy of a postcard we bought to give you an idea
how this awesome place looks.
last evening in Dublin we attended the Traditional Irish Cabaret
dinner show at the Burlington hotel.. Some wonderful singers, musicians
and dancers entertained us with traditional Irish songs. A great
way to end our visit to Ireland.