Hello, and welcome (cead mile failte!) to the Adventure Ireland College trip blog. This July, 2012, we welcome students from Drew University, New Jersey, and also some of our alumni from the Adventure Ireland teen camp…they’re all grown up now, and brought their folks back for the adult trip. This is an eight-day trip, and began today in the airport, as we met our travellers arriving from Atlanta, Chicago, Newark and JFK. Delightfully, the flights were mostly on time, (United, you let yourselves down!) and all baggage arrived safely too. Everyone was tired, but bright-eyed all the same, with the first glimpses of the Emerald Isle challenging the jet-lag! We went straight to the Camden Court hotel, right in the heart of Georgian Dublin, and the good people there facilitated an early check in, a nap and a shower.
We had some coffee and pastries while everyone was introduced, and then Niamh (that’s me, folks) did a brief introductory history level, focused on the Celtic and Christian periods from 300BC to around 988 AD. We did this so we could fully appreciate the amazing celtic gold collection, and the awesome “Treasury” of religious artifacts in the National Museum. We also talked a bit about Mr. W.B.Yeats, and then visited the Yeats exhibition at the National Library. Unfortunately, the soft old Irish rain came down, reminding everyone that a waterproof jacket and an umbrella are standard items for any visitor. We took shelter in the wonderful Trinity College, with some of our group taking a peek at the Book of Kells. We checked out St. Brigid’s crosses, and distinguished between gifts that had cultural value, and stuff we don’t like… (leprechauns!).
We then checked out the Irish Dail (Government Buildings) and the original parliament buildings, now the Bank of Ireland. We said hi to Henry Grattan, and further up Grafton Street, the legendary Phil Lynnot, lead singer of “Thin Lizzy”. It was time for food, so we nipped into the snug in Bruxelle’s pub for a feast of Shepherd’s Pie, Fish & Chips & other deliciousness. Yes, some people braved a taste of Smithwicks & Bulmers, and a very pleasant evening was had by all… but by 7pm, the jetlag took its toll, so we headed back to our hotel for a well-earned sleep.