James' Jaunts
I flew out of Edinburgh on the morning of the 20th. I had to leave the dorm by 5AM. My alarm went off at 4 something...I'm sure my roommates wanted to kill me! I landed in Dublin around 9AM and it was beautiful! I had to take a bus from the airport to City Centre and attempt to find my hotel from there. I couldn't tell where I needed to get off from any of the maps I had with me. Thankfully, there was a really nice gentleman on the bus who saw my panic and confusion and nicely offered to tell me where to get off. He also pointed a few sites as we traveled past. All of this after I managed to ram my suitcase handle into his shin!

I trundled down Grafton Street and by St. Stephen's Green to my hotel, the Harcourt Hotel. I was a bit shocked when I got there, as it was pretty fancy hotel and I had paid the same amount I would for a hostel. I couldn't believe my luck! A room to myself, with a huge bed and a TV. Woohoo! I dropped my luggage off and wandered back up to St. Stephen's Green to get a ticket for a hop-on/hop-off tour bus. The gentleman selling the tickets was so sweet. He said I had pretty eyes when he checked out my student I.D. and went looking for me when the bus stopped for pick-up. :-)

Some of the sites I saw from the bus include: Trinity College, Christ Church Cathedral, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Guinness Storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol, Phoenix Park, and O'Connell Street. The tour was narrated. I snapped as many photos as I could as we drove by. The only stop I made on Wednesday was at the National Museum of Decorative Arts & History. They had an extensive exhibition of Celtic silver. The best part of the museum was the exhibition of Celtic high crosses. These were not the actual crosses but plaster casts that were made of them back in the late nineteenth century. They were huge! I felt like a child standing in the midst of them. Each cross was placed on a platform that provided the history of the original and the cast, as well as a descriptive summary of the carvings and their significance. I wish we were allowed to take photos.

After browsing the museum, I hopped the bus back to St. Stephen's Green. I picked up some MacDonald's (I know!) and ate in the park. It was absolutely beautiful. So peaceful. I wandered through the paths a bit. I then returned to my hotel room and had an early night. I know everyone is thinking “Your in Dublin!,” but I was so exhausted...the previous three weeks caught up with me. Edinburgh in particular was exhausting (more on that later). The best part about this night...I didn't have to set an alarm.

I woke up about 10AM on Thursday morning and slowly wandered up Grafton Street. I was attempting to meet up with a couple of BSP participants for a tour of Trinity College, but we somehow missed each other. I did go on a tour of Trinity College and I saw the Book of Kells and toured the Long Room (Trinity College Library). And I did actually see the Book of Kells, not just the case, since I shoved my way to the front and basked in its magnificence. Corny, I know!

After Trinity I wandered my way to O'Connell Street to the Dublin Writer's Museum. This housed a wonderful and eclectic collection of works. It came with an guided audio tour. There was a first edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula, a gallery of portraits, and an intact nineteenth century library.

I then wandered back up O'Connell Street and stopped at the Savoy Cinema to see Harry Potter in 3D. I did this mainly because it was raining and I wanted somewhere to dry off! I have to say the Harry Potter 3D experience was a bit disappointing. I saw the 2D version in Edinburgh and I have to say there isn't much difference. Certainly not enough to make it worth the extra charge. I then wandered up Nassau Street (a favorite tourist shopping street). I was supposed to join my BSP classmates on a musical pub crawl, but the rain had started up again and my shoes were literally puddles. I hoofed it back to the hotel to change shoes, but by the time I got there it was too late to travel back to meet up. Or so I thought. But I enjoyed another lazy night because the next day was the start of the Shamrocker Southern Rocker Tour!


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    London Away:
    British Studies
    Summer 2011


    I am a professional student.  I have a formal education--both a Bachelor and Master's degree in English, and I am working on a Master's in Library and Information Sciences.  But I believe that life experience is the greatest teacher anyone can have.  So I am hitting the road to have fun and to learn--and no, that's not mutally exclusive!--and live life to the fullest.



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