I didn’t step foot onto a college campus until I was around a Senior in high-school. In part, this made me terrified of college (there were definitely other factors at play too). It just seemed so daunting, in fact so much so that I couldn’t imagine myself ever going to college. I wondered silently (too embarrassed to actually ask anyone), ‘how did it work, would I know where to go, what to do, how to get food’… I was so sure I would starve, never find my way to a class, and who knows what else that it wasn’t until after I was married and had moved onto the BYU-Hawaii campus (for Taylor’s education) that I finally got the courage to enroll myself in college.
All of that leads me to why it’s so important to me that my kiddos walk the grounds of as many universities as I can show them, and it’s something that I absolutely love to do now as well! Before Trinity College, Harvard was my favorite campus I’ve ever explored… Now I think we have a tie.
Trinity College is most famous (as a tourist spot) for the Book of Kells, but just walking the grounds, taking a campus tour and seeing that magnificent library (which comes at the end of the Book of Kells self-guided tour) is an incredible experience even without the magnificent Book of Kells.
We almost missed Trinity College altogether. It’s hidden in the heart of the city, you don’t even know you’re there except that the little dot on your Google Maps is telling you that you are. You walk around, confused, sure that you should be able to see something if it’s really right here, and then you turn the corner and find the one entrance…
The large gates draw you in and walk you through the incredible ancient stone wall that has protected this incredible sanctuary of learning for hundreds of years, and you can’t help but be in awe.
Our main reason for coming to Trinity College was actually not the Book of Kells but rather the library. This was how I convinced the kiddos it would be fun… I only had to say those two magic words, “Harry Potter” and they were in! You see, I’d read that the library is what you would imagine the Hogwarts Library to be like, and with some serious Harry Potter fans in our family, it became a must see.
We were not disappointed! The library is an absolute wonder! Its history begins with the school’s opening in 1592, but it truly started in grandeur in the 1660s when it got some large collections including the Book of Kells. The library’s collection is massive with over 6 million volumes amongst its shelves, making it the biggest library in Ireland, and I’m going to say the most awe-inspiring library in the world! I can’t imagine how anyone wouldn’t be inspired to learn, grow, and achieve within these walls.
TRAVEL TIPS: Trinity College is hard to spot, so don’t be afraid to ask a local to point you in the right direction. There is admission to see the Book of Kells and Library exhibits (€30 for our family of 5), and there typically is a bit of a queue to get inside – so if it’s a hot day, have water on hand. If you’re not on a tight budget and you love learning the history behind what you’re seeing, the walking tours looked awesome. And from what I was able to eavesdrop in on – they sounded great too!
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