I saw more the next morning before I left Dublin than I did the whole day before; being a lovey day I walked to Marsh’s Library just behind St Particks cathedral. All their books are older than European settlement of Australia – how mind-boggling is that? It’s very much smaller and less well-known than the Long Room but a really interesting place. They keep the door locked and you have to ring a bell to be allowed in where the old gent gives you a little introduction and warns you not to lean over the ropes and touch the books! It’s all very quaint. They too have cabinets down the middle of the room with selected items on display; at the moment they are all science related and contain books by Galileo and Darwin. Apparently everything is quite unchanged since it was built three hundred years ago, even the three reading cages where you were locked to read any of the small books – obviously human nature hasn’t changed that much!!
I had a lovely time there and spent quite a while talking to a couple of the staff about all sorts, including their Facebook page; they are considering an adopt a book program to try to raise more funds, check them out.
Breakfast of coffee and warm apple pie at a cosy café just nearby went down well. Then I called in to a funky little shop called the Jam Art Factory and the guy in there was in for a huge chat too. Seems almost everyone you talk to over here has a family member in Australia; his sister has been over there for almost a year now. Anyhow he told me about a little church to go have a look at not far away, but off the beaten track, St Werburghs Church. I wasn’t sure I had the correct place, it really didn’t look like a church, but later I found out the towers had been demolished because of the security risk due to its proximity to Dublin Castle. Talk about a find, it was a great place and there was a guy there who once I asked him one question kept me entertained for almost an hour. It has such an interesting history and has only been open for visitors last summer and a couple of weeks this year.
I still had time spare so-called in to the Chester Beatty Library; I only looked at the Art of the Book section – what an awesome collection, but all behind glass cabinets in darkened temperature controlled rooms, so it did feel a tad sterile after being at Marsh’s library a few hours earlier where everything is so old and just there, with that old book smell all around you.
Anyhow, by now I had to hot-foot it back to collect my gear and get to the ferry port. At the train station I was asking the ticket guy why they had two names for the ferry port, Dublin and Dun Loaghaire – he looked at me strangely and said there’s two ferry ports!!! Well, f’n hell, I was all set to go a few stops on the train to Dun Loaghaire when in fact I had to find a cab and take a ten quid taxi ride to Dublin Ferry Port!! Almost had a major stuff-up there, thank goodness for all those questions I ask everyone.
The cabbie was one of those talkative ones so we had a great chat on the way and by the time we arrived my heart was back where it belonged and beating regularly again – not a million miles an hour like it was when told there were two different ferry ports. Oh well, it’s back to England now and looking forward to a week in the Lakes District.