Dublin, Republic of Ireland (August 21, 2019)

Overnight we sailed 115 nautical miles west and …hold the phone!… woke up to a bright sun! Now to decide if we trust that or if we carry rain gear just in case. In other words: did we learn anything from being rained out yesterday?

Our side of the ship faced lots of hubbub on the dock. We saw thousands of containers being loaded onto and off of ships, lots of large circular buildings for who knows what, cranes, smoke stakes of all sizes, and heard the constant hum of back-up signals. It was fun to watch the beehive of activity from our deck.

Independence papers were signed in 1922 making the southern two thirds of Ireland an independent country. In 1949 it became a republic and is not part of the United Kingdom. Dublin is both the largest city and the capital of the Republic of Ireland. The average age of a Dubliner is a whooping 37.

Our main focus today was the Book of Kells which is widely regarded as Ireland’s finest national treasure. This medieval book, written and illustrated by monks around 800 AD,  has been housed at Trinity College since 1661. It is an illuminated manuscript written in Latin and contains the four books of the New Testament and some tables and introductory texts. The pages are made from vellum. More than 150 calf skins were needed to make the vellum for this one book. It’s original jeweled cover was stolen over 1000 years ago. Beautiful and detailed displays explained all this to us and then we got to see the actual book. We were told that one page is turned each day.

As long as we were at Trinity College we popped into the main chamber of the Old Library, aptly named the Long Room. It is almost 200 feet in length and houses over 200,000 of the library’s oldest book. It was built in the 1700s and is beautiful and quite distinctive with its vaulted ceiling, huge windows, dark wood, and marble busts. A rare original copy of the Proclamation of the the Irish Republic is on display in the Long Room as well as the oldest harp (15th century) in Ireland.

Our last stop of the morning was at Dublin Castle for a guided tour of the chapel, state rooms, inauguration room, and throne room. Many a distinguished world leader has walked and will continue to walk the halls of this still-in-use castle.

I decided to take my culture-saturated brain back to the ship and Dan stayed downtown to stroll around. He enjoyed a pub lunch and shopped at a grocery store for fun goodies for us to enjoy at home.

Walter’s seating tonight was based on characters from the Wizard of Oz. The ladies chose between Dorothy (Hettie), the good witch (Cleone beat me to it), and the bad witch. The guys decided between the scarecrow, cowardly lion, and the tin man.

Tonight’s entertainment was vocalist Phillip Browne, known to London theater goers for his work in The Lion King and eight other West End shows.


The harp is both the symbol of Guinness and the Republic of Ireland.
The harp is turned one way to represent Ireland and the opposite to represent Guinness.

Irishman John Philip Holland invented the submarine– Holland 1.

Although two separate countries, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
play as a single team in certain competitions.

The Republic of Ireland is the first country to elect women presidents back to back.
They are both named Mary and were the seventh and eighth presidents.

Fun fact: for centuries women were not allowed to study at Trinity College.
They now make up 60% of the student body.




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