Tag Archives: Cathedral

Lovely Last Day Together

Monday was my folks’ last day with us in Dublin. As I write this on Tuesday morning, Reed is headed with them to the airport for their flight back home. It was great to have them share time with us here. Since we live nearly 2000 miles apart and don’t share day-to-day life, packing quality time into trips like this is something we really love.

Mom and Dad came over to our apartment mid-morning, our typical routine by now as the kids enjoy sleeping in. Now you may think we would have coffee or tea together, but not this morning – it was whisky time! Don’t worry…it was just a little tasting, which is far different than actually drinking…and, it was after 11:00, which is the time whiskey can be served here. (You may have noticed the different spellings of whiskey…the “e” is in Irish [& American] whiskey whereas it’s not in Scottish whisky, i.e., Scotch.) Dad and I had to sample the special whisky Reed bottled for us in Scotland at Cadenhead’s. We admired the color, swirled it, and then mixed in a little water, as we had learned to do with this strong stuff (112 proof!). Then we tasted it…and…it wasn’t too bad! I think my Dad likes it a bit more than me…not so much the taste but the warmth after it’s down the hatch. (I think I’ll always be more of a tequila girl; sorry Scotch lovers.) It was fun.

On the River Liffey

After lunch together on campus at “The Buttery” (all 6 of us; yes, Jackson is still here, just avoiding the camera), I took my folks back to Temple Bar and its quaint cobblestone streets. I wanted to get them to the old Ha Penny bridge (mentioned in my first Dublin post), as well as the new Millennium Bridge. I really enjoyed strolling along the River Liffey with them. As we couldn’t find gelato in Temple Bar, we headed back up Grafton Street for one last “tub” as they call it here. It was delicious, and we are thankful for all of the walking we do so we can manage our gelato indulgences! (Side note…we have sampled both Irish and Scottish ice cream and find it doesn’t compare to the Italian stuff.)

Later in the afternoon, my parents and I walked up Dame Street toward St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The plan was for all six of us to take in the 5:30pm evensong service, but Abbie now has Reed’s cold so he stayed back with the kids. It is about a mile walk, and we left in time to visit Christ Church Cathedral along the way (the four of us went there before my folks arrived so it was mentioned in a previous post).

St. Patricks’s is larger than Christ Church; in fact, it is the longest medieval church in Ireland. It is known as “the people’s cathedral,” and it is the national Protestant Church of Ireland. It stands on an early Christian site where St. Patrick baptized converts in a well in 450 AD. There is a park adjacent to the cathedral where the fountain marks this place. The original church was wood, and the stone structure was built in 1192 and then expanded to make it a cathedral between 1220-1270. It’s still hard to wrap our heads around this history sometimes! You can read more about St. Patrick here – there’s good reason why he’s such a big deal to the Irish!

The evensong service was beautiful. A choir dressed in purple robes, a gowned woman with a scepter, and three ministers processed in. The organ played throughout and there were several songs, prayers, and scripture readings. We said the Apostle’s Creed and prayer of grace together. It was a good reminder to me of how long people have been relying on faith to get through life.

After the service, we walked around the nave a bit, looking at the graves and other ornamentation. Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels) and his wife, Stella, are buried here. The area in the front where the choir sits is adorned with swords, banners, and helmets, which is a bit surprising. They represent the knights of St. Patrick. We departed very content with what we had experienced; I hope to attend again this week with Reed and the kids.

Campanile, nearing dusk, Trinity College

We walked back toward Trinity and met Reed at a nice pub he had located for our last meal together. We enjoyed the beautiful setting in the old Ulster Bank, and we had some delicious food. Upon re-entering Trinity, we were greeted by a wonderful view of the campanile (detail on the architecture here or here). We then visited for awhile in our apartment,  finished off our Irish shortbread, and then my folks said goodbye to the kids. It was a lovely last day together.



Warm Wednesday

Wednesday was our warmest day so far (upper 60s) with lots of sunshine. I even got to sit on a sunny bench at Trinity and read for about an hour! It also was fun to watch the people and magpies around New Square, the green in front of our apartment.

The four of us ventured out after a late breakfast to walk to Christ Church Cathedral, about 15 minutes from Trinity. I had read that you can pay one entrance fee for both the cathedral and “Dublinia,” which is a Viking and Medieval Dublin experiential type of attraction next door, so that’s what we did.

The cathedral was quite impressive; Jackson had learned about that type of architecture, so it was neat to have him add to the conversation (can’t wait till he sees Notre Dame!). I especially liked the stained glass windows, particularly a room with various saints, including Patrick (of course). The tree of Jesse is depicted in the large window grouping at the end of the cathedral; it was spectacular to behold. Jackson and I lit a candle of remembrance for Uncle Bruce in a reflection room. After we saw all the features, including the spiral stairs up to the impressive organ, we headed downstairs to the crypt. It was kind of spooky between the below-ground dungeon feel and knowing there were bodies in the walls. It was good to get back into the sunshine. 🙂

Dublinia was next…you enter what looks like a Viking ship to begin the story of how Vikings invaded what is now Dublin (settled in 841). We learned lots about Vikings’ customs, weapons, houses, trading practices, etc. A highlight was going inside a typical Viking home and imagining what it would have been like to live back then. The portrayal of a Viking bathroom was humorous, complete with sound effects. Did you know moss was the toilet paper of the Viking world? And, Vikings didn’t actually have horns in their helmets – who knew?!

The next level focused on Medieval Dublin and what it was like to live in that time. Again, not an easy way of life. The traditional home was more advanced and there were interesting discoveries that had been made, but living conditions were hard and death rates were high. The final part of Dublinia was an exhibit about archaeology and how discoveries are made through hard work, patience, and science. It was quite interesting and I think we all departed thankful that we had spent the time and money on our excursion.

We walked back to Trinity, stopping for lunch at Pizza Hut on the way. The rest of the day was spent reading, playing games, and hanging out with our students. Reed held a session for the seminar he is teaching while here: Cultural & Political Psychology through the Lenses of Self & U2. It is a very interesting combination of Irish history, intergroup conflict, and application to self. They have been at their service placements for two days and they are good overall. Hannah is volunteering at a watersports school working with (adorable Irish!) children. Jamieson is serving at a facility for intellectually impaired individuals (complete with cat!). Jamie and Kayla are at a rehab & residential setting for people with brain dysfunction (zoo field trip next week!). We will visit their placements so we can get a better sense of what they’re doing. The students are seeking out a lot of additional cultural experiences…they are truly taking full advantage of their time here! As one of the students eloquently put it, “Dublin, I love you.”

Tomorrow morning I will head to the airport fairly early to fetch my parents. We are very much looking forward to their arrival and hope their journey is a smooth one. Tomorrow night we get to see “Riverdance” at the Gaiety Theatre; something I have been waiting for with great anticipation! Hopefully Reed and Jackson will be pleasantly surprised. 🙂