Monday, March 4, 2013

Europe Day 2

I slept in yesterday morning, then caught the bus in to the city center, which was a little bit scary, given I had no idea where I was going, other than the destination my hosts had told me to go to.  I made it though, and basically just started walking around, trying to get my bearings.  It felt like I walked for miles, but I'm sure it wasn't quite that much!  The first place I went was the National Gallery.  Unfortunately, a lot of it was closed for renovation, but they had kind of the cream of the crop, I guess, available to the public still.  What I was really excited to see was a painting by Vermeer, who is my favorite artist.  I've seen some of his works in New York and Paris and it is now my life's mission to see all of his paintings in person.  Fortunately he wasn't very prolific-I believe there are only 36 known works.

Next I went to go to the National Museum of Ireland, but mistakenly ended up at the Natural History Museum.  I should have known by the large group of children that were lined up outside, that this was not what I thought it was, but I went in anyway.  For those of you who went to BYU or are from the Orem/Provo area, it's basically the Irish version of the Bean museum.  It was entertaining for a few minutes.  Then I went around the block and found the actual museum that I had been wanting to go to.

The National Museum of Ireland has a great collection of Irish historical items.  My favorite part was the bog people.  They had bodies (or rather, parts of bodies) of people who had (mostly) been murdered and had their bodies thrown into the bogs.  They were amazingly well preserved.  You could even see the red hair on one man.  The skin looked just like leather handbags, which is what I will now think of any time I see someone who has spent too much time in the tanning bed.

After hitting up the museums I grabbed a quick lunch at a cafe, then walked over to Trinity College.  I walked around the grounds a little bit, which was kind of cool, then went to see the Book of Kells.  All of the guidebooks warned about huge lines to see the Book of Kells, but I was able to walk right in.  I don't know if I would have waited for hours to see it, so it worked out quite well.  The book, itself, was neat, but once you spend a minute looking at it, you're ready to move on.  Or at least I was!  Upstairs from the book, there is a big, long library that's full of old books.  There's some law that requires that they receive a copy of every book that is published in Ireland and, I believe, in the UK as well. 

Next I walked around Grafton Street for a while, which is a pedestrian shopping area in Dublin.  When my parents were here, they said there were lots of people out playing music, etc. on the street, but I only saw a couple of people.  Maybe it was because of the time of year?  Who knows . . .  Anyway, after walking around there and a little bit around the Temple Bar district, I headed back to the apartment.  I was pretty worn out by this time!  And, just like in Paris, I had a huge blister on the bottom of my feet.  Unlike Paris, though, it wasn't too bad and it wasn't a blood blister, so I can't complain.


Traci said...

Yes, I'm looking up Vermeer's work right now. Did you take Art History at BYU? I want to say you did. It was pretty cool to learn about all the different art and architecture!

I want to see these bog people.

Kim said...

I did take art history. For a while I was a European Studies major with an emphasis on Art History. Quite a mouthful for something with no job prospects!!!

Here is a link with pics of the bog bodies:

The ones that show pictures are the ones from the museum. You can't take pictures there, otherwise believe me, I would have taken about a hundred!