Baden-Powell Council BSA
at the
2014 Blair Atholl Patrol Jamborette

Day 1 - July 15th - Dublin, Ireland

We started our day's touring the day before - flying from JFK Airport in New York City to Dublin, Ireland, on Aer Lingus, the Irish national airline. When we got our reservations I asked if they cared how long our layover in Dublin was, and the airline said as long as we left the same day we arrived it counted as a layover and we could check our baggage straight through to Edinburgh. How could we pass up a day's touring in Dublin, one of my favorite cities?  

The Ha'penny Bridge - named because it cost a half-penny toll to cross - spans the Liffey at Temple Bar

Our flight arrived on time around six in the morning, and we quickly hopped on a double-decker bus into downtown Dublin.

The Famine Memorial along the Liffey provided a good opportunity to begin to introduce the Scouts to Irish history.

St. Stephens Green Shopping Centre has the earliest-opening public toilets in Dublin - thank goodness...

We walked through St. Stephens Green, a beautiful public park in the middle of Dublin, on the way to Trinity College and the Book of Kells.

Our first stop in Dublin was the Book of Kells, which we visited as soon as the exhibit opened. The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels, done by monks at Iona and Kells around the year 800CE. No pictures are allowed, but the tour ends at the Long Room of Trinity College Library where photography is permitted. The Library was established in 1562, and since 1801 one copy of every book published in the UK had to be deposited in the Library, so it contains a huge collection of rare books.

It's a short walk from Trinity College to the National Museum, where the Scouts wanted to see the Bog Bodies - incredibly well-preserved mummies recovered from Irish peat bogs. Scientists believe they were human sacrifices from 2,000 years ago or more. The NOVA series on PBS had several programs on bog bodies - The Perfect Corpse in 2006 and Ghosts of Murdered Kings in 2014, the latter of which prompted our Scouts to decide to see the bodies on our tour in 2014. 

We had lunch at a Chinese Buffet in the Stephens Green Centre - good food, and a great view. 

The afternoon concluded with a ride around Dublin on an open-top double-decker tour bus. Then, back to the airport to fly to Edinburgh.

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