Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Dublin Sightseeing - Marsh's Library

Thursday last week was a great day.

Infact, it was a really enjoyable week.

Mahjong on Monday. Marsh's Library Thursday followed by lunch. Coffee morning with international friends on Friday. Chinese New Year banquet Friday night. Of course in between was grocery shopping, washing, cooking etc.

Being an English speaking expat in an English speaking country is sometimes more difficult than being in a non-English speaking country. You are  in familiar surroundings, yet it's different. Many people you come into contact with are employed, living normal day-to-day lives, you need to fill in your days as best you can. With no job to go to, no extended family to be involved with, once hubbies at work, kids are at school you're times you own. While that sounds attractive, (and it is) it's also a LOT of time to fill week in week out.

At least in a non-English speaking country, you know you don't belong and you're sort-of not expected to. If you're kids are at an international school you move in a pack of expat mums happy to explores your new city, go to exhibitions, and demonstrations or workshops.  Volunteering at school or for local charities, even starting a charity group. Joining an International Womens' Club, taking up tennis - see, THIS is why non-expats think we live an incredible life - trust me, we are merely filling in time! I wonder if non-English speakers fell the same way in English speaking countries? They must. Guess that's why we gravitate to our own 'tribes'

Thursday, was one of those days. A day when I played the expat spouse and loved it. I was part of a group who had a private guided tour of Marsh's Library in Dublin.

There was only one reason we all wanted to go. Marsh's Library is the oldest public library in Dublin.

Think about that for a minute.

The OLDEST public library in Dublin (aka Ireland for that matter).

We all know Irish history dates wayyyyyyyy back  - so this place had to be something very special.

The bell above the library door literally tinkles as it's opened, and then WOW,  you literally step back to the 1700's - nothing has changed since then! It even smells old, in a pleasant way.

I don't think I stopped smiling.

We were all like kids in Disneyland, seeing Mickey Mouse for the first time - for real.

These books are centuries old. They are written by some of the worlds most famous writers - this is real history right in front of us.

The Head Librarian walked us around, sharing so many incredible historic facts. My eyes were darting from one incredible image to another, I've forgotten so much of what I heard, but I don't think I'll forget what I saw, or how I felt while there.

While it's still a fully functioning public library, it's like time has stopped - albeit it centuries ago. Once the last space on the last book case was filled, the library stopped accepting books.

It even smells old, but in a comforting way.

These days, scholars, researchers, historians, students, writers and the like are most likely the types of people to use the place. One has to make an appointment beforehand, and the books you request will be ready for you.

As an Aussie living in Ireland, most days are pretty normal - there's shopping and various errands to be done. But days like today, when you step out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary are just WOW.

To put it into context, Marsh's Library was opened BEFORE Australia was discovered by Captain Cook! I sometimes think that's why I am so impressed and in awe of the history we've been fortunate to experience as expats. Because Australia is so far away from Europe, and it's expensive, most Aussies make a  6-8 week pilgrimage to Europe, usually over the (southern) summer/ (northern) winter cos that's when the long school holidays happen. Us, we get to live here .... and have time (albeit limited) to really take the time to explore.

When I posted these to a group I'm in on Facebook, several people said 'this definitely puts a visit to Dublin on the bucket list'.

Yet there's, Newgrange, St Patricks Cathedral, Christchurch, Rock of Cashel, Giant's Causeway, BeeHive Huts, Deserted Villages, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Dublin and all it's finest, Cork, Galway, Limerick and more.

Google them all!

See your travel agent!

Book a trip!

Yep. A book written by Machiavelli. 

If you would like to know more about Marsh's Library, it's best you go to their website as there's no way I could do justice to the information.

They also have a Facebook page you can LIKE and be kept informed.

When was your last Good Day?
What did it consist of?
What was your last Great Discovery?
You thinking about coming to Ireland for a visit?

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