Our first stop on this European Adventure with the Boldts began in Dublin. We arrived at 5am after a very long day (night) of travel. Since it was so early in the morning, we could not check into our flat, but we could drop off our luggage. We had a lively conversation with the bus driver who gave us great tips on what to do and where to go. As it turns out, he was right on the money! We spent the next 9 hours exploring Dublin. We began our day at a lovely little neighborhood cafe called Violets. We were greeted with a very inviting smile by a sweet lady who talked up a storm and shared her own fond travel memories of her trips to America with her son. They love WWE! She whipped up a proper English breakfast for Shawn and the Boldts while I enjoyed a lovely scone with a delicious cup of chai tea. As we continued to visit, we discovered that this kind woman was Violet herself!
After snapping a picture with Violet and promising to return, we took to the streets and stumbled upon the Garden of Remembrance, a lovely garden that Violet recommended we spend some time in. Next we visited the GPO - the General Post Office. The building opened in 1814 and a major refurbishment had just been completed before the Easter Rising of 1916. We enjoyed the exhibition and stopped to mail a postcard to our families as the GPO is still in use as a fully functioning post office today.
Next we went to Trinity College and joined a guided tour of the college before visiting the Book of Kells and the Old Library housed at Trinity. The Book of Kells exhibit was breathtaking. The Book of Kells is a 1200 year old manuscript of the Gospels of Christ and is held as one of the finest national treasures of Ireland. It was illustrated and decorated by Irish monks and is a work of art. To see examples of this work, Book of Kells.
As if that was not enough to take my breath away, walking into the Old Library was very emotional for me. The Old Library at Trinity College is the largest library in Ireland and is the home of the Book of Kells. The library began in 1592 with the opening of the college. The "long room" was built in the early 1700's and houses 200,000 of the library's oldest books. It is also lined with marble busts of philosophers and writers, as well as supporters of the college. Emotion welled up in me as I contemplated the thousands of years of knowledge housed in this one room. I considered the philosophers who have influenced so much of western civilization. As an educator and life-long learner, this room symbolized for me ~ my own quest for knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
It was finally nearing our time to check into the flat so we made a quick stop for some groceries and then set out to find a pub, as we were famished! We had a lovely dinner and enjoyed the live music (we thought we would hear some good Irish music but it was mostly American 70's and 80's music! LOL!)
I, of course, got up to dance! It was a very festive evening because Wales beat Belgium in football this night! A very big deal and much celebrating ensued!