succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bleeeehhhhh. Head cold. Not terribly surprising, considering the schedule I've been keeping and all the germy people I was cooped up with for hours on airplanes. I'm pretty knocked out, at least for now.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Trinity College (again)

I forgot one of the best stories from our Trinity tour - this guy

(George Salmon) was provost of Trinity when they were trying to decide whether or not to admit women. He is famously remembered as having threatened that they would enter over his dead body. He died shortly after and was buried by the back entrance to the college. Through which women admitted to the school entered. Careful what you wish for! (I asked if there was still a marker or anything there, but the tour guides say he's been moved)

Ireland - Day Four

Tuesday morning we went to the National Gallery, where I managed a few quiet moments in front of a Caravaggio. After we grabbed coffee and tea and pain au chocolat and snacked in Iveagh Gardens.

Then it was time for me to head back to the conference and Mom to knock around Grafton St. for more window shopping.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ireland - Day Two!

Should have posted these yesterday, but here is our adorable B&B (Adare House, which I highly recommend - very reasonably priced, by Dublin standards (45 euro per person, per night, includes full Irish breakfast, which may not be your first choice, but was substantial enough for us to skip lunch, thus making it possible to afford pints with dinner), located in an incredibly safe suburb (Mom and I walked home late-ish at night several times), but still an easy 20-30 minute walk or 10 minute bus ride into City Center).

Note the palm tree in the upper left corner - Dublin's climate is actually quite mild, and rarely sees freezing temperatures in the winter (though 'summer' is hardly warm).

Sunday morning we headed out to Trinity College, where tours are provided by history majors (highlights include a story of a gunfight between students and a law professor, who was ultimately killed in the battle, but the students were eventually acquitted since the whole thing started as 'a drunken prank'!). We also made the obligatory tourist stop at the Book of Kells, which warmed my heart, since one of the pages is turned to the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. The book is housed in the old library

and the Long Room upstairs (which was recreated for Star Wars II) is precisely how an old library should look - ceiling-high shelves packed with old books and even a spiral staircase! I could have stayed for days.

Continuing our old book theme, next stop was the Chester Beatty Library, housed in the Dublin Castle (pictured in previous post). This library is based on Chester Beatty's personal collection, and features some serious showstoppers. Seeing illustrated versions of the Qu'ran, from around the same time as the Book of Kells, really emphasized just how related all of our religions are. But I have to say it was the scraps of papyrus from 150 and 200 A.D., featuring passages from the Bible written in Greek, that really took my breath away.

Next we stopped at Whitefriars Church, which houses St. Valentine's crypt and what is believed to be the oldest wooden sculpture of Madonna and Child to survive the Reformation. Also, I may go to hell for laughing at this, but it was too funny to pass up the photo op

We wrapped up our day with a stroll through St. Stephen's Green, which is lovely, but pretty much just like any other park in the middle of a city.

Monday was a conference day, and I gave my talk, which went ok but not great. Luckily that night we enjoyed good food, good music, and good company at Foley's. (as usual, Mom and I make friends where ever we go)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Where I've been!
(Dublin Castle)

So I'm back from my great overseas adventure. I'm still playing catch up with laundry, e-mail, voicemail, and grocery shopping, but wanted to get a quick post up. Mom and I met up Friday morning in Boston, after respective flights at dawn from our own cities, then flew overnight to arrive in Dublin around 5am. Despite essentially no sleep over two nights, we hit the ground running, dropping off our luggage at the B&B and doing a self-guided literary walking tour while waiting for our rooms to be ready.

(Oscar Wilde)

That night we headed to Kielys, which rapidly became our regular pub, and where I was introduced to my new favorite beer! Next time - Trinity College and the Chester Beatty Museum.