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Dublin, the capitol of Ireland, was first settled by the Vikings in 988. It is a beautiful modem city with touches of the old and charming to be found here and there. We arrived early enough that Kay and I teamed up with three other gals to do our own little exploration walk of the city before dinner. We located a woolen shop and I believe all of us bought something. The stole I bought is of the softest most beautiful Morrino wool I have ever touched. The shop was right in front of the Ha' Penny Bridge, which crosses the River Liffy which runs through the city. And, yes, there really is a Ha' Penny Bridge! We took pictures of the bridge (with us on it, of course), and the river with the modem Guiness Office Building in the background.

The next morning, we got back on our bus to take the ubiquitous city tour. They pointed out two statues on the same block with our hotel. One was a fountain with a beautiful, nude woman reclining in it, with the water beginning above her head and flowing through her hair and down over her breasts. It seemed to be black or dark charcoal, in my memory, but the striking part of the memory was the length of this fountain, perhaps about 40 or 50 feet. The other statue was that of Molly Malone, shown here with her cart. So, the locals refer to the first statue as the "Fluzzy in the Jaquizzi" and Molly Malone as the "Tart with the Cart".

On with our city tour, we passed St. Stephens Green, Marrion Square, O'Connell Street and Bridge (where we were staying), and several other points of interest. We then arrived at Trinity College, which houses 14,000 students and dates back to 1592, where we were to see the Book of the Kells. Well, I found myself acting like a kid. I couldn't wait for the others to get off the bus, and was halfway to the college before they were finished getting off the bus, when I realized I was misbehaving. My enthusiasm was probably insufferable but I just couldn't contain myself until we actually stood in front of the book. Well, actually, it is in several glass encasements and show cases. One display showed how they created the colors used in the manuscript: Red Lead, Lapis Lazuli, Malachite, Orpiment and Azurite.

These New Testiment Books of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John, are done in such an eleborate and exquisit manner. It seems that almost every capitol letter that begins a paragraph is enchnced with so many figures and designs, that often obscure the letter and make it impossible to read. It is as though, the artists have taken Celtic designs (like those you see scattered around this page), started doodling and couldn't quit. But the end result is magnificant and I had no idea I would become so fascinated with them, for it is very rare that, even the most famous oil paintings get more than a glance from me. I'm just not touched by art.  Music yes, art no. But the Book of the Kells is a different story. Just writing about it, my heart is pounding.