We were a little more refreshed for day two and after a very hearty breakfast headed out for Trinity College.
Founded in 1592 and with famous alumnae such as Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker and Samuel Beckett.
However it is probably best known now for being the home to the Book of Kells. It was to see this that I particularly wanted to visit. For those that don't know the Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels, thought to date to around 800 A.D. There's some mystery surrounding where it was originally written, but is generally thought to have been started in Iona, Scotland and moved to Kells, Ireland for safekeeping after Iona came under attack from the Vikings. No picture for you I'm afraid as no photography was allowed. It was amazing though, Susan was a little overwhelmed by it.
After Trinity College we walked around the shopping area's of Dublin. The pedestrian Grafton St and famous Temple Bar area. Filled with the usual high St shops and some more quirky independent ones, along with of course a million little pubs. It was on this walk that we met Molly Malone, or as the locals call her, "the tart with the cart" it is from this song that the title of this blog is taken - (altogether now)"In Dublin's fair city where the girls are pretty I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone. As she wheel'd her wheel barrow through streets broad and narrow crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o"
We walked down to the river Liffey and took the river boat cruise. The cruise takes you through the centre of town down to the port of Dublin and back again. Along the way we met Buddy the seal, basking in the sunshine.
Near the port there is a collection of statues commemorating the people who immigrated during the famine. We took a walk down there later to check them out at close quarters, they were very moving.
The river has loads of bridges across it, some so low that you felt you had to duck your head to get under. In fact our boat was delayed for almost an hour because it had to wait for the tide to drop before it could get under one of the bridges - and this was a low, flat roof boat! The most impressive was the Samuel Beckett bridge, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and opened in 2009. It resembles a giant harp, the Irish national symbol. It's an opening bridge and when open rotates at a 90 degree angle.
We walked on to Merrion Park to see Oscar Wilde's house and the tribute to him in the park opposite. Not your usual dull bronze or marble statue, but then again he wasn't your usual dull character either.
We hopped back on the open top bus (I swear we're not addicted) and saw the rest of the sights of Dublin - Guinness brewery, Phoenix Park, the many bridges across the river, churches, cathedrals and statues commemorating the leaders of the Irish rebellion and fight for independence.
After that it was back to the hotel, a few drinks and bed - still recovering from Paris, did I mention Paris was hectic???