Old Books and New Chips

Since Easter had emptied half the streets and closed half the shops, the native Dubliners off doing whatever they do to celebrate the holiday, A and I happily slept in and had a late start to our day.

It was about time to cross off #1 on our things to do list, so we returned to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells and the library. Except we took one look at the line of dedicated tourists, went NOPE, and shelled out an extra 2.5€ to purchase our tickets online and skip the queue.

To pass the time, we dropped by the Chester Beatty Library, a museum with a misleading misnomer. I delighted in the Arts of the Book exhibition, because books are always lovely, and got to see some of the most incredible illuminated books and intricate Qu’rans. (For once, like a good tourist, I obeyed the “no photography” sign, so you all will just have to make do with creating your own books in your imagination. To make up for it, have a picture of the Dubh Linn Gardens as viewed from the museum terrace.)

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We returned to Trinity College, bypassing a line that had shrunken considerably due to the rain, and joined the flood of tourists  in the museum exhibition. Trying to get to the glass case housing the Book of Kells was like being a salmon swimming upstream against the current, so I only glanced at the book briefly; I was more interested in the library, anyways. (Again, I behaved myself, so unfortunately you don’t get any illegal photos of the manuscript.)

Ah, the Long Room of the Old Library. I’ve found my new home. Welcome to a book lover’s paradise, where you inhale the scent of old books with every breath and gaze at more books than you could ever read.

Reluctantly, I kicked myself out of the library, and then we took advantage of the National Gallery’s free admission. Most of the place was being renovated, but we did get to see student imaginings of future Ireland that ranged from adorable to impressive, and numerous European paintings influenced by French artists.

Grumbling at the winds that stopped us in our tracks, we popped into a restaurant to grab dinner, where I had an introvert moment that ultimately turned out to be successful: I wanted chips but didn’t want to stand there reading the flavors, so I grabbed a bag at random. “Mature Irish cheese and red onion flavor” sounds odd, but it actually ended up being surprisingly tasty.

PS. Madeline agrees that we should move to the library. I’m a terrible influence.

(Me: Let’s move there illegally. Our new home.”

Madeline: oh fuck yes.)

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