In which Rebecca I decide to hit Dublin right after St. Patricks day. (not the best idea I ever had)
Time to start reviewing the most amazing month of my life. The task is quite intimidating, so to start with I thought I’d share another one of the updates I wrote for my family and friends while I was gone. This update focuses on my time in Dublin:
Dear Friends and Family,
|Irish is such a beautiful language. Library is such a beautiful word.
How Arrre Ya? Rebecca and are just finishing up two and a half days in Ireland. In Edinburgh, we had two and a half perfectly sunny and warm days. In Ireland, we had another set of perfectly sunny days. Our hosts have emphasized again and again that prolonged sun is EXTREMELY RARE, especially for this time of year.
So apparently we’ve got the luck of the Irish as far as weather goes. However, after considering my minimal knowledge of Irish history (Viking invasion, Norman invasion, ruled (rather cruelly) by English for 700+ years, on and off bouts of bubonic plague for 100+ years, Irish potato famine, fighting in world wars completely unrelated to them, bloody road to independence, recent financial crisis) it doesn’t seem like the Irish are very lucky at all. Still not sure where that phrase came from. In any case, Rebecca and I are thankful for the lovely weather.
Dublin is very different from Edinburgh. In Edinburgh, the historical section of town was condensed to certain sections where everything looks more or less medieval. Here in Dublin the historical buildings are dotted amongst modern day buildings. Dublin is less of a fairy tale and more of the kind of place where you could actually imagine living.
|Apparently Saturday is protest day in Ireland. So many protests everywhere!
The accent here is beautiful and a bit easier to understand than the Scottish accent was. It is also a lot more catchy. I have caught myself accidentally speaking with a slight accent multiple times. And whenever I read signs on the buildings or historical placards I read with an Irish accent in my head.
There are a whole lot more Americans and other tourists here (probably on account of it being the weekend after St. Patrick’s day). Most of them strike me as American college students overly excited about the lower drinking age (18 vs. 21). Alcohol is a very important part of Irish culture. Again, it may be partly due to St. Patrick’s day, but I feel like every other conversation I overhear on the street centers on drinking (and that is a conservative estimate).
The city centers around the river Liffey.
My highlights for Dublin are as follows:
- Trinity College Library
Easily the most beautiful library I have ever visited in my life. Not to mention the fact that the main room is lined with busts of famous literary men which means that I got to snap a photo with my favorite misanthrope, Jonathan Swift.
- Cheaster Beatty Library
Inside the walls of Dublin Castle lies a beautiful garden and library filled with historical exhibits. One of the exhibits displayed REALLY OLD religious texts from around the world. Rebecca and I enjoyed seeing a tiny scrap of paper from one of the oldest copies of the New Testament (it was copied down shortly after Paul wrote his epistles). We were touched that the remaining fragment of paper was filled with a passage revealing our Lord’s perfect and fine humanity:
26 Then Jesus, seeing His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing by, said to His mother, aWoman, 1behold, your son.
27 Then He said to the disciple, 1Behold, your mother. And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
- Dublin Castle.
Our AirBnB hosts were extremely friendly (and, I must add, had the most delicious accents). The wife highly recommended that we spend one extra euro to get the guided tour of the castle vs. just doing a self-guided tour. I am so glad we took her advice. The tour was fascinating, offering a brief survey of Irish history from its founding (by Viking raiders in the 9th century) all the way through the present day. Not only did we get to HEAR a wonderful survey of the history, we got to SEE where everything happened right within those castle walls. I really wish I could write one more whole email just of the history of Dublin castle, but ALAS you aren’t all history buffs like me so I shall restrain myself.