October 3

It's currently 12:20 AM local time and I should be sleeping, but I woke up after only three hours and finally decided to get up and do something. Before I tell you about my first day here, I have to tell you that I peeked out my darkened plane window mid-flight to see ice and snow as far as the eye could see, interspersed with black, jagged rock. Who knew I'd flying over Greenland, but that is indeed what I was looking at.

I made it to my hotel, then staggered around Dublin rather in a daze for several hours. I did manage to go see the Book of Kells, which is a manuscript of the four books of the gospel, copied out in Latin with incredible gold leaf and other illuminations by Irish monks in about 800 AD. That makes these actual pages of calfskin vellum about 1200 years old (obviously!). The same library in Trinity College houses the Long Room, a library of 200,000 of Ireland's oldest books, including a first edition of William Harvey's book on the circulation of blood. (Liz, I know that will mean something to you!) No pictures allowed in either of those places, unfortunately, though I did take one at the college of the entry to the Book of Kells.

I also wandered down Grafton St. and saw some incredible busking. I have no idea what the piano like object was but must have been related to a harpsichord (though he smacked the strings rather than plucking them). Anyway, I won't be bringing it home and learning to play it!

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