This morning we visited the archeology collection of the National Museum. This is a fascinating collection of items and I have always enjoyed visiting it. We began with an audiovisual presentation which was a detailed account of the development of crafts in Ireland over the centuries. There are examples of Viking artifacts and ancient gold jewellry such as the famous ‘Tara’ brooch, but the most fascinating items for me are the ‘bog people’; bodies that have been preserved by the peat bogs. The examples on display in the museum are men who were either sacrificed or who were clearly a threat to someone at some point and were murdered. Even hair and fingernails were preserved. The bodies are stained by the peat and look like tanned leather.
Australian author Monica McInerney met our group at the museum coffee shop at 11.30 and the students were thrilled to be able to spend time with her, particularly Casey, who is a big fan! Monica advised the students of the best places to shop in Dublin, and presented them with a bag full of Irish goodies such as chocolates and biscuits.
The students had free time for the remainder of the day and lost no time hitting the shops. Mandy and I both noticed a crowd gathering outside a shop where a band was clearly going to play. Neither of us knew that the other was there, and Mandy actually wandered into the shop where she saw none other than Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones! While she was too shy to approach him to pose with her for a photo, she certainly took plenty from a distance to prove she saw him. I, on the other hand, had no idea he was there, and just stood outside listening to the band. As it happened, one of the band members was Ronnie Wood’s son. They were alright, but I don’t think I will be rushing to buy a CD!
Today was Arthur Guinness day, celebrating 250th anniversary of the production of Guinness. The streets in Temple bar were crazy of course, with many crowding into the bars to raise a toast at 5.59pm (1759 was the year production began). We went to a nearby bar later in the evening, after we settled the students in the hostel and watched the celebrations, which consisted of a huge rage of bands performing on stages throughout the city, on the television.