Day 2 continued…
We had just finished admiring the amazing Book of Kells, then it was upstairs for more history and, of course, more books! This is the Long Room – the main chamber of the Old Library at Trinity College.
Just walking into the Long Room, we had to stop right in the doorway. We were in awe! Besides being absolutely gorgeous, with its barrel vaulted ceilings and its rows and rows of books, there was that distinctive and lovely “old books” smell. I’m sure there are some of you out there who know exactly what I mean! You probably just smiled and sighed contently.
The Long Room was originally built in the early 1700’s. Since this library is a “legal deposit library”, it can obtain a copy of every book published in Ireland and the UK, which explains the enormous collection that is housed here. Eventually the library’s collection outgrew its original space. So in the late 1800’s, a second level was added to make more room for bookshelves and books!
Around the library are marble busts of some renowned writers and philosophers, such as Jonathan Swift, Aristotle, Homer, Plato and Shakespeare. I like to imagine they are staring down at us and hoping to inspire our next generation of great thinkers and writers.
I absolutely love this little book-filled alcove – with the window, the little window seat, the floor to ceiling bookshelf and, of course, the books. I would love to have a little nook exactly like this in my house one day – complete with the ladders!!
And, look at this gorgeous spiral staircase! (Another one for the dream house!)
In the library, there are also other historical and national treasures. Like this important historical document – one of the few remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic.
Another highlight is the Trinity College Harp or the Brian Boru’s Harp, which is said to be one of the oldest surviving Gaelic harps in the world. There are also some illuminated manuscripts on display in the Long Room. These are good compliments to the Book of Kells exhibition that we had seen earlier.
We just couldn’t help feeling inspired and awed in the presence of such history, literature and precious historical and literary treasures. This is the perfect place to visit for those of you who are interested in literature, history and those wanting to see a beautiful library! We love our photographs but they do not do it justice. You really have to be there to experience it – and to take a whiff of the old books smell. 😉
We absolutely could have spent the whole day there, just wandering the Long Room, sitting on the benches, enjoying the old library smell, but we had to move on!
We decided to wander around Dublin for the rest of the day.
We headed out of Trinity College and somehow (without even consulting a map!) found ourselves on Grafton Street.
Grafton Street is famous for its shopping and its buskers. For me, I remember Grafton Street most for being the setting of the movie Once – which tells the story of a Grafton Street busker and the girl who inspires him to continue pursuing his music. We did see a number of buskers while walking down Grafton Street, including these guys who played some great music!
As for the shopping… It was just some window shopping 😉
That is, until we spotted a Disney store! Some of you will know that we are big Disney fans! We knew there was a Disney store on Grafton Street, so we had to make a stop. We wanted to see whether they would have any special Dublin-only merchandise!
Turns out they had a cute “Mickey and Minnie in Dublin” tee, so that became our Dublin souvenir!
We even met a friend – Anna!
After our Disney visit, we wandered into Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, where we picked up some small souvenirs and a picnic lunch.
We took our picnic lunch across the street to St. Stephen’s Green, to enjoy the great outdoors. We found a nice patch of grass and ate our lunch in the view of this picturesque house. We still have no idea what this house is! Anyone out there know?
Then we continued our wee city wander. We loved the colourful doors of Dublin! It was like everyone could express themselves through the colours of their front door. We saw reds, dark blues, bright almost-turquoise blues, purples, blacks, yellows, greens… We have very boring doors in Vancouver – looks like this is another thing to add to my dream house list!
We spent some time walking through the Natural History Museum. We even came across the beautiful and imposing Government Buildings.
After a long day of walking, we were ready to put our feet up for a little while. So we made a quick stop at the supermarket and headed back to the hostel for our simple dinner.
While we were at the supermarket, we found a little piece of home – Molson Canadian beer.
We didn’t get the Molson Canadian – we could get that at home. Instead, we tried an Irish cider and it was good – crisp and fruity. To go with the cider, we picked up some bread and cheese, carrot sticks, the most delicious caramelized onion hummus and some yogurt for dessert!
After our simple but tasty dinner, we headed back out to explore Dublin at night! We loved that it was so lively, with people packed into pubs, live music and singing spilling out onto the cobblestoned streets and it wasn’t even a Friday or Saturday night. The atmosphere was lively, infectious and we loved it!
Here are our favourite photographs from that evening.
Get ready for an epic Day 3 – it may or may not involve some Guinness and whiskey! 😉
From Vancouver with Love,
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