Ireland, August, 2016

We were in Holyhead, England to catch the ferry to Dublin, Ireland. Our hotel had a big breakfast for us and we walked about 15 minutes to the port. It was a breezy, sunny morning, and we enjoyed looking at the Roman fort and church ruins on the way and also crossing the bridge to the port. On the ferry:

The ferry ride was about three hours. It was like a mini-cruise ship with restaurants, lounges, and a movie for the kids. There was wifi on board which helped our trip planning. It was windy and cold on the deck. It was exciting to see Ireland get closer, with hills and the Dublin port welcoming us to the island. We arrived, disembarked, and took a city bus to a neighborhood of brick rowhouses in the northeast part of the city. The doors were colorful. A plaque said they were company houses from 1910. We stayed two nights in a newer house at the end of this block.

We walked to Trinity college and back. It was interesting to walk past the new and old bridges over the Liffey River, and to see the newer office buildings on the walk.  It seems Dublin has built a lot in the past decade or so. Trinity College is beautiful and we returned the next day.

At Trinity, we saw The Book of Kells, a famous illuminated gospel text from 800AD, and the historic library there. Relatedly, we watched the wonderful animated film called The Secret of Kells that evening- highly recommended. It tells a story, loosely based on what historians think really happened, of the famous book. You can’t take photos of the Book itself, but here is the gorgeous library:

I really wanted to see the bog bodies so we went to the Archeology museum. Many things have been preserved in the acidic, cold, low-oxygen bogs and they give clues to ancient life in Ireland.  Clothing, food, and even an illuminated text have been found very well preserved. The most fascinating find, though, has to be the bodies of people who were strangled and placed there for reasons unknown. The bodies are believed to be from upper class people, judging from the clothing and lack of evidence that they did much physical labor in their lives.

There were many other intriguing exhibits there on Vikings, the Normans, mideival life and pre-Christian life. There was a special exhibit on The Psalter book, dating from the ninth century and found in a bog in 2006. I love archaeology museums and this really was a good one. 

A few blocks away was a pedestrian street with buskers. I think it is Grafton Street. Here are the twins with some performers.

We also had some decent burritos in Dublin. You may scoff, burrito snobs, but you probably haven’t had a Darjeeling burrito. It was so bad that afterwards, Dublin may be the first place I dared try one. Anyway, while I’m on the subject, worth noting is The Buttery student cafeteria at Trinity- budget friendly, cafeteria style of course, and perfect for us trying to feed six easily and under budget. Awesome scones and other baked goodies. 

We left Dublin the next day in a rental car. DH and I had taken a trip to Ireland in 2002 with 15-month-old Fiercely. Stay tuned for the trip with 15 year old Fiercely plus her three little sisters!


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