Today dawned what seems to be a typical Irish day. Overcast, raining intermittently and 10 - 12 degrees. Stayed like that all day.
Walked a couple of hundred yards up the street, bought a flexi tram ticket and headed into Dublin. Brisbane should really rue the day they got rid of the trams instead of upgrading them. Quick, comfortable and efficient and 7 euro to ride all day on and off as often as you like. That first couple of hundred yards was just the first of many more to come, often going round in circles.
First stop, Dublin Castle which doesn't exist anymore except for one of the towers and the Chapel Royal. The Castle Square is still there and instead of the castle, is formed by a number of buildings in a style that reflects the history of the site.
The next stop was the most important of the day, Trinity College. The Trinity College Library is one of the world's oldest research libraries. The library has had the right to claim a free copy of all British and Irish publications since 1801. In addition to this, many great collections of works have been donated and the library has a stock of nearly three million volumes. The old library was built between 1712 and 1732 and the Long Room houses around 200,000 of the library's oldest books. The library is a treasury for the display of Irish Medieval gospel manuscripts, principally the Book of Kells, The Book of Armagh and the Book of Durrow. The Book of Kells, hand written and decorated on calfskin pages, contains copies of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and it dates back to the 6th century. No photography was allowed in this area so I can't show you any pictures, you'll have to come for yourself. We could take photos in the Long Room and they show the magnitude of just one part of the collections.
The Long Room also contains around 36 marble busts of famous and important people and the oldest harp in Ireland. Dating from around the 15th century, the harp is made of Oak and Willow with brass strings. This harp was the model for the harp of the Irish logo.
Honestly, how much can a Koala bear. We then went to the National Museum of Ireland - Natural History. What a fantastic collection of taxidermied animals and birds. So life like except some of the animals looked a bit the worse for age. The lower level was of Irish animals and birds plus displays of sea animals and fish, moths and animal skeletons. On the upper level was similar displays of mammals of the world. Australia was well represented with kangaroos, wombats, platypus and many more including a Tasmanian Tiger. Unfortunately that was labelled as a Tasmanian Wolf and the Koala was displayed as a Koala Bear. I lodged a complaint on their behalf and the Receptionist was sympathetic and aware and explained that the labels on the displays were often over 100 years old. No wonder the animals looked the worse for wear.
From the museum we headed for the tourist area of Temple Bar passing on the way by the sculpture of Molly Malone. Molly was the lady of the rhyme selling cockles and mussels, alive, alive, Oh. Molly looks like she has been rubbed "for luck" a few times.
Got a nice coffee in a cafe in Temple Bar where a young lady was desperate to find out where I got my Guinness cap. All the streets in the area are still cobblestones and although fairly quiet at lunch time, I believe it comes alive at night.
You may recall back on Day 12 I talked about the Famine emigration out of Blennerville and the dangers of the ships. One ship was mentioned there as being very safe having completed numerous voyages without loss of life. That ship was the Jeanie Johnston. That ship is moored in the river here at Dublin and open for tours. Nearby is the national monument to the Famine, a sculpture of a number of people representing those affected.
On the way back to our accommodation we stopped of at the Guinness Storehouse from where tours are conducted. No access unless you purchase tour tickets, not that interested in how it's made, tastes good anyway so it was back to the hotel and time to try to get everything into the suitcase to get it back to London tomorrow.