Trinity University Library, Dublin, Ireland

I felt I had to devote a separate entry to Trinity University Library in Dublin. This library is absolutely great – if you are not inspired by that library, you probably also don’t cast a shadow in the sun. It is absolutely worth the price of admission….if reading is your thing and you appreciate books. There are tons of beautifully leather-bound old books. I imagine lots of them hand-copied. I wonder what stories, knowledge and secret they keep. The light that comes in through the narrow, high windows as sharply defined rays creates wonderful shadows and only enhances the overall secretive mood in the room. There library is dominated by innumerable hues of brown and beige. I would have wanted to stay there with fewer people for a few days and nights just to browse through the shelves. Yes, this is the real deal, not a film set for the ninth Harry Potter movie.Every aspect of Trinity Library stunned me when we visited: size, architecture, smell, colors, craftsmanship, materials. I was just super impressed.

And I hope, you will be as impressed by the library and that this little short post made you want to go.

Cheers and stay sharp

Markus \m/

 

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47 3/4 (Supercalifragilisticexpialegocious) Hours In Dublin, Ireland

In June, I went to Dublin to meet for dinner with some of my new colleagues. Of course such a trip I can impossibly do by myself, so I took my wife along. Now, Ireland and Dublin in particular conjures up images and fantasies of pubs, the band Flogging Molly playing late into the night in a pub, and Guinness flowing endlessly and in general good times being had by all. Furthermore, images of extra green pastures with milkcows chewing happily to produce milk for the good butter….and rain, lots of it and frequently. What follows is absolutely true – we were in Dublin in June and there wasn’t a single rain cloud even in the remotest of vicinities. We have had 2 beautifully, balmy, sunny days, that left nothing to be desired.

Dublin has probably the highest pub density of any city on earth I have ever visited, followed by an incredible number of fantastic, independent book-stores, and an even lower number of Starbucks stores, but instead with an also incredible number of local and oh-so-exceptionally-good cafe-tea-and-chocolate places. We can honestly say, we have eaten the best chocolate of our lives in Dublin and I grew up in what I would call “Europe’s Chocolate Heaven”, “The Golden Oblique Rectangle Of Chocolate”. For completeness sake,I hear Whiskey is also quite popular in Ireland and Dublin, but we were served with the above mentioned diversions.

When we visit a new city, I usually like to get my hand on the pulse of that city quickly and one way I have figured out to take it is by looking for graffities and murals. And this is what I would like to share with you. Then you tell me what your impression is of Dublin and whether you think we had a good time or not.

When in Dublin, look everywhere, yes and especially up. These umbrellas were placed above a side alley that gave access to the cellar of a pub. This is he full view of the side alley in the morning.The kegs are testament to the eagerness of the previous nights patrons. In the same street where the above pub was were a bunch of other pubs all next to one another. The street facing fronts had great graffities and murals. It was great seeing all this art all over. The only time we used the bus was to get from the airport to the city. Once in the city, it is completely accessible on foot – and it is entertaining, because the city has a lot to offer…all the senses are tickled. On the way to our hostel (yes hostel, because hotels are freaking expensive in Dublin, that really is the only major drawback), we walked past this neighborhood, that was “fully decorated”.The next shot shows the front of the trash cans on the left – like pretty maids all in a row.The trash cans don’t measure up, do they? If your glass is half-full, you’d argue, that the trash cans provide “practice surfaces” for the artistically challenged. Others might call it vandalism. I’d challenge the “writers”, to up their game significantly, when “writing” in this neighborhood. We meandered on through Dublin, discovering more of this great city.A fixer-upper with a proper construction wall around it. In that neighborhood we stopped and had a drink on the sidewalk.We did not wander aimlessly through the city, we were headed for the Guinness brewery, which is on the North side of the river to the West of the city center. And we went there on foot, thus we had ample time to soak it all in.Despite the melancholy of classic Irish literature, there is a vibe of resilience and dark humor visible in the city. Eventually, we got to the brewery grounds. Let me tell you, it is a big brewery. And they charge a heavy dime for a brewery tour – so heavy, so we passed. We don’t drink beer, it would have been pearls before swines and a waste of good money. But I have this picture to show you of one of the main gates, which to some are the pearly-bubbly gates.The architecture reminded me of London’s Battersea Station – a very imposing “brick-catherdal-style”. I suppose the two buildings were probably built around the same time. We walked back to the center of Dublin and passed by many more citizen-art-pieces.This place draws up the shutter at night and turns into – you guessed it, a lively pub. This is a confidence instilling artwork for a barber-shop – a proud handlebar mustache. A gun toting cherub – Amor’s grandchild, traded the bow and arrow up.One of the many great caf├ęs in Dublin at night. I am not sure what this was for, a boxing gym or a club, but the sign got my attention. See, this is a proper justification for the considerable consumption of beer in Ireland. Interesting fun fact. Per capita beer consumption for 2016 Germans consumed 104.2l (4), the Irish 98.2l (6), the Americans a measly 74.8l (21) and the biggest consumers by far were the Czechs with 143.3l (1). The water quality in the Czech Republic must be abysmal. Alright, so much for our introductory tour of Dublin. The city is absolutely worth a visit, no doubt.

Cheers and stay sharp

Markus \m/