A day in Dublin

On Saturday, we woke up extra early and loaded up on a bus to Dublin. The bus was one of the most comfortable I have been in – it was bright yellow, has large, comfy seats, and the seats reclined back quite far. We were traveling in style!

The tour of Dublin we went on was about the 1916 Rising in Dublin. Short summary: its when the Irish began their fight for freedom against the British. (You can think of it in terms of the Revolutionary War)

Our first stop was a famous jail and tourist hot spot, Kilmainham Goal. This is where many of the Irish prisoners were held during the Rising. The tour of this jail was fun, interesting and informative. I would recommend that anyone who has an interest in history take a tour of this jail if they finds themselves in Dublin.

The entrance to the jail

A somewhat creepy quote written on the wall by a once-prisoner

A hallway in the jail. At one point, there were over 9,000 prisoners in this jail, which only had 100 cells!

The inside of a cell

 

The main room of the jail

A cross to commemorate all those who were executed in this spot. Many executions of the leaders of the rising were held in this jail

 

The exercise yard of the jail

Those two white blocks are what used to hold the apparatus that was used to hang people. The guide told us that people who were hanged were sometimes left hanging outside for TWO DAYS as a warning to other prisoners coming into the jail.

After the jail, we headed to a park where there was a memorial to those killed in the rising. The park was absolutely beautiful. I found it difficult to pay attention to the lecture that was given there, however, because there were tons of dogs running around and I LOVE dogs. I managed to snap a picture of some of them!

Half of the memorial area

The dogs! Ugh, some of my favorite breeds

Dogs playing in the fountain

Inside. These are some pictures that were taken of the Queen’s visit. Her visit signified the easing of relations between the Irish and Great Britian, and was a stepping stone in repairing their relationship.

After the visit to the park, we headed into the city center to visit some more historical spots. This involved some walking through the city as well, so I took some pictures of city sights in addition to historic ones.

The mass grave of some of the most important and influential men of the rising. This grave was not meant to ever be discovered by the Irish (it is behind a British barracks) but a drunken soldier told an Irish man at a pub where the bodies were buried.

The British barracks (well, once British)

 

A beautiful ivy-covered building in Dublin

The General Post Office, or GPO

After our tour, we all loaded back into the bus and headed back to Belfast. The tour was very informative, and gave me a better sense of Irish history. Although ee didn’t get to do the “traditional” tourist things in Dublin, we will be returning in 2 weeks for a long weekend in the city.

In other news, I have come down with the “freshers flu”, which is basically a low-grade flu. Apparently, 50% of people who come to Belfast to study abroad get it, and it is mainly just a result of adjusting to the climate and the new bacteria that are present here. Unfortunately for me, that means a fever and a cold! I have been pushing through and was able to go on the tour, but I took it easy today. I slept in, went to lunch with Colleen and Anne Penn, and then went to get some groceries.

I was able to snap some shots of the school I am working in over here on my way to get groceries. It is so unbelievably beautiful – can you believe this is a “public” school?!?

Yes, this is real. And yes, this is where I teach.

Another building on the school campus

Tomorrow, I get to return to this beautiful school. I am excited to observe and learn more about the school and education in the UK in general.

This post is a bit long (sorry!) but I had so many pictures I wanted to share with everyone! Also, everyone who is coming to visit has finalized their plans!!!! This weekend, I will get to see my brother, Brian, who will be in Dublin on business. Sean will be coming over here on his school break, and my half-term break on October 25th, and my Mom, Brian, Tim, Auntie and Uncle Brian will all be here for Thanksgiving weekend!! I am SO lucky that I get to see so many people that I love while I am here and show them around!

I’m not sure if I will update the blog daily this week (likely not), but I will update it a few times this week. Keep checking in! I miss all my USA peeps, especially my NCHS students and CI! I’ll try to Skype you one day :)

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