Thursday, November 4, 2010


Main Entrance for the Theological Institute, Rathgar, Dublin
Part I 

The warm Dublin welcome that  came with PJ continued throughout our time in the city. Sadly, as we often said you wouldn't come here for the weather! It drizzled with rain almost the whole time and so limited the amount of walking we could do. This was a good enough excuse to stay put on the Hop-on,hop-off bus. We managed the front seats up top for a couple of long rides each day and this way had a good look at the city. There are 23 stops en route and we had plans to look at lots of the highlights, we probably did five of them.

The beautiful grounds of Christ Church Cathedral

Dublin has two Anglican Cathedrals, one for the local area of Dublin and Glendalough (Christ Church) and the other St. Patrick's for the whole of Ireland, they are only a few hundred metres apart. We met the Archbishop of Dublin last night after a lovely service in the College Chapel, he instituted about a dozen students as Lay Readers. We were invited to join in the College Dinner, it was a great atmosphere and fun to be back in College, even if only for a while. Everyone we met seems to know Bobbie Moore or have worked on a committee with her!!

The two Cathedrals are beautiful, grand, medieval and although full of tourists they seem to be places of quiet and prayer. The one time Dean of St. Pat's was Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels, his life story has added a lot of vitality to the history of Dublin. So too Mr. Guinness, this stopover for the hop on bus usually produced several jokes from the drivers. We were tempted to do the tour but ran out of time..where are our priorities!!

Dublin Castle and  the Chester Perry Library

 The other great character we discovered was Chester Beatty, a collector of manuscripts and antiquities. He was originally a New Yorker and he settled in Dublin (bit of a long story) and left his fortune and his fabulous collection to the city. He built a library to house the treasures and this is adjacent to the Castle. We spent a lot of time looking at the ancient texts of the different world religions, there were common threads..most especially human beings dependence on a greater power. Enough philosophy!!

One of the great treasures of the world is located in Dublin,that is The Book of Kells. The exhibition is a permanent and beautiful display in one of the buildings inside Trinity College. Naturally only a page or two of the book is open but the displays and descriptions leading up to the actual book are really helpful.
You feel as if you are a little wiser on celtic art and calligraphy for the experience. After the display the exit is via the Long Room, the historic library with its towering ceiling and two stories of books. It also has displays telling the story of Irelands several rebellions eventually leading to independence.

Part II next Blog

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