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Zzzzz… Zzz….

I woke up at 7 am, ready to explore! Amy already left for work and her kids were still asleep, while I was eating my breakfast of cereal, potato hash browns, and juice. I dressed up in my gray Princeton U tee shirt and a light tan khaki shorts and was set to go. David told me last night that I need to take bus 25A by the Penny Hill Pub to head to Centre City. At 2 euros a ride, I could feel the burn.

I never seen this much cobble stone streets in my life! It really makes me want to drive my Impreza all over the twists and turns, regardless of the fact that that would damage my wheels and suspension faster. I arrived at Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university which was build 300 years before Princeton was ever built! This was one of my top places I wanted to see while in Dublin. Not only was it the oldest educational institution in Dublin, it is, according to them the best university to attend in Ireland. I don’t know the educational system or the rigors of their educational system. Here is an excerpt from their graduate level program:

“Message from the Dean of Graduate Studies:

Trinity College Dublin is a university with a long and distinguished reputation in research and scholarship. However, to our prospective students, it will be our present standing as a high-ranking centre of learning. and as Ireland’s leading university, that will be the most important…”

Professor Patrick J Prendergast

Dean of Graduate Studies

The College’s Mission statement:

“Trinity College builds on its four hundred year old tradition of scholarship to confirm its position as one of the greatest universities of the world, providing a liberal environment where independence of thought is highly valued and where staff and students are nurtured as individuals and are encouraged to achieve their full potential.

The College is committed to excellence in both research and teaching, to the enhancement of the learning experience of each of its students and to an inclusive College community with equality of access for all. The College will continue to disseminate its knowledge and expertise to the benefit of the City of Dublin, the country and the international community.”

From their strategic plan 2003-2008

I thought that was pretty interesting to read and added Trinity Colleges as a place where I might want to apply for graduate school. ha!

The other really fascinating things about Trinity College, other than its facilities, buildings, and classroom appearing awesome like the ones you see in movies set in antiquities, it also held the Book of Kells in their possession. It is an illuminated manuscript detailing the four gospels, which I was told, was to convert the locals, at that time, to Christianity and to the Catholic Church. Really was gorgeous, from my perspective, work of art. After leaving the carefully guarded room, you go through a long reading room with stacks of books lining up to the very top of the ceiling! I’d like to have a perspective shot of the volumes, but they closed off access to the books. Inside the room were historical pieces of Ireland’s involvement in WW II.

When I exited the reading room it led me to the souvenir shop. Looking around I saw a necklace for 20 euros, a pin for 15 euros, shirt for 45 euros., etc. Walking out I headed for the gentsroom for obvious reasons! haha! Which did not accomodate tall or structured people. I had problems getting in and out of the bathroom stall! When I finally was able to escape from my toilet stall I saw the urinal which was a long basin. I guess the Men’s bathroom rules don’t apply here…

What an experience with that bathroom! I couldn’t stop laughing! I got to the entrance and saw that there was a guided tour by a history major from the university. Luckily I had the PU shirt on and got in with a student’s discount. Sweet! The guy had so much knowledge, it just looked like he didn’t know where to begin whenever he spoke! But he was an immensely nice guy. So can’t knock him down for that.

After all the other people came, we went back to the university where he would give us a very descriptive history of the university. The university was build by the English as a settlement of Protestants to civilize the “aborigines” he mused. It was actually quite funny, though. After the discussion about the College, he brought us to a bank which was once part of the Irish Parliament, where led us all to the delegation room which was decorated with velvet and marble statues. Along the wall were tapestries of some of the wars that were fought. In the middle of the room was a large chandelier.

After being led to Temple Bar we ended the tour, two hours later.

Dispersed, we all went on our separate ways. Getting lost for a good two hours looking for St. Stephen’s park, I looked at my 30D’s info screen and saw that I only had 30 photos left that could be taken on my current CF card. Lunch time was in order! I made my way to southern part of Dublin and found a shopping area where I could buy a coffee and eat my sandwiches. I logged onto the local wifi, and chatted with Eric retelling him what I have been up to so far.

Turns out mom was going to Vietnam to see my grandfather who was very ill and wanted to see him one last time. She, at the time, has a bad leg, not sure how she injured it but I wonder how she was going to do it! Flying to Vietnam from home is in the 20 hour range! Geez, gramps is going to pass away. 😦

I finished my food and coffee and left to find a park, walking into people making out. Ooops! Having watched Once I recognized the scenes and park! I also stumbled onto a different shade of color- red!

I lucked out this day. Not a cloud in the sky and it was turning 6:30 pm and I was set to return back to Lucan County for Dinner.