On Sunday we made our way across the country and arrived in Dublin, Ireland’s capital. We are staying at Dublin City University, a twenty-minute bus ride from the city centre. All the students have bus passes, and we’ve guided them down into town Monday and Tuesday, and helped to orient them to using public transport.
Monday we did an historical walking tour, focusing mostly on the events of the 1916 Easter Uprising, but also on some other parts of Dublin’s history. Sunday evening we had watched the film, Michael Collins, and Monday we saw many of the actual locations from the film. We saw the General Post Office (GPO), the Ha’penny Bridge, Temple Bar, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin Castle, and the Dublin City Hall.
It seems that much of the city is under construction this year – including a large portion of the DCU campus. At our first two stops in Dublin Monday Mike had to compete with the sound of jackhammers and other large power equipment. Usually, the shaded lawn outside Christ Cathedral, which sits on a hill above the din of the city, is a calm and quiet spot, but this year, there were four lawn mowers serving as background to Mike’s talk about the 1100 years of Irish history that were represented at this spot. We saw a portion of the original medieval city walls, as well as evidence of Viking settlements. We also walked by the Handel Hotel, the site of the world premiere of Handel’s Messiah in 1742.
After an hour in the classroom on Tuesday morning, we took the bus to Kilmainham Gaol, an important location related to the 1916 Rising. Our tour guide, Donal was very engaging and was impressed at how much these American students already knew about the background of the 1916 story.
Thursday’s field trip to Trinity College allowed us to view one page and a lot of supplemental information about the Book of Kells. The Long Room at Trinity College library is an impressive and inspiring space.
As expected, our final week in Dublin has flown by. Students are now busy completing their learning journals and consolidating all the information they have taken in about Irish history and culture. Friday morning is the final exam and many optional activities to choose from in Dublin.
Photos for this entry are in the gallery below: click through the sequence to read the captions.
Thanks to everyone for following along and sharing in our Irish Experience.