I would like to say first and for most EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Today we went to the Zoo. It was actually a lot cooler than I expected. I generally have mixed feelings about zoos because I always end up feeling bad that the animals don’t get to be in their natural environment and are stuck in small enclosures. I don’t pretend to know enough about animals to know how much of an actual problem this is, it’s just something that I always think about at zoos. That said the Dublin Zoo was surprisingly gorgeous and intimate. The landscaping was beautiful and made the grounds flow together. The enclosures were uncommonly close up and personal. For all but the large primates and the wolves, the enclosures lead right up to the observation point separated in spots only by glass. This means that at one quite memorable point there was tiger only a foot away from me. I can only imagine how much more *ahem* exciting it was for the throng of three year olds who were not only between the glass and me, but in some cases shorter than the tiger. A giant, very toothy cat towering over you? I’m pretty sure I would have been screaming for my mummy.
This Orangutan, I don’t remember his name, is really only about fifteen feet away separated by a fence and a rather slimy looking stream. The woman who feeds the orangutans does so by throwing frozen food blocks into the enclosure. A teenage boy asked her if he ever threw anything back. She said ,” If I stand here long enough not throwing anything he will. Usually he just hits the water to say ‘hey! Feed me’ but he has good aim if he wants to. Once he threw a rock and it was this close from hitting me!” She was safe this time because he gets the rocks form the water and the water was currently covered in algae. Apparently, he throws rocks, but draws the line at throwing icky ones.
These two were funny. I’m guessing it was all very serious Rhino business, but they would just stand there in a sort of face off until they seemingly got bored and distracted enough to forget what they were supposed to be doing. One would start to shuffle off. At which point the other would take notice and grunt his annoyance and they were back to the face off. It never escalated to anything; they never got violent or even got with in a foot of each other. It really felt like one of those videos where the baby valiantly tries to finish his cake only to keep falling asleep with the fork half way to his mouth.
When we first saw the Tigers there was a Dad with a little girl who was maybe two and a half. I don’t know what language they spoke but from what I could tell the conversation went something like this:
Dad: Look! Tigers they’re eating isn’t that cool!?
Girl: hmmm Tigers? I like Panda!
Dad: Yeah but look! Tigers! Look he’s in the tree! Look he’s eating! Look Tigers are so coool!
Girl: yeah, yeah, Tiger… Panda?
Dad: Yes, the pandas were cute, but look tiger!
GIrl: Panda? Panda. Panda! Pandapandapanda!!!!
And I have to say I can see where this kid is coming from. Altogether now: AWWWWW!!!
After the zoo we still had half a day left so we got back on the bus to head towards the hotel. But on the way we saw Trinity college and decided to get off the bus and see what we could find.
Getting to the Library was much easier then it originally appeared and before we knew it we were in line seven people away from the door to…. Wait for it… THE BOOK OF KELLS!!!!!!!
Ok. It’s an established fact that I am inordinately excited about this one attraction, but I can’t help it, for whatever reason, one not even entirely known to me, I just think it’s the coolest thing possible to see the actual Book of Kells.
They wouldn’t let us take pictures of the Book so you’ll just have to trust that it happened. I spent a good half hour sketching parts of the pages it was open to, not the chi rho. I stood there with my face practically pressed against a sheet of bullet proof glass separating me from the manuscript. Not that I would actually touch the glass. for fear of being drawn and quartered and left on the Trinity green to feed the pigeons, but it was a near thing. When we left my Dad bought me a really nice souvenir book. He said that he felt bad not telling me while I was frantically trying to draw the book before but for me the time I spent drawing the book was something I’ll never forget.
The Book of Kells exhibit exited out into the Long Room, an aptly named part of the Old Library that is in fact very long. It was full of exhibits about book preservation and the history of the library which I didn’t read because laziness, and lots and lots of old books which I also didn’t read because it would likely have counted as some sort of international incident. Over all the exhibit was awesome.
The next part of this day’s adventure was less awesome. We got back on the bus we were originally on thinking it would soon loop around and drop us of where it had picked us up. Forty minutes and nearly as many stops later we were by the ocean and the surly bus drive would only gesture out the windshield and possibly grunt some sort of instruction on how to get another bus to get back to where we wanted. Which was really all the way back the way we had come. It was exhausting but we made it, eventually.