We visited the usual sites: the Guinness Storehouse, Kilmainam Gaol, Trinity College Librry and the Book of Kells. None of these disappointed, as we had planned on taking them in.
|Trinity College Library with Desiree and Daiquiri|
|Des Goes to Kilmainam Gaol|
|How about a pint?|
But there is something about the unexpected find on a trip, the happy serendipity that feels a little less touristy and authentic and personal. So far I have had three.
On our first day in Dublin, we walked past a sign that read "Chester Beatty Library." Later that day, after Des and her sister had gone to the hotel, I walked to find the place with such a name and asked, "Are the Chester Beatty biblical papyrii here." Indeed they were.
|The Chester Beatty Library|
|One page of P46, containing much of the Pauline epistles. This page is from 2 Corinthians 11.|
The latest serendipity was not an intellectual one, but touched another part of my life. We arrived in the resort town of Killarney and went to the bike shop to rent bikes to ride around the park the next day. Turns out there is a charity ride around the Ring of Kerry on the first Saturday of July each year. They were expecting 11,000 riders this year! Derry at O'Sullivan's rented me a road bike and I did my own Ring of Kerry ride, all 180 km of it, on Friday, the day before the ride. It was spectacular, with stunning views, quaint towns, stiff winds, challenging climbs, and lots of sheep. And you could even say, technically, that it was the first to finish. I bought a shirt to commemorate the occasion.
|Renting a bike in Killarney|
|An early morning scene along the Ring of Kerry|
|Stunning View along the coast|
|The route was marked clearly with these mile signs along the way, all 180 km|
|Stopped in towns like this along the way for water and food.|
|Bought a shirt at the end|
Now for Cambridge and Oxford, where our adventures are planned out more carefully.
Some of the colleges at Cambridge:
At Oxford we followed the trail of Lewis and Tolkien:
|And Churchill--Blenheim Palace|
|C.S. Lewis' home, the Kilns|
|Lewis' Grave site|
|The house where Tolkien wrote The Hobbit|
|Lewis' rooms in Magdalen College|