Friday, June 28, 2013

Last Day in Dublin

We woke up and had our typical breakfast of cereal and toast. After this typical European breakfast, we went to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College. I have always had a thing for illuminated manuscripts; the Book of Kells was beautiful! It dates back from 800 A.D. when it was written by Irish monks off the coast of Scotland on the Ireland on the island of Iona. The Trinity College library is also incredible. The architecture was borrowed in recent films such as Attack of the Clones and Harry Potter. I really enjoy books. After this adventure, some of us decided to take a walking tour that was free. Dublin is a large city. Like any city, it is easy to get lost in Dublin. We got lost before we finally found the tour. The three hour tour took us on a crash course in Irish history. From failed rebellions to musical genius, Dublin has a lot to offer. We saw the place where the failed Irish rebellion where the Irish could have taken over the seat of British power took place. We also saw statues to many famous Irish heroes. One of my favorite sites was Christ Church Cathedral, the place where Handel's Messiah was very first performed. We also saw the museum of Ireland. It had a lot of artifacts from various periods in Irish history, in addition to various artifacts from Egypt. After some more wandering, we got some lunch/dinner at a local pub. Most of us had Irish lamb stew. It was incredible! The meat was tender and juicy. 

Tomorrow we are heading out to Wales. Part of me wishes I could spend more time in Dublin. It is a diverse place. I have also seen how there is a lot of contrast here in Dublin. Ancient and modern. Irish and foreign. There seems to be a great culture war going on here over several issues (there must be an abortion bill that is being hotly debated- we see pro and anti-abortions signs everywhere.) There is a large amount of Polish people here, in addition to people from other countries and places. One interesting fact: the population of Ireland pre-famine in the mid 1800s was 8 million. The population today is only 6 million. 

Off to Wales we go!

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