Friday, September 30, 2011

Where the Grass is Greener: Day 6

Dublin, Google and Dublin
Our last full day in green green Ireland! We had to make the most of it. Trinity College was the closest walk from our hotel and so our first stop. A bespectacled college student in Harry Potter black robes gave us the tour. Oscar Wilde studied here and undoubtedly charmed and flamed his way through the school. The student seemed nervous but still churned out dates and facts as if she had been cramming for an exam. The college was built on monastic grounds as a Protestant university by Queen Elizabeth’s decree to counteract the Irish Catholic influence. I found interesting that the largest tree on campus, a sprawling long-armed thing, had successfully absorbed the overflowing water in the soil that was causing so much damaged to the buildings. The tree also fed off of the monastic cemeteries.

After the tour we were finally able to see the Book of Kells. This Celtic illuminated book and others in the collection were fascinating. The intricate details and minute flourishes of creativity within the confines of rigid Christianity made these cow skin pages so magical. The exhibit was very crowded so we didn’t have much time to deepen our understanding. Upstairs from the books was the Long Room, an old-style library containing mostly medical texts. Many of these less valuable but fascinating books were on display. The detailed drawings of human organs and blood systems were impressive especially since they must have been individually sketched with the limitations of printing presses... More>>