“When I die, Dublin will be written in my heart.” -James Joyce
On Saturday, the students found out just exactly what James Joyce meant. The students awoke and had breakfast at half eight-a nutritious meal of cereal and fruit. Afterwards, they boarded their chariot of a Barton’s bus at nine-headed for Dublin City Center.
The students couldn’t wait to explore Ireland’s capital and do some much needed souvenir shopping. After being dropped off on Kildare Street, the students walked to Nassau Street to get the Dublin Hop On/Hop Off Bus Tour. This was a great way to see the city and many students raced up to the top story of the bus to get a bird’s eye view. Many students rode the bus for about an hour, before getting off at the Guinness Brewery for a self guided tour, while others decided to do a full loop of the city and go straight to Grafton Street for some shopping.
The Brewery was founded in 1759 in Dublin, Ireland, by Arthur Guinness. Originally leased in 1759 to Arthur Guinness at £45 per year for 9,000 years, St. James’s Gate has been the home of Guinness ever since. It became the largest brewery in Ireland in 1838, and the largest in the world by 1886, with an annual output of 1.2 million barrels. Although no longer the largest brewery in the world, it is still the largest brewer of stout in the world. The company has since bought out the originally leased property, and during the 19th and early 20th centuries the brewery owned most of the buildings in the surrounding area-including many streets of housing for brewery employees and offices associated with the Brewery.
The students that decided to do the Guinness Brewery were amazed by the vastness of the Brewery-7 stories tall. They slowly took their time meandering through the different flights and learning about the process of one of Ireland’s biggest money makers. Ally said she was amazed by the cool advertising. Owen said he thought it was pretty nifty how the Brewery resembles a pint glass-with the head of the pint being the Gravity Bar.
Clare M. and Margaret were the only 18 year olds on the trip, so they were allowed to go up to the Perfect Pint Pour floor with ILE Staff and put their skills to the test. They both received certificates for the crash course they took. They then met the rest of the students in the Gravity Bar, where they had a few sips of Guinness and the others enjoyed a complimentary soda. Johanna said she loved the 360 degree views of Dublin from the top.
After the tour, students got back on the bus and made their way into the city center. Many of them decided to hit Grafton and O’Connell Streets and pick up presents for family and friends. Others went to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. A few others, decided to enjoy their time exploring and find some funky coffee shops in the Temple Bar area. Miles and Taryn took advantage of their free time going to Paddy Power, where they put a few bets on some horses. Taryn even won €7 on a horse named Captain Bob in honor of Robert.
At half five, the students made their way back to the bus where they showed Angie and Taryn all of their souvenirs they bought. Amelia and Ben found some great books and splurged on some delicious crepes, Molly bought some gorgeous Celtic jewelry, and Olivia found a nice Trinity sweatshirt. How exciting! Another surprise was when Kate and Scones showed up after having a spa day. Kate, who has had long hair most of her life, decided to chop about ten inches off and donate it to Locks of Love. The students were surprised by her new hairstyle, but loved her new look.
The students returned home in time for a dinner of chicken or fish, broccoli, and potatoes. Dee-lish. After replenishing their systems with some good food, they had a special treat. Angie’s brother, Our Tom, brought down his band for an Irish music sessiun. All the way from Belfast! With Our Tom on the bouzouki, Our Ryan on the banjo, Our Paddy on the uilleann pipes, and Paul on the fiddle, they really treated the kids to some toe tapping tunes. Counselor Casey even had the students dance the Haymaker’s jig while the band played a few numbers. Sheila said she loved the music and really enjoyed dancing.
The rest of the night ended with the students relaxing, catching up on journaling, and catching up on some much needed shut eye.
Next up…, Croker for the Leinster Finals!!!