Friday, June 26, 2015

Dublin Day 2

Today we had remarkably wonderful weather: Ireland is having something of a heat wave, so it was sunny & about 72 degrees.  It does not get dark until about 11 pm which leaves time for a bunch of activities.  My day started with a walking history tour of the city led by a self-described "recovering academic."  We started at Trinity College which I learned was established in 1592 as an Anglican college by Elizabeth I, in part to consolidate the Tudor monarchy in Ireland.  For many years, Catholics were disallowed from attending the university, first by the college and later by the Catholic Church.   Important alumni include Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Jonathan Swift, and Bram Stoker. It is also the home of the "Book of Kells" which I saw in the afternoon.  The history tour followed the earliest invasions by the Vikings through the early efforts at self-governing (inspired in part by the American Revolution) through the Easter Uprising in 1916, leading, in time, to Ireland as an independent republic in 1923 (will learn more tomorrow at the "Rebellion Tour.")

This evening I went on the Musical Pub Crawl with two musicians who played music and while telling stories of Irish music, drinking, and the life of the village pub over the years in Ireland. We were given an explanation of the difference between a"jig" and a "reel" which is already lost to me.  One of the highlights of the evening was the flute player who was one of the musicians for the soundtrack of "Lord of the Rings," playing a tune from the film.  For me, not as enthralling as the literary tour, but very entertaining nonetheless.  I may have one photo to illustrate this section, but in general the pubs were too crowded for photography.  Now it's late & I need to sleep, but will write more tomorrow.

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