The New Book of Kells Experience in Dublin

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Hello from Dublin!

We arrived just before 5:30 this morning (after a 5:30 am wakeup in the Midwestern US yesterday) and hit the ground running.

After picking up our car at the airport we drove directly to the Grand Hotel in Malahide. And, while we couldn't check in, they were gracious and let us use the leisure centre to freshen up before heading into the city.

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The Long Room Reimagined

Click below to listen to this article – Traveling in Ireland podcast episode 200

eSIM from WifiCandy

When deciding how to stay connected in Ireland you have a few options.

  • A ‘use it like you do at home' plan with your mobile provider
  • Free wifi across Ireland
  • A traditional SIM or eSIM card
  • A portable wifi device

For this trip I skipped the plan with my local carrier and opted for an eSIM from WifiCandy. It cost less than €20 for 5 GB of data for 7 days. I use wireless calling, WhatsApp, and messaging apps to stay in touch, so it works really well for me.

It was super easy to set up – nearly automatic with the QR code I received via email – and it worked immediately on landing.

Learn more about connectivity in Ireland (and beyond) and use code IFV2024 to save 10% off mobile wifi or eSIM order of €20 or more.

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Gaia art installation in the Long Room at Trinity College

The New Book of Kells Experience in Dublin

When I say that this is the update this attraction needed, I am not exaggerating.

As a bit of a bibliophile, I have always loved the Old Library aka the Long Room at Trinity College. When it is filled with books there is absolutely nothing more spectacular.

But the library is nearly empty of books – only about 4 entry rows remain to give visitors an idea of what the shelves looked like filled – and those will soon be empty as the library undergoes a massive refurbishment.

As to the Book of Kells exhibit… While interesting – and better than the previous exhibit, it just never ‘wowed' me. The panels are interesting and very well done, but it always felt ‘missable' to me.

The new addition to the tour – housed in a red building on the campus that reminds me of a huge shipping container – has brought a new life to the historic attractions.

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Book of Kells 360

The best way for me to describe the experience is that both the library and the illuminated manuscript have ‘come to life'. And it is fascinating. I think this ‘reimagining' of these classic attractions makes them more accessible – and definitely more entertaining – for children and offers a deeper, and more imaginative, understanding of these treasures for adults.

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The Long Room Reimagined

The Book of Kells Experience ticket includes

  • The Book of Kells
  • The Long Room
  • Gaia (art installation) in the Long Room
  • The Secret Life of the Collections
  • Book of Kells 360
  • Long Room Reimagined

Be sure to prebook your tickets for this experience. I believe this update will make the Book of Kells more popular than it already is – and you don't want to waste precious vacation time waiting in line.

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Jean, one of two Roadmaster buses

Vintage Tea Trips – afternoon tea in Dublin

Always one of my favorite afternoon tea experiences in Dublin.

What's not to like about tooling around the city in a vintage double decker bus while enjoying all the trimmings of an afternoon tea?

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Afternoon Tea treats

Book your afternoon tea in advance!

Jody Halsted
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