Dublin - May 20th, 2012

We landed in Dublin at 7:30 AM on Sunday morning. I had only slept a few restless minutes on the red-eye flight, but nonetheless I felt awake and energetic to start our big three week tour of Ireland. Maybe it was the scary prospect of driving on left hand side of the road on the "wrong side" of the road, but I was not sleepy. Fortunately, traffic in Dublin on a Sunday morning is quite tame and we had no problem getting our rental car and driving to the Anchor House Bed & Breakfast. We dropped off the car at the B&B and headed over to Trinity College, just a short walk across the bridge.

At Trinity College, students can earn extra money by acting as tour guides of the campus. We took one these tours, and heard about history of Trinity College. Trinity was founded in 1592 by the order of Queen Elizabeth of England. Originally, the college was outside of the city walls. Women were first allowed admission in 1904. Today, there are 2,500 graduate and undergraduate students.

Inside the Library of Trinity College is the Book of Kells. This is a marvelously illustrated set of gospel created by monks in the Middle Ages. Only two pages are on display on any given day, but there is an entire exhibit with explanations and images of Book of Kells.

We ate lunch at St Stephen's Green, and then visited the National Museum of Archaeology. Inside the museum, the most famous exhibit is the Treasure Room, which has valuable objects from ancient Ireland on display. The Cong Cross is located here.The museum also has a collection of bog bodies - remains of human bodies that had been cast into the peat bogs. The peat mummefied the bodies, preserving them for thousands of years.

After dinner, we still had energy despite the lack of sleep, so we decided to go for a walk along the River Liffey. Originally there were two rivers that merged at Dublin, the River Liffey and Poddle River, but the Poddle River has been built over and now runs underground. The city name comes from Dubh Linn, which mean Dark Pool, which is what the ancient Irish called the meeting point of the Liffey and Poddle.

We walk along the River Liffey, crossing it at the O'Connell Bridge, the Ha'Penny Bridge and the Millenium Bridge. We went as far east as the Four Courts building. Then we returned to our B&B for a good nights sleep. Our tour of Ireland had begun!

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Trinity College

St Stephen's Green

National Museum of Archaeology

Dublin City Walk