After a restful night of much needed sleep, we started today with breakfast at the Conrad Dublin, the Tauck hotel for this journey. Tauck has arranged for guests to enjoy a complimentary breakfast at the hotel, and it was delicious. By 8:30am, we are boarding the brand new Mercedes motor coach for a city tour.
The motor coach is so new it even smells new! And, it is very comfortable. Dale, our Tauck Tour Director introduces us to Carol, our local guide for the day and soon we are on our way through town with Carol providing insightful commentary along the way.
Our first stop is St. Patrick's Cathedral, the national cathedral for the Church of Ireland. The amazing structure dates back to 1220 and no visit to Dublin would be complete without a stop here.
Carol gave us a thorough tour of the Cathedral, pointing some very interesting historical facts.
We re-board the motor coach for a short ride to Trinity College Dublin for a tour of the Old Library Exhibition and the Book of Kells. Neither Rickee nor I had ever even heard of the Book of Kells, yet hundreds of people were lined up outside the exhibit to gain entrance. Fortunately, Tauck has procured VIP tickets for our group, so we go to the front of the line!
Photography is not allowed inside the museum, so you have to go in person to see the exhibit. The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. The fully developed style of the ornamentation of the Book of Kells places it either from the late 8th or early 9th century. The book (there are actually four of them) is quite small, but fortunately, the museum has enlarged photos of many pages showing the elaborate ornamentation.
A short walk upstairs takes guests to The Long Room in The Old Library. The Old Library serves Trinity College and the University of Dublin. It is the largest library in Ireland and, as a legal deposit or "copyright library", it has rights to receive material published in the Republic of Ireland free of charge; it is also the only Irish library to hold such rights for the United Kingdom (Wikapedia). The Library is the permanent home to the famous Book of Kells. The Long Room contains 14 busts of famous philosophers, and those who supported the College.
After our visit to Trinity College, we boarded the motor coach for the short drive back to our hotel. It is now lunch time and Tauck has given us the rest of the day to explore Dublin "on our own". The location of our hotel is perfect for short walks to many of Dublin's historic sights and points of interest. We spend the rest of the day enjoying Dublin, doing some souvenir shopping, and getting some walking exercise. We are convinced that Dublin is a city in which we would like to spend more time.
Tomorrow, we will board Le Soléal for the cruising portion of this British Isles adventure. Stay tuned!