While traversing Front Square the other day, I was approached by a kind elderly lady, who had a camera dangling around her neck. She asked if I was a student at Trinity. After I told her that I was, she asked whether I knew where the Boiler Room was. I did not but, unperturbed, she headed off before I could utter another word.
I gazed sadly after her, sure in the knowledge that she would not return.
Unbeknownst to her, the Trinity grounds offer many treacherous pitfalls – this explains why many students travel the campus in packs for safety. Lone enthusiastic tourists are the most common victims, though any student may fall prey to what lies within the walls. Only the Trinity tour guides seem immune as they lead huddled groups of tourists, in a Moses-like fashion, through the murky terrain in pools of beatific light.
Only the Trinity tour guides seem immune as they lead huddled groups of tourists, in a Moses-like fashion, through the murky terrain in pools of beatific light
Following the encounter, I immediately resolved to draft a map of the main areas on campus, detailing my own experiences, in order to offer succour to students and tourists alike.
Lying to the east of the campus, the Arts Block crouches malignantly on the horizon. Getting past its guardians – beady meerkats poised on benches – is relatively easy, and the smokescreen provide by the clouds of smokers offers further protection.
Once inside, the pervading atmosphere is one of mystery and intrigue – a prohibition-era den with couches straight from a Bond villain’s lair. Languorous voices drift through the air, mingling with the scent of Perch coffee. Small clusters of figures recline discussing the merits of Machiavelli, while others peruse the newspapers dotted throughout.
Navigating the Arts Block does not present any real challenges in terms of danger, but it is worth noting that any traveller provokes the arts students at their peril. The upper floors are a warren of corridors, where victims are trapped and unable to find their way out.
Towards the east end of campus, the Hamilton offers an even more intimidating vista. Gleaming and modern, the overall impression is one of a crash-landed spaceship, staffed by bustling figures in pristine white lab coats. Upon entering, it resembles a high-tech pharmaceutical firm, replete with meticulous laboratories and airy passageways.
It is recommended not to idly linger as a visitor, however. On my first trip, while peering around, entranced by the lofty architecture, I did not see the white-coated student creep up behind me, slavering at the jaws. Thankfully, I had a light gloss of Leaving Certificate Biology to draw on, which was sufficient to distract the creature as I looked for an exit.
Between the Arts Block and the Hamilton lies the dreaded swamp. A panoramic view of the open sky and curving parabolae of trees distracts from the true danger lurking. A single path leads ahead, flanked on either side by green.
On the right, lean, sleek long-distance runners lope by on sinewy legs, growling softly. On the left, rugby players swim menacingly between the goalposts, waiting for a victim to step off the beaten path and become mired in the mud. The best tactic is to pretend to jog slowly along, dressed in sports gear, remaining watchful.
This might confuse them and make them think that you are one of their own. Sports gear should be checked for logos, however – other collegiate logos may in fact anger them and cause them to swarm.
The air is rent with soft cries of victims drowning in ever-increasing piles of laundry
Of course, it must be noted that not every supposed Trinity location is actually on campus. Rumours swirl of a shadowy other realm nestled deep in the heart of Dartry, which entrances the unwary with visions of youth and splendour. The air is rent with soft cries of victims drowning in ever-increasing piles of laundry.
The more canny traveller might smugly point out that they are equipped with their phone, and can therefore use Google maps to arrive at their location unscathed. At some high-level meeting inside the walls of Trinity itself, this was clearly anticipated and planned for – the result being that the Trinity WiFi is cleverly designed to lure the traveller into a false sense of security by working sporadically, and then, when needed most, dying altogether.
I hope that you’ve found this map useful – I’ve tried to enlighten you about the perils of travelling alone on Trinity’s campus. There may be mavericks amongst you who seek fresh uncharted waters, who enjoy the thrill of the chase and the challenges of survival. I implore you only to take caution as you head off boldly into the night, to perish or return bathed in glory. And if you find the Boiler Room, report back.