Okay. Here it is. The final post on my visiting Dublin with a baby series: Trinity College and the Book of Kells. This was, by the way, my bravest feat yet at being a tourist with a baby in tow!
Now Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university modeled after the likes of Oxford and Cambridge, is just a hop and a skip up from Stephen’s Green and Bradford Street. Right in our line of fire. My friend Rochelle had highly recommended visiting and so one day after meeting Sam for lunch we braved our way up. But the streets were so packed that I could hardly maneuver the stroller and fussy baby, and when I saw what seemed to me hoards of people making their way into Trinity College, it made my head spin. I took one photo (just in case), made a u-turn and went home where Rémy and Mama promptly fell asleep.
Trinity College would have to wait until another day. My “hoards of people” hardly looks like a sprinkling. Mama and Baby must have been really tired!
Lesson #1: Listen to your instinct and take baby home for a nap in the afternoon. Mornings really are best for being a tourist when you have a baby in tow!
The following morning we set back out under gray skies, but no rain and much, much less people, or so it seemed at the time! Funny how fatigue can color your perception of things! I was ready to brave Trinity College with my baby who had had a full night of rest and was chipper, bright and calm.
We crossed the threshold of Trinity College and were promptly greeted by a stately looking set of ancient buildings in all their architectural glory, a serene and scholarly and even hallowed ambiance and the beautiful Campanile, the bell tower.
But I decided to cut right to the chase.
It was the Book of Kells I had come to see.
And I knew my baby wouldn’t stay bright and chipper and calm all day.
Well, we really chose the right time to come because we got in line, and just a few minutes later, masses of people got in line behind us. Morning people, morning.
Just look at the masses of tiny people lined up to get into the Trinity College Library!
Now the Book of Kells is an illustrated manuscript of scripture containing the four Gospels of the New Testament. It was created by Celtic monks circa 800 or slightly earlier. It’s type and graphics are extravagant and complex and beautiful Celtic knots are interwoven into its pages of text and images. Unfortunately, no photography allowed, but here is the link to the Wikipedia entry with several fascimiles of the pages of the Book of Kells. It is a fascinating tour. However….
Lesson #2: Do not go on the Book of Kells tour with a baby in a stroller.
Now everyone congratulated me because they couldn’t believe how well behaved Rémy was. They were amazed that he just quietly sat and observed. But their are stairs everywhere in this library. Short stairs, tall stairs, narrow stairs. Now, Dubliners are kind people as are tourists and so many people helped me carry Rémy in his stroller like a little prince up and down the stairs, but for future reference, if you must go with a baby, a baby carrier on your back would be the better choice!
The tour ends with a walk through a hall of the library containing over 200,000 volumes of ancient books. Quite the sight!
My well-behaved 9-month old Rémy. I just couldn’t help thinking how neat it was I brought him to this special place and I imagined him as wise soul who would grow up to be someone important and great and very smart, but here he is now just little and cute with his shoelaces untied.
I took these next two pictures for my Alex who loves this kind of thing.
Different remnants of decomposed books.
And different pigments used to illustrate ancient books.
Well, I would have loved to have a walk around Trinity College, but do you remember that chipper, bright, calm 9-month old baby boy? Well, he was no longer chipper, bright or calm and so I snapped a few pictures of the university’s museum that I found to be just absolutely beautiful with it’s Romanesque details.
One last photo (can you see us in the globe?) before whisking my baby boy off to the Grafton Street Disney store to buy him a prize for his outstanding behavior! Click here for more tips for visiting Ireland with children.