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As traveled status for Trinity College Library and the Book of Kells

To be honest this was the one thing on our vacation we felt was not really worth the effort. First - make sure you get a reservation since they sell out fast. It was very crowded, and the audio guide did not work very well – my wife could never get hers to go on her iPhone and mine worked but it is long, slow and really says basically the same thing on the signs. But the crowd is all jockeying for position to see/read the signs. Once you get to the book of Kells, you are not allowed pictures and you have to keep moving. They change which 2 pages you see every day and ours were VERY underwhelming: one page was blank and the other have a simple small picture. The library was amazing (but also crowded).

Just passing this along.

Posted by
8262 posts

Feel so blessed to have seen the Book of Kells in the 80’s. No one but the 3 of us and a favorite memory was climbing the stairs to the Long Room. My friend is an avid reader. She walked in, turned and said to her sister and I, “This is where I wanted to be buried.”

Love the original intent of Back Door travel. Now, not so much.

Honestly, back then it was wonderful not to see or hear other Yanks. Recall I cringed at a woman in her 50’s with a distinct NY accent yelling ( yes yelling ) in the Louvre, “ Harry, Harry where is it?”

It being the Mona Lisa. They were both oblivious that the name of the painting is La Gioconda. So passed by the small sign pointing the way to it.

RS did open the eyes of Americans to European travel. Then again so has the internet.

Many once quiet and undisturbed areas are now popular tourist destinations that are very commercialized. Unique charm long gone.

Things change. Alas, often not for the best.

Posted by
58 posts

Tickets were sold out day of so we were not able to do this. I heard it is worth it for the library and just skip the book...

Posted by
3486 posts

Interesting how we all differ. This was a highlight for 3 friends (all teachers) and myself (not a teacher). However, we traveled in Nov, 2019 - but still with limited entrance to the library. Perhaps this is one of those places where WHEN you go makes a difference.

Posted by
2170 posts

I guess I would call it a somewhere between must see and don't bother.
Not sorry I went (2016), but as others mention, the page the book of Kells was open to wasn't very decorative the day I was there. I did enjoy seeing the long library and the Irish Harp.