Coláiste na Tríonóide
Welcome, dear readers, to Trinity College Dublin!
Its story begins all the way back in 1592, incredibly, and it is the oldest university in Ireland. It has over 16,000 students and is #52 in the world's Top 100 universities.
It's really, really gorgeous.
We were very lucky to be escorted around the 51-acre campus by generous friends who call the campus home. The famous Campanile in the quad, or the Library Square, of Trinity, contains four corners to represent Divinity, Science, Medicine and Law.
There's an amusing superstition for students - if you walk under the tower, you'll fail your exams and won't graduate!
It's taken very seriously, we're told.
NO PHOTOS, PLEASE
Two marvelous things are at Trinity College and sadly, neither permits photography.
Those are the Old Library and the Book of Kells Exhibition.
The former is referred to as the Long Room and was built in 1712, is over 200 feet long and quite narrow, and very grand and lovely. Of course, it contains the most ancient and rare books - all of which, I think, must be handled with gloves and special care, and only after one has acquired permission to do so.
BOOK OF KELLS
The Book of Kells is one of the world's oldest books, experts put it around 800 A.D., and was created by Celtic monks.
Though I'm sure many find it inspiring due to its religious nature - it contains the four Gospels in Latin and has over 500,000 visitors every year - I was spellbound by its remarkable age and lustre of the script, decoration and scenes.
You must see it with your own eyes! It's considered a national treasure in Ireland.
(Well, The Book of Kells and Panti Bliss, of course.)
SPHERE WITHIN SPHERE
I LOVE THIS SPHERE. It's by an Italian sculptor, Arnaldo Pomodoro, and his series of these - "Sphere Within Sphere" - are in places around the world. Even San Francisco's de Young has one in the sculpture garden, but not quite so grand nor shiny as this.
After asking if the thing could spin around, our friend insisted it could and marched right over to it in her fancy outfit and gave it the old heave-ho! A gal after my own heart, she got that sucker spinning gently 'round and 'round, and it was delightful.
We were incredibly happy to spend so much time with them in Dublin! They took us to an amazing farm-to-table dinner with fabulous cocktails, a mind-blowing drag show at one of Dublin's jewel, Pantibar, gave us the VIP tour of Trinity College and hung out with us at the Old Jameson Distillery.
Not to mention the super helpful (seriously, I do not know what we would have done without it), custom Google map of all the best places to shop, eat, drink and visit in Dublin. Thanks again, you two, you're the best!