Sunday, June 13:  A Museum and Famous College

This morning I woke to find Robert hogging the entire bed, so I went out of bed and got dressed. We slept in a bit, until 10:00. Soon everybody else was up, and hungry. We couldn’t get breakfast at the hotel, because it is like a Best Western. Instead we went out looking down the street, near where we ate lunch yesterday. A breakfast cafe’ was right nearby, so we went inside. The place had a great menu, but I ended up getting a bagel with cream cheese, something I’d thought I’d never find in Europe. I liked it, and everybody else did too. When finished we all walked back to the room to grab cameras and coats and stuff. Now we could start touring. The first thing to see was Trinity College, a very famous place with the Book of Kells, which I’ll explain later. A quick walk and we were in the square, with the huge building looming overhead. We walked inside and saw a student at a booth who was giving a tour. Mom thought it was a good idea, so we signed up. It started later, so after a quick errand of the cash machine and phone booth, we came back for it to start. The man told us about the history and buildings, and it all was very pretty, with white walls and tons of pillars. He led us all the way through, and stopped at an area where the Book of Kells was. That was the end, so everybody thanked him and got in line for the book, which was included in the ticket. After a short line all of us were deposited in, and through the exhibit.

Now, the Book of Kells is the first printing of the 4 gospels to come to Ireland, when Christianity was new. It had very beautiful drawings with amazing pigments in it, and was supposed to be amazing. It was Celtic (pronounced Kel-tic, not sel-tic, like the basketball team the Celtics), which is an old Irish group of people. After a crowded mini-museum we could look at it, and it WAS amazing! The blue was a very rare and beautiful color, and it all seemed to glow with the loops and curves in the Celtic design. Many people were pushy, so I broke away and walked up some stairs to the reading room, some part of the college. Inside it was very long with all kinds of old leather-bound books. Also, they had those old ladders to reach high books! At the end of the room and down the stairs was the gift shop, which we browsed through and then left to walk to the courtyard outside. It was very hot out, and we didn’t bring water, so we walked to a cafeteria inside another building and got some drinks. I got a Fanta, and my brother got a Sprite. Mom and Dad got some lemon thing. All of us drank it there, and decided what to do. My dad wanted to go to the Guinness beer brewery, which comes from here in Dublin. Mom, Robert, and I wanted to go to a museum, so dad went on his own.

The one we wanted to go to was called the “National Irish Museum”, or something similar. A 10 minute walk through the city and we were there, just on opening time. Through a square and into the doors and we were in, and didn’t have to pay admission, because it was free! The big main floor was old golden artifacts, some from BC! They were very beautiful, and very shiny. To beat the crowds we ducked in to an exhibit called the gallery, with more beautiful artifacts. One was a huge silver plate, another and old cross, even a brooch made of bronze, gold, silver and lead! In one! After that we journeyed up to the next floor, which was an exhibit about how the Vikings came to Ireland. It was very interesting, with a real re-creation of a boat, a boring audiovisual, and a model of their homes. I liked the real skeleton of a warrior the most. When that was finished, we heard from a woman that a children’s thing was happening downstairs, so we walked there. The woman running it said she was giving a tour, so she gave us name-tags and told us to follow. It was only us two and a little 5-year-old girl. She talked to us about the Viking combs and how they were so picky about how they looked the most, and then took us into a kids room to show us how to make combs. Mine was very cheesy, just a stick of cardboard with drawings on it, and it wasn’t much to be proud of. Then it was over, so we found our Mom, thanked the lady and left. We were all tired, so we cancelled our trip to another museum and set out to find lunch.

A Subway was the final decision, and I got a turkey and cheese sandwich with a cookie. Mom, Robert, and I ate at a small garden near the hotel, and then walked up to our room to find Dad was back. He liked his tour, and we told him about ours. For a while I did some typing in my journal. But after about 3 hours it was time for dinner again, which meant that we would go out. There was a street in the old part of town that had lots of great places to eat, but I forget what it was called. We walked there, and looked at the places to eat. In the end it was decided to eat at mexican! YES! It was called the Alamo. We grabbed a seat and looked at the menu. I split a beef and cheese taco with Robert, and a Fanta. When it came I ate it, and the food was HEAVENLY! I hadn’t had a taco for a while, and was a great change. At the bar next door it was stuffed with people watching soccer, the Euro 2004. It was a big game, England vs. France, and they were all excited. I finished eating, so we all left and walked home along the water. At the room we watched the game, and France won. Then I went to bed, but on the floor because Robert would hog the bed again.