Sunday, July 26, 2015

Ireland, Day 14: Southwest Dublin, Part 1

Ed and I had few plans today, but as the way things go, even the simplest plans turn into seeing more things than one might have originally intended. For example, today we decided that we would confine ourselves to wandering over to the nearby Dublin Castle (Caisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath). And so we set forth towards the aforementioned castle. We took a short detour, though, over to Ha'Penny Bridge (Droichead na Life), the first pedestrian bridge to cross the Liffey River; it remained the only pedestrian bridge for 184 years, until the opening of the Millenium Bridge in 1999.

From Ireland (2015)

It was pouring, of course. And because I am nothing if not consistently awesome, the rain hat I specifically bought for this trip stayed warm and dry at our hotel all day. At least Ed had an umbrella. I wore a hoodie that soaked up all the rain.

You'd think this was my first trip to Ireland.

Anyway, onward we went to Dublin Castle, which was first founded as a major defensive work on the orders of King John of England (1166-1219) in 1204; until 1922 the castle served as the seat of British rule in Ireland. Most of it dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland. The Record Tower is the sole surviving tower of the medieval castle and dates from c. 1228.

From Ireland (2015)

The guided tours were sold out for the day, but we were able to take a self-guided tour, and walked through the State Corridor, the Portrait Gallery, the Throne Room, and St. Patrick's Hall, a room in which Irish presidents are inaugurated.

Ed expressed an interest in seeing the Chester Beatty Library, where we saw the Damsels for Dinner exhibit, which features three scrolls that tell of an episode in which Minamoto no Yorimitsu (948-1021), known as Raiko, slays Shuten Doji, a demon described as an ogre, a kidnapper of pretty maiden,s and a cannibal disguised as a giant human being; the scrolls are from the 17th century. An exhibit on another floor - the Sacred Traditions Gallery - featured sacred texts, illuminated manuscripts, and miniature paintings from  Christian, Islam, and Buddhist collections, with smaller displays on Confucianism, Daoism, Sikhism and Jainism. I especially enjoyed seeing the illuminated Qu'ran manuscripts, which were just beautiful.

At that point, we were effectively kicked out, since everything was closing, so we decided to go to Mass at the Clarendon Street Church, which had two beautiful chapels, including this one for St. Teresa of Avila, who was the patron saint for this particular church.
From Ireland (2015)

It was a lovely simple Mass, one with no singing, and no organist; instead, all the prayers were read, and someone played a recorder before, during, and after Mass. It's still a bit uncommon to find a Sunday evening Mass, but we were happy to find a convenient Mass time.  However, this meant that it was time for dinner after Mass was finished, so we wandered down the street and had a wonderful Moroccan dinner.

No comments:

Post a Comment