Anyway, we really enjoyed seeing the museums, with such a grand rich history. A lot of the pieces are very local ("this sword was found just over there", "this book was found under that big tree outside", etc etc), and while I've seen that sort of thing back home, it is a bit different when it goes back so many centuries.
My favorite piece was the Tara Brooch, shown here:
I will say that in Ireland, they have bogs, and apparently sometimes people will inadvertently find their way into those bogs, and they will inadvertently die, and then years later some bog wanderer will find their largely mummified remains, and then some guy will put these remains in a museum, and then you will have the opportunity to look at their dead body in some detail, apparently so that you have the opportunity to remark, "That is a well-preserved dead person!"
...I didn't take pictures of the bog people, and I honestly regretted looking at them. However, if you're into looking at bodies of people remarkably well preserved in bogs, Ireland has got you covered. They have a LOT of them. At least one of the bog bodies had been MURDERED, and then dumped in the bog, and they went into great detail about how, if one looked closely, one could see where the skull had been caved in just here, and one could tell that it had been a furious, violent act of MURDER, and one could surmise that the deceased had probably been a criminal, engaged in some nefarious enterprise, or possibly had simply been walking down a country lane when he had been cruelly MURDERED by nefarious types, or or or maybe some large tree had fallen on his head and MURDERED him, as trees are wont to do.
I didn't dig the bog bodies.
So to speak.
Next, we went to the Trinity College Library, mostly to see the Book of Kells. This is a book which had been fished out of a bog (a recurring theme with Irish history, I feel), and which was remarkably well preserved. However, when one goes to actually LOOK at the Book of Kells, one cannot help to be... let's say underwhelmed. It is, I confess, a LARGE book, but at the end of the day, it's a book, and while it is QUITE bookish, and absolutely excels in its ability to be a book, and may well be without peer as books go, it is still a book you are all crowding around trying to get a good look at while the woman I will politely call "she-who-smells-like-a-whale-oil-refinery" is deeply invading your personal space. Great, I've seen the book, I gotta go.
It's a really good book, and you should go see it, but mostly because AFTER you see it, you can see the Trinity College Library itself:
This is a BREATHTAKING library.
I have no words. It's one huge long hall, framed on either side by bookcase after bookcase. It's really an amazing experience. I WANT ONE.
We then paused in our excursions to have lunch, as our blood sugar was getting low, and we were still a bit anxious as we hadn't heard anything about my luggage. I kept ringing the hotel, asking if it had been delivered from the airport yet, and the young man at the desk, every time I called, seemed to understand for the first time that my luggage had been misplaced, and they should expect it to be delivered. Every. Time.
"You lost your what now?"
"My luggage. The airline has said that I could expect that it would be delivered today."
"To... to you. What do you mean 'Where?'?? I asked them to deliver it to the hotel."
"The one you work at. The one where we are staying."
"I don't think we have anything like that, here, sir."
"What do you... what?"
"I'm sorry, let's start again. You lost your what now?"
So that was getting pretty annoying.
In any event, we decided to hit the National Gallery after lunch. As we stopped in, the woman at the front desk said, "Oh, there's no charge. The collection is...quite *truncated* at the moment, I'm afraid."
There were, I believe a total of ten paintings. In the entire building. "Quite truncated", indeed. Apparently, most of the national collection was out on loan, leaving them nothing to display. They did, however, have a talented young artist hard at work in the building at one point:
After a long day, we did finally make it back to the hotel, and in our room we found....
AND they had moved us to a different room, with a much more comfortable bed, AND we ordered a tea service, AND Kris's phone service was finally restored, AND... it was a really, really great day.
Tomorrow, ADVENTURE!! :)