April 18, 2012
We began the day with an Irish breakfast, then headed to St. Patrick's Cathedral where we stopped in at the library there called Marsh Library. It was like a small scale version of the Book of Kells, but nobody was there but us and the employees. They said they'd been through all 25,000 books --- twice! They were looking for a famous note written by a niece to her uncle, but they've never found it. The legend is that the uncle haunts the library, searching for the note. The library has "cells" or "cages" that were used for locking researchers in while they studied so they didn't steal any books.
We ventured to St. Patrick's Cathedral, which was stunning, making sure to light a candle and praying for a special intention. My favorite part was the tattered medieval flags and the medieval knight helmets in a row on the choir loft because the knights used to actually sing there. Also, there is a garden where a well supposedly once stood, the site where St. Patrick is said to have baptized Christians.
Then we went to Dublin Castle and although it was closed, we had a nice time touring the grounds and having a coffee in the lovely atrium of the Silk Road Cafe within the Chester Beatty Library. There was a charming chapel on the grounds as well called the Chapel Royal.
Next we walked across the Quay to the National Leprechaun Museum. We stopped at a pub across the street called TP Smith's for a pint of Guinness first, though. The museum was humorously awful, but I have to admit that the employees warned us of this fact at the door and did everything they could to dissuade us from buying museum tickets. They had a room with oversized chairs and dressers that you could climb onto so that you could feel like a leprechaun and talked about the ridiculous American idea of "Lucky Charms" types of leprechauns.
We stopped off to visit the Oscar Wilde statue, listened to a troupe of young Irish street performers, then had a late lunch at a nice little pub that I don't remember the name of. The food there is a buffet-style (they call it a carvery in Ireland), but delicious, and I had my first ever Irish coffee. Carveries are amazing little things where you get your choice of delicious meats like roast turkey or beef piled high along with veggies such as carrots and potatoes and all of it smothered in the most delicious brown gravy sauce.
Inevitably, I ended up very ill. I came down with a feverish cold and rested while Aaron hung out in the hotel bar for a bit. I managed to to take a few sips of wine with him at the Ferryman, but after feeling like I was going to die, I laid in the hotel for the rest of the night.
Wife, Mommy, Vintage Lover, Coffee Addict, Photography Junkie