Thursday, September 23, 2010

Enjoying a day in Dublin

The tour of Dublin turned out to be fascinating! It was pouring when we left, but by the time we got off the bus, the rain had stopped, and the sun eventually came out - it was a gorgeous afternoon once again!
The statue of Molly Malone in Dublin.
Our tour guide, Claire, showed us around the prominent historic buildings and monuments of Dublin. The city is an ancient settlement founded by the Vikings in the 9th century. We passed the National Gallery, where a long-lost Caravaggio painting lives. The piece was listed as "High" on the list of wanted paintings before its rediscovery. There are also paintings by John Yeats. The current exhibit is Gabriel Metsu.

On the tour, we also passed the Duke of Wellington's home and the Merrion hotel, a famous and popular restaurant. 

The 18th century gracious squares were developed in Dublin, such as Fitzwilliam and Merrion squares, and Stephens Green. Some of the most expensive houses are in this area - it was charming! And the famous Dawson Street is full of restaurants and shops.

Our Centenary group at Trinity College.
Finally, we arrived at Trinity College, which is on 43 acres of land, and learned about the Book of Kells from the 8th century. The book is an illuminated manuscript of the gospel. The Long Room in the library was filled with a huge collection of books that were gathered from generations of Irish.

The Guinness Storehouse.

Our next visit was to the Guinness Storehouse, to see exhibits on how this world-famous stout was first created. There was a rooftop bar with spectacular views, and two of our alumni received certificates for pouring a beer into a mug from a tap! Also, Guinness' anniversary was today - Arthur's Day! It is 251 years after the lease was signed in 1759, and the storehouse sits on a whole 60 acres.

We enjoyed a special Centenary College dinner at the Fire Restaurant!
Last night, a Centenary College dinner was held at the Fire Restaurant, an old mansion. It was a lovely time and a great way to commemorate the first Alumni Travel Program trip!

Today is our last day, sadly. We are headed to Kildare, which is in the heart of Ireland's horse country. At the Irish National Stud, we will learn the history and current trends of horse breeding in Ireland. With Centenary's outstanding Equine Studies program, I'm sure this will prove fascinating! Later, we will head to the Old Jameson Distillery in the heart of the city, where we'll tour the Distillery and then enjoy a "shindig" and our last evening together. 

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