A hearty hotel breakfast, unlike anything I would ever manage at home, and I'm fuelled and off on my Dublin Saturday.
My guides from the Irish Tourist Board had very kindly put together some suggestions for me and will do the same for you if ever you find yourself in Dublin, but I kept wandering off-piste, diverted by so much to see in so little time.
I set off along the banks of the River Liffey in perfect walking weather, bright but chilly so no overheating today, heading for Trinity College and the Book of Kells, firstly because it's there and it's on my list of things that have to be seen just because, and secondly for all I'd heard about it, I actually knew very little.
The first thing any patchworker would notice walking into the gates of Trinity College is the wooden floor...
which also reminded me of the basalt of the Giant's Causeway and which is perhaps the intention.
Then, as always with these college entrance ways that belie the space beyond, your breath is slightly taken away with the size of that space and the architecture.
The Book of Kells the four gospels in Latin, exquisitely decorated by the monks of Iona sometime in the 9th century and lucky to have survived not only the Viking raids on the island which left sixty-eight monks dead, but also the scourge of Cromwell. The book was sent to Dublin for safe-keeping in 1653 and to Trinity College in 1661 and there it has stayed.
The exhibition itself a sort of progress towards a darkened inner sanctum where the book rests, and along the way a series of large illuminated slides which reveal the intricacies barely visible to the naked eye when you finally see it, all making it even more of a marvel.
It's the little facts I love...the 185 calf skins needed to make the vellum pages, the swan's quills and marten fur brushes, the minerals for the pigments, azurite, malachite, orpiment...
A rare arsenic based mineral I discover that yields the yellow pigment, highly unstable and liable to deteriorate into a powder, so where did they source that and how?
And how on earth could they see to create such fine detail?
If I'd bought the guide book I'd know these things but suffice unto the day, I have seen The Book of Kells and can now rest easy.
On the day of my visit the book open at Luke 4:1 The Temptation of Christ... Jesus autem plenas spiritum sancto and the text open at John 7: 31-44
The exhibition leads on into the Long Room of Trinity College Library, surely among the most magnificent libraries in the world with its 65 metre long gallery and 200,000 books.
Each alcove containing a pair of very enticing wooden ladders fixed to a sort of sliding rail system, a booklover's playground if ever I saw one.
A form of reverential space of awesome proportions.
And I've now seen the oldest know specimen of an Irish harp nestling in there too, made of oak and willow, thought to be fifteenth century; think Guiness and you'll know the shape of it.
As I left the crowds were starting to pour in and I realised I had been fortunate to get a glimpse of all this without any jostling, so keeping myself ahead of the game it was off to the National Library in Kildare Street to see the W.B.Yeats exhibition.