Karen and I both took red-eyes and arrived bright and early in Ireland. After getting settled in to our hotel, we headed for the city center. After a bit of wandering and getting lost we picked up a "freedom" pass which included three days on a hop-on-hop-off bus and access to all the public transportation. The pass was a really great way to see all the touristy spots of Ireland, learn a little bit of history and get around. Win.
As Karen and I planned our trip, we ranked our top three things we wanted to do in Dublin. For Karen Trinity College's library was at the top of her list. Also loving libraries and all-things-books, I was excited to see this famous library. It was beautiful. Beautiful. I wanted to climb all the ladders and stairs and study each book spine. (I couldn't of course.) But I was contented to just marvel at the architecture and collection of books. Awesome.
And added bonus to visiting Trinity College and its library was seeing the Book of Kells which, I gather, was a very, very old translation of the four Gospels. The college set up an exhibition where you could learn about its history and the processes entailed in such an ornate translation. Then at the very end you got to actually see it in real life. It's crazy that something like that has survived wars and all this time. (Kind of made me want to watch Monuments Men even more.)
After Trinity college Karen and I went out in search of food! We found a pub and ate a tasty breakfast sandwich. And after a study of local patrons, agreed it was normal to have Guinness with breakfast. So there I was in Ireland with my first Guinness (for breakfast). To my surprise, Guinness in Ireland tastes a whole lot different from Guinness in the states. It was much lighter and smooth without that chocolate/coffee taste I dislike in US pours. I liked Irish Guinness! yay!