Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Following my dreams / Dublin Adventures.

Plane Ride 

Who would have thought that a 7 hour plane ride could go by so quickly.. or slowly.. I can't remember, I was sleeping for about 4 hours. haha Anyway, the plane ride itself was pretty intense. O.o

For takeoff, we had to go through a storm, and the lightening was all around us! The plane had a bit of turbulance, but nothing too seriously frightening. Well, even if it was, there was no going back once I got on that plane... So...... Yeah. :) No, it really wasn't all that bad though, and landing was nothing. There is one thing I can say though.. Customs in Dublin is not as bad as security in the United States at all... They looked at my passport, stamped it, and gave it back. All they did was ask me how long I was studying in Ireland. It really was a lot simpler than I ever thought it was going to be. :) This is a good thing.

Anyway, the first thing we did was find our group leader, Mark, and then head off to the little girls room. :) That was one long plane ride.. haha

Surprise!! The toilets are different here! ....and are called toilets.. instead of restroom, bathroom, or washroom.

Is that just the weirdest toilet you've ever seen in your life?! haha! I thought so too.

The sinks were very interesting as well and the hand dryers were inside the wall... Literally.. O.o haha


Mark S. Quigley

Our director that is here with us on the trip looks a lot like my boss back at Michigan Tech. Isn't that weird?! Anyway, he is really awesome and is originally from Ireland! However, there are only a few words in which you can tell that he could be from Ireland like "Ireland" and "yeah." I've noticed that a lot of people here say "yeah" a lot.. It's kind of like when someone says "right?" after everything they say as in "Do you know what I mean?"

So....there's that.

Field Study

As soon as we got to Dublin and got our things put away in our room, we had to go meet with our Field Study professor, Mr. Angus Mitchel. Angus is one of the best at what he does, which is history of Ireland and the War of Independence. There may be other things that he is known for, but I do not know them off the top of my head..

Anyway, we began our field study in a church that was approximately a 5 minute walk from our hotel. This was called Chapel Royal. It is a beautiful church, and used to sit part of the parliament in the upper seating for meetings. It was also thought to have been used in the 1916 Rising. Therefore, the bell tower had to be closed so that participants in the Rising could not spy on Dublin Castle because the tower overlooked the city.

We then walked down the street to City Hall, which is located right next to Dublin Castle. These two buildings were also involved in the 1916 Easter Rising.

City Hall

City Hall was taken over by the Irish Citizen Army, which was lead by Seán Connolly. After taking over City Hall, Connolly ordered his Citizen Army to attack Dublin Castle in hopes of taking it over. Even though their attempts were genuine, the British were able to stop the ambush. In the crossfire between the British and the Irish Citizen Army, Seán Connolly was killed.

 Daniel O'Connell as well as other important leaders of the time are immortalized within City Hall as statues. The interior of City Hall is beautiful.

The detail in the ornamentation of City Hall was absolutely breathtaking. It was stunning. Walking into a space as beautifully ornamented as that was amazing. I could feel and see the history lingering.

Museum Exhibit (located below City Hall)

After having gone through the history of City Hall, we all went down to the museum that is located directly beneath it. The exhibit had a lot of interesting artifacts from different historical figures and times.

The object on the left is the Great Mace of Dublin.

The shaft is made of Silver, which is covering wood. The shaft of the Great Mace of Dublin was forged by Sir Daniel Bellingham. The Silver Gilt was forged by Thomas Bolton.                                       

There were so many different objects in this particular exhibit. There were robes of the city council and other important individuals in Ireland's past.

Trinity College

We then went on to Trinity College! This place is full of historic artifacts as well as amazing architecture. The entrance to the college is definitely deceiving though. However deceiving it may be, it is still a grand entrance. The college houses The Book of Kells. This is one of the many artifacts that we were able to see. However, I did not take any pictures of it in fear of damaging it. Even though I did not take pictures of it, I still want to say that it is absolutely beautiful and something to definitely go see if you're ever in Dublin.

