Luck of the Irish? Part Five

Meandering Mandy
4 min readJan 21, 2024

On our last day in Ireland, we woke up tired. The hotel in Dublin was alright, but we had to switch rooms twice due to a bright light in one that could not be turned off and a malfunctioning toilet in the other one. We walked to the National Decorative Arts and History Museum of Ireland that was a short walk from our hotel and free. It was a good museum.

After lunch, we took a nap and then David secured us tickets to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College! We walked over to the college and stopped to grab some food to take to the commons area of the college where we had a picnic. It seemed like there were not a lot of fast food places in Dublin or places that sold food that you could take out. There were quite a lot of sit-down restaurants though. We had a picnic and then lined up waiting for the time on our ticket to be let inside. We walked in and went through a large crowded exhibit area learning more about the Book of Kells, its lettering, its pictures, and how it was created.

Book of Kells exhibit

To remind you, the Book of Kells is a Celtic Gospel manuscript written in Latin. Containing the four Gospels of the New Testament along with other works, it was created in 800 A.D. in either an Irish or a Scottish monastery. When we finally got to the book, we saw two pages of it, which were not the most thrilling pages. Also, you could not take any photos of it. There was a security guard there to make sure of that!

Book of Kells Exhibit

After seeing the book, which was not as exciting as I had hoped for, we walked up some stairs to the Long Room in Trinity College’s Old Library. I was looking forward to this room because I had heard that it was gorgeous to see all of the books! It holds 200,000 books and was built between 1712 and 1732. There were also marble busts of famous philosophers and writers, mostly male, four females. There is also a beautiful harp on exhibit that is one of three surviving medieval Gaelic harps. The Long Room was not as impressive as I had been led to believe because several of the bookshelves were empty! They had taken down hundreds of books to work on restoring the books and the room. It was a bit of a letdown to a crappy trip.

Long Room

I was upset that David had gotten sick, but I was not upset at him. I knew that it was not his fault. We were able to get back to the U.S. just fine, but it was not the way that we wanted to spend our Irish vacation. We missed going to the Ring of Kerry (still not sure what it is…), the Cliffs of Moher, the Celtics Steps dance show (we did get to see Riverdance a few months prior in the U.S.), and more. We certainly did not have the luck of the Irish on our side even though I am part Irish! It was neat to see the country where my ancestors came from.

I will say that the Irish people are quite nice and polite. I did not completely feel like a foreigner; I think what helped was the fact that Ireland’s culture is similar to the U.S., and the main language was English. I did not feel completely alone because the EF emergency staff member and our EF group leader were in constant communication with me to make sure I had what I needed and to make sure I had all the information I needed to make travel arrangements to get us back to Dublin.

When we got home, we had to fill out a travel insurance claim. It was so incredibly annoying! I had to scan in pictures of the receipts and then convert the amount from Euros to dollars. I also had to log into my credit card account and send screenshots of what I was charged, along with the international fee that I was charged. Thankfully, we were able to get our money back. I would love to go back to Ireland and see what we missed. I would also recommend the EF company. I think next time we will travel with their EF Go Ahead Tours company, which is for adults of any age. Maybe next time we will have the luck of the Irish!



Meandering Mandy

Hello! I am a young woman living in Indiana who loves to travel and share my stories with the world!