Sunday, April 22, 2007

Exploring Dublin

We set off early the next morning, after the obligatory "full Irish" - a huge cooked breaky up in the older part of the hotel.

First stop was Trinity College and the Book of Kells, which is housed in the Old Library Building. The exhibition is fascinating - it explains how books written in 800AD were constructed. It was all very manual, detailed work!

It also outlined the symbology behind what is considered to be "one of the most beautifully illustrated manuscripts in the world".

We then checked out the Long Room, the main chamber of the Old Library. Rows of dusty old books lined the two tall levels of the library. We wondered what sort of books this library housed.

Finally, booked out, we jumped on the Dublin city bus tour and did a lap round all the main sights.

While we passed the iconic Guiness Brewery, we decided not to throw down a pint at 11am, even though as Dad would say, it's midday somewhere in the world.

The bus tour finished back down on the River Liffey, just opposite the Temple Bar - a snazzy pub-filled area where we hung out for the rest of the afternoon, listening to Irish bands. The Irish are a fab bunch - cheerful and friendly, and full of life.

Several tow-tapping hours later, we headed back out to the hotel and had a quiet drink in the bar. In keeping with the rest of the style of Clontarf Castle, the Indigo Lounge was stylishly decorated. The huge red chandeliers really set it off.

We had planned to head back into town for dinner, but our colds had taken over and we both felt pretty grim. We attempted to book into the castle's Farenheit Grill, but it was booked solidly until 10pm.

So, we chomped into a room service meal and got to spend even more time in the comfyest (is that a word!) bed on the planet.

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