Tuesday, January 16, 2007

In Dublin - Trinity College and Book of Kells

I arrived in Dublin last night on my first Ryanair flight ever, on which the overhead announcement boldly proclaimed (with a trumpet sound) was another of it's on-time flights. I paid £22 return for my flight so I was just happy to get here. The sign as we were boarding the plane read: "Ryanair - the low fares irline". So low fares they haven't even bothered to replace the "a".

I spent yesterday poking around Dunoon before getting on the ferry to Gourock and then the train to Paisley. I got off there and strolled around some to kill some time, as I had left the Coylet pretty early in the day due to the fact that it was cold since all the heating had been turned off and I was also just keen to get going. Paisley looks like a lot of the other towns along the Clyde, just bigger. I have some pictures I'll download when I get the chance.

Then I spent many boring hours at Preswick airport which didn't even have a TV to watch.

Anyway, this morning I went over to Trinity College. The college made largely of grey stone buildings that seem very straight and rectangular, like a lot of other buildings in this part of Dublin. It's also behind a huge wall like many other things in Dublin. Once again as when I strolled through the University of Glasgow, I could tell when I was drawing near to the university simply by the clothing and bags on the numerous young people, and by the occassional professor who sticks out from the crowd with his odd manner of dress and greying hair, often wearing a bicycle helmet and trouser clips and carrying a briefcase of course.

The Book of Kells exhibit was very interesting - a history of the Irish Church, the making of the book and other similar manuscripts, and information on how books were made at the time (very tedious) and the symbology used. The detail in the images is so great that I have trouble making it all out so I can't imagine trying to draw or write that small and so regular.

The library following the Book of Kells exhibit was also amazing to me and surprising since I didn't really know it was part of it. It looks just like every old library you see in pictures or in movies but never actually get to see in person (until now). Ladders that slide along the shelves, all old hand-bound books, two levels, statues of old guys. I was impressed.

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