I have done a lot of traveling to and from Italy and a lot in Italy but one thing I haven’t taken advantage of is using my time before or after a dig to visit other countries in Europe. I mean the ticket is already so expensive and the flight so long I might as well do it. Sometimes it has been a scheduling problem that kept me away, other times I was just lazy, but in the past year I decided that if I can I’d like to start to see more of Europe while I am over here digging. So this year it is 2 days in Dublin with Bonnie.
After a short flight north and a taxi into town we made it to our B&B, Kilronan House, a sweet place in two converted 19th century houses with an amazing breakfast (actually that was Bonnie’s deciding factor. After a great night sleep full of nothing but silence we took off to explore the city. We went to Trinity college to see the Book of Kells, a 9th century, illuminated bible. It was amazing. The rooms leading up to the book were full of information, even if it was a little haphazardly organized. The book room was fantastic and it was stunning to see in the “flesh” (it is a little manuscript humor since they are made with vellum). After the book room we walked upstairs to the old library which was jaw dropping. It was full of old manuscripts, a copy of the proclamation for Irish independence and a temporary exhibit on Brian Boru, which had some awesome graphic novel like illustration.
After walking around campus we started heading west and checked out Viking/medieval Dublin. We saw the record tower at Dublin Castle and the crypt at Christ Church. Also we were able to sit in on a prayer service for peace at the church. Bonnie was excited to hear an old Irish man pray, I thought it was a nice moment of peace in what seems like a very violent summer. There is also a mummified cat and rat that were found stuck in the organ pipes.
We then saw a mosaic of a Viking hut and had lunch at Porterhouse Brewery. They had an awesome oyster stout there. We then walked over to Jameson for a tour on whiskey, which I never realized was very similar to beer production. While waiting for the tour to start we checked out the cemetery at St. Michan’s church. After that we walked to the James Joyce statue, and if the statue is actuate then he was a pretentious looking dude.
For dinner we just went to The Barge for dinner and enjoyed more potatoes than I’ve seen all summer in one meal. Today we are of to the Archaeology museum and Guinness. It is going to be another great day.