Thursday, September 8, 2011

Arrival, a walking tour of Dublin, and the welcome dinner

Our hotel, the Brooks, is on Drury Street right in the heart of Dublin.

The Portland group arrived about 8:30am and had a bit of coffee and tea.

Holger, our guide, introduces himself and talks about today's events.

We set out on our walking tour.  We'll walk, sight-see, and have lunch, getting back to the hotel just about the time the rooms are ready.

Here's the path we took during the walking tour.

"Drury Street" isn't spelled anything like that in Irish.

A wonderful name on the pub next door to the hotel.

Lots of beer, and all of it Guinness.  The "pillow" on the ground is there for a purpose:  the deliverymen roll barrels of beer off the truck, letting them bounce on the pillow.  I guess it's easy after doing it a few hundred times.

Selling bread from a street stall.

Our first stop was to see the Book of Kells in the library at Trinity College library.

Jan looking for a photo-op.

Jack got a great shot of these girls in their school uniforms.

Once we got inside, there was an excellent exhibit on the Book of Kells, including larger-than-life copies of some of the illustrated pages.  Absolutely no photography was allowed, so the images below are from Wikimedia and are illustrations in the Wikipedia article on the Book of Kells.  The book is the four Gospels of the New Testament, and was created by Celtic monks in about A.D. 800.

This is the first page of the Gospel of John.  Clicking on the image will take you to the Wikimedia entry for the picture.

This image shows Christ enthroned.

The Long Room of the library is a rare book room that is in fact very long, but more interestingly it's also very tall, with shelves to the ceiling.  All the books are available for scholars to refer to, and library staff trundle ladders around and fetch books from 15 feet in the air.

We split into two smaller groups for the rest of the walking tour.  Rob, our local guide, telling us about some of the famous sights on the Trinity College campus.

We saw the bronze statue of Molly Malone, and Rob sang us the song about her.

More Guinness.

Butler's Chocolate Café.  Just imagine a chocolate café.  There are several of these in Dublin.

This establishment doesn't seem nearly as traditionally Irish.

In the courtyard of Dublin Castle.

This is the chapel that's part of Dublin Castle.

Two views of the remaining round tower at Dublin Castle.  Originally there were four of these.  The castle was used as a prison for centuries.  Apparently one imprisoned rebel managed to escape back in the 1500s, but no one since then.  It's no longer a prison.

Part of the garden next to the castle.

The interior of the former Quaker meeting house in the Temple Bar area of Dublin.  It now has multiple uses, including cinemas.

Everywhere we saw shops, pubs, even department stores decorated with flowers, mostly in window boxes.

Ha'penny Bridge, which crosses the River Liffey.  It was formerly a toll bridge, with a half-penny as the toll for pedestrians.

The view from the bridge.

Inside the General Post Office, where some of the significant events Ireland's revolution took place.

The Spire.  It's incredibly tall.  At first I thought it was the world's tallest flag pole, but no one could even see a flag flown from its top.  Our guide Rob said that it lights up at night.  It must be visible for many miles around.

Our group had an excellent lunch in the Grand Central Bar.

The Welcome to Dublin dinner

We walked from our hotel to Gallagher’s Boxty House, a traditional Irish restaurant.  Jack welcomed us on behalf of All Classical.

These photos were shot in very low light without flash, so they are a bit on the grainy side.  Holger, our guide, gave us lots of information about logistics and what we'll be seeing in coming days.

Jan and Juanita discussing the dinner with one of the waitresses.

Edmund regaled us with a story about a pub in Avebury in England, and something about liars.  The rest is probably better left unsaid.

This is Ireland, so having a black ale is almost mandatory.  Excellent stuff.

Also excellent was the cheesecake made with Baileys Irish Cream.

Edmund talking with Cherie and Rob.  Cherie was the grand prize winner in a recent All Classical membership pledge drive, and her prize was this trip to Ireland and Scotland.

A few folks went out on the town after dinner, but most turned in early to try to recover from jet lag.

Here's a map of where the photos were taken during the walking tour this morning and early afternoon.  We covered a bit of ground.

Another walking tour tomorrow.


  1. Great to see the photos and we really enjoyed the commentary! Richard and Theresa we're watching you...

  2. Looks like a great time. Great picts!

  3. We'd love to see some more of what is going on with your group, where you're visiting, how everyone is doing. Looking forward to the next post.

  4. Thanks guys, for sharing such informative data.

    Travel Reviews


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