The Entrance!-> 
This is the beautiful architecture of Trinity College that I was talking about. However, on the grounds of Trinity College as well as all other places in Dublin, you must watch your step because the stones that make the walkways are not flat.. They are stones. haha

The guy in the blue shirt is Angus Mitchel, our professor for the Field Study. He tries to be funny, and has a lot of stories as he is an expert in his field. He's a good person, and the stories and explanations of things are definitely abundant!

Inside Trinity College's "Old Library"

Inside part of Trinity College is the old library, which holds many artifacts that have to do with the history of Ireland. I took note of the beautiful architecture... As you can see.. 

The staircase was beautiful though! 

Anyway, the library was huge!! The harp on the far right is the oldest harp in Ireland. The harp is a very important symbol for Ireland. You can find it on almost every euro in contemporary money. This is because of many different things, but it was mainly used in Irish musical styling for the upper classes. It later became the national symbol.


St. Stephens Green

St. Stephens Green is a memorial to the 1916 Easter Rising as well as the War of Independence. One particular statue that is seen as soon as you walk into the park is one called "Famine" and is exactly what it sounds like. It portrays the hardships of the Potato Famine. The figures are very plain, but they tell a story that is deep with meaning. Even when individuals had very little to give, they would give what they could to help others who were less fortunate.

It really says a lot about the Irish people and how humble they really are. The next statue that we went to was a political statue. This particular statue was talking about standing by Fianna Éireann. The statue reads,

"Ina nOnóir siúd uile a ghabh go dílis crógale Fianna Éireann idir 1906 agus 1916 agus a sheas sa Bhearna Baoil i gCogadh na Saoirse." 

This literally means,

"To honour all those who served with Fianna Éireann during the War of Independence."

It is in honor of those who served. However, on the opposite side where the English translation is, the statue has been defaced. Graffiti has been placed on the statue. Angus thinks that this may have been done because of the political aspects of that particular statue. I did not take a picture of the defaced side out of respect. 
On the other hand, the statues were not all defaced. There were a couple of other statues that stand as they were when first built. The next statue that we spoke about was a woman's statue. 

This woman's name was Constance Markievicz. She was a Major in the Irish Citizen Army in 1916. 

This shows that women played a major role in the war alongside the Irishmen of the country. 

We also watched a movie called The Wind that Shakes the Barley, which is about the War of Independence. It explained that not only Dublin was under attack by the British, but the smaller towns and villages in remote areas of Ireland were as well. It is a good movie, but will make you pretty much despise the British, if you do not despise them already. 

Anyway, enough talk about the British.... We're talking about Ireland! :D

I am sorry if this is a lot of information and history being thrown at you all at once, but I am really interested in it all. Plus, it's helping me do my homework. :)

These statues in St. Stephens Green was the end of our Field Study for the day. However, Angus thought it would be nice for our group to get to know how to navigate around Dublin.

He decided to point us in the direction of our hotel and then just let us all find our way back.

This definitely threw us all for a loop. However, we had a grand time on our way back to the hotel. :) There was a lot of street performances going on down the street he told us to go down. It was actually very refreshing from a history filled day of jet lagged fun! O.o

Street Performers

We were all so tired and hungry that we didn't know what to do. Therefore, we took our time getting back to the hotel, which we did end up finding thanks to the guys' keen navigational skills.

If you ever get lost, stick with the guys that are on this trip with me. haha They know where they are going! If all else fails, look to the map that you are given when arriving at the study abroad hotel or destination. They are always useful.

These are a few pictures that I was able to take in the streets of Dublin on our walk back to the hotel.

By the way, I am so sorry to the people who keep checking back here and getting no posts. I've been just so busy with the field study in Dublin, classes here in Galway, homework, and travels that I have had no time to do anything.

I hope that I can make up for it by putting more posts up as soon as I can. You can definitely leave comments on this post and the new posts that will be coming up as well.

Let me know if you have any questions about anything related to Study Abroad or even Ireland in general!

Go raibh maith agat!!
Thank you!!

~Reyna Lee

P.S. Hopefully, I will be posting again soon. I really am sorry it took me so long to get these posts out! The next post will be about travels from Dublin to Galway!

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