Wednesday, July 30, 2014

St. Patrick's Cathedral and Trinity College

On our third day in Ireland we departed Dromoland Castle to join our Brendan Vacations tour group in Dublin. The 136-mile trip went smoothly despite driving on the opposite side of the car and opposite side of the road that I was used to. Getting into the rental car place was the toughest part, between the unfamiliar signs, traffic and frequent turns. But it went without incident, and soon enough we were on the motorcoach we'd share with 40 other American tourists over the next 10 days on a guided tour of Dublin.

St. Patrick's Cathedral
First stop was St. Patrick's Cathedral.  While I'm not Catholic, I can certainly admire the reverence they show for God in their places of worship.  Shooting in low light without a tripod was a new challenge for me.  A flash would just be swallowed up in a space this large, an result in unnatural lighting and shadows.  I like having the people in the foreground of this shot to help give a sense of the spectacle and scale of the main chapel.

St. Patrick's Cathedral
I doggedly continued to try and capture stained glass windows, and again came up a bit short in really bringing out how impressive they were in person.

Richard Dawson, St. Patrick's Cathedral
I'd never heard of Henry Richard Dawson before.  He was dean of the cathedral from 1828 until his death in 1840.  But I liked the pensive pose of his statue.

St. Patrick's Cathedral
It's amazing what you can find if you just poke around a bit.  I originally thought the main altar could only be viewed from a distance behind an iron gate.  Actually, just walking up the left side led to an opening where one could get right up close.

St. Patrick's Cathedral
I spent a lot of time with my head tilted back looking up at the architecture.  Ornate columns and archways were practically everywhere you looked.

St. Patrick's Cathedral
I liked the detail in this wood revealed by the light streaming in from a high window, and the sharp contrast with the shaded areas.

Shakespeare bust, Trinity College
Next stop was the Trinity College Library, where I was excited to get a look at the Book of Kells -- an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament and believed to be more than 1,200 years old.  No photography of the book is permitted, so I can't show you a shot of how cool it was.  But it was definitely impressive.

The one place you can take pictures is the library's main chamber Long Room, which is lined with marble busts of philosophers, writers and men who supported the college.  I liked the authentic spelling on the bust of The Bard.

Socrates bust, Trinity College
Is it sad that many people in my generation only know this guy from the reference in Real Genius?

Trinity College
Between the busts, the Latin writing and the rows upon rows of old texts this place felt more steeped in knowledge and learning than any place I'd ever been.  It was like simply breathing the air could make you smarter.

We saw the rest of the city through the windows of a running motorcoach, which doesn't really lend itself to especially good photos.  But getting to walk through these two impressive places was definitely satisfying.

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