Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ireland/Iceland Trip, day 2: Dublin

We breakfasted on simple omelets and strong coffee at the nearby Lemon cafe, before heading back to Trinity College (this time with cash in wallet) for attempt number two to see the Book of Kells exhibit.

Learned a lot about the painstaking craftsmanship that went into making these beautiful, illuminated texts.  The exhibit and the book itself (behind some serious plate glass) made the visit worthwhile, but the unexpected star of the show was the Long Room, Trinity's historic library.  The weight and smell of all that old, loved leather and paper is with me still - it was a real treat for two bibliophiles.  No pictures were allowed, but here's a good snap from the internet:

From Trinity, we took a short walk to the excellent National Museum (Archaeology).  The intricately carved Cross of Cong made a lasting impression, and the viking relics brought the iron age to life as well.  After seeing some 3,000-year-old, solid-gold necklaces, Lauren has also informed me that she knows what she wants for her anniversary present.

We then swung by St. Stephen's Green, a lovely park just south of our hotel, on our way to the Cornucopia vegetarian restaurant for lunch.

Friendly vibe, quite full and bustling, with tasty food.  As I type this, Lauren is allowing herself her first jetlagged nap of the trip, but I've promised not to let her nap take on epic proportions.  More later...


After Lauren's (ultimately epic) nap, we had a refreshing 30-minute walk to the Guinness Storehouse, where we learned all about the history and manufacturing process behind Guinness.  Clearly, this is a building-shaped Guinness ad, but just as clearly it's also a real labor of love.  It's cool to be in a spot where they've been making the same beverage for just over 250 years.

With a couple of hours before our late dinner reservations, we relaxed at the Kehoe pub near our hotel. The Guinness tour did its job: Will was eager to have a pint!

Afterward, we ate at the Pig's Ear restaurant, which had received top billing for Modern Irish fare.  Every bit of food was incredible, and we ended the night with some Irish coffee (of course).