Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day in Dublin

Windstar was glad to see the back of us.  The all-ashore (aka "get the hell off my boat") was at 8:30 this morning.  They dropped us in Dublin, which was a bit of a concern for a lot of the guests, as there are actually two ports in Dublin, which we'll call "the one all the travel agents thought they used" and "the one they actually used."  Having been told by our travel agent that we'd be at the one all the travel agents thought they used, she assured us that it would be a ten minute cab-ride to the airport.  When we discovered the other day that they were really using the one they actually used, and that the ride would be 45 minutes and you'd better pre-book a car, we made arrangements.  It did not look like everyone else did -- as, when we were driving out of the port, we saw a lot of people standing around looking for those ten-minute taxis to the airport, which were nowhere to be found.

We got dropped off at the Dublin Airport Hilton, but it was way too early for the rooms to be ready, so we got a taxi into the city proper.  My parents and I had both been to Dublin before, and had both missed out on the Book of Kells, in a library exhibition in Trinity College.  This time, we planned to see it, no matter how long the line.

The line was not all that long, and we got in after a reasonable wait.  I'll be honest with you:  the Book of Kells was nifty and interesting, but not all that exciting as a tourist attraction (it's faded and kept under low light).  The really fun bit was after the Book of Kells, where you get into the Long Room (I got pictures!) 

which is, y'know, a long room.  Trinity College's library is one of them official state libraries (kinda like the Library of Congress) in that it's entitled to a copy of every book printed in the country -- and Ireland has been around a bit longer than the U.S. -- so they've got a lot of books and, indeed, a lot of old books.  And you know how my favorite kind of  museum is a manuscript room, so I was an extremely happy camper.

(Me, at Trinity College, being a happy camper.)

We then, on the recommendation of the driver (who took us from they port they actually used), visited a placed called Dublinia, which is an interactive exhibit about how people lived in Ireland in the Medieval times (with a bonus exhibit on the Viking Era).  It was good for what it was -- but what it was was 90% exhibit for school children (and/or tourists) made up of recreations and maybe 10% actual artifacts (the only things you weren't allowed to actually photograph).  It was fun -- although my mother refused to try on both the Viking helmet and the medieval chain mail -- but I would have preferred more artifacts and less "Smell this herb and guess what medieval doctors thought it would cure."

And that's about it.  We came back to the hotel and got our rooms.  I hooked up to wi-fi and commenced posting.  We're going to go out for an early dinner as we have to leave for the airport at the inhuman hour of 5:30 tomorrow (and I still have repacking to do).  The journey home will consist of shuttle bus; three flights; and a car ride.  I will be wiped out, but am looking forward to seeing my cat.

(The Dublinia exhibit had a cat skull, confirming that Vikings had them.  Although they noted that dogs were kept as pets while cats were "prized for their fur."  I'm just going to assume they sheared the cats, like sheep.  Yes, I am.)

No comments: