I’ve been in Dublin with Champlain Abroad for over a week now and this has already become one of the greatest experiences that I could have imagined. Right from the start I began to experience so many new things that I thought I would never experience. The city is a mix of old and new. The old style architecture dominates the majority of the city. The stonework and brickwork is ever apparent throughout the city. The buildings are all remnants of an older time with gorgeous churches on every street and small hole-in-the-wall style stores.
Not far from the apartments where we are living is the bustling street of Thomas Street. Thomas Street is one of the main roads on the south side of the Liffey River. It is a great guide to lead us around the newer, more urban environment of Dublin with loads of shops, pubs, and restaurants. Already, just in this week I have fallen completely in love with the city and can tell that these four months are going to absolutely fly by.
One of the best things that I have experienced thus far is the trip to Bray. Bray is a coastal city south of Dublin, about 30 minutes away by the train.
Bray used to be a vacation city for Dubliners, but has more recently become almost a retirement community. Along the main road of Bray retirement complexes line the street with upscale pubs and restaurants scattered throughout. But what really makes Bray is the hill that overlooks the town. After walking along the beach covered in stones, you can make your way up the hill to the top. The trek up the hill is nothing too extreme, but rain and mud can make it much more difficult. But the effort is ever rewarding. At the top there is a large cross that over looks all of Bray, also a great spot for photos. Upon reaching the top you are able to view miles and miles of the coast during a clear day. Unfortunately for our group, the day was foggy and rainy, but the views were still breath taking. From the top you can see Dublin to the north along the coast, but turn to the east ever so slightly and you are rewarded with astounding views of the rolling hills and farmlands of Ireland. It is truly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, and that was just on my third day here.
Outside of the excursions set up by the school, I have yet to really experience the surrounding areas of Dublin. This is the result of classes and just getting in the groove here. Once I feel more settled I will most definitely be taking the trips to venture around Dublin and see what else Ireland has to offer.
Champlain Abroad Dublin, Spring ’14
Champlain College, Secondary Education’15