Tag Archives: Trip

Places you can go and things you can do beyond Dublin

Museums in Dublin: a Few Highlights

By Jessica Murphy, Summer Study Abroad Blogger

My name is Jessica Murphy and I am a rising sophomore at Brown University from New York City. I am still not sure what I am majoring in—or as we call it, “concentrating”—but I am interested in fields ranging from international relations to development studies. In fact, I was initially drawn to the Brown/Trinity summer study abroad programme in Dublin because of my interest in political science. The possibility of studying contemporary international politics, participating in an internship, and living in a completely new country sounded like a remarkable opportunity. I am so glad that I decided to sign up, because it has truly exceeded my (already high) expectations! Dublin is a fascinating city with a rich and layered past, and I have really enjoyed learning and exploring every single day.

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A Visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland

By Jessica Murphy, Summer Study Abroad Blogger

My name is Jessica Murphy and I am a rising sophomore at Brown University from New York City. I am still not sure what I am majoring in—or as we call it, “concentrating”—but I am interested in fields ranging from international relations to development studies. In fact, I was initially drawn to the Brown/Trinity summer study abroad programme in Dublin because of my interest in political science. The possibility of studying contemporary international politics, participating in an internship, and living in a completely new country sounded like a remarkable opportunity. I am so glad that I decided to sign up, because it has truly exceeded my (already high) expectations! Dublin is a fascinating city with a rich and layered past, and I have really enjoyed learning and exploring every single day.

Continue reading A Visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland

Exploring Ireland: The Cliffs of Moher

By Madison Tucky (Visiting Student, Study Abroad Blogger)

In Ireland there are a lot of different places that people told me I should visit, and the most frequently mentioned one was the Cliffs of Moher. The people that I talked to who had been to Ireland before said that I had to visit the Cliffs, that it would be an unbelievable experience I needed to have. I’ll admit, I was kind of skeptical. I’ve seen cliffs before. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon in America. I didn’t think that the Cliffs of Moher would be anything crazy special. They’d be really cool and I was definitely going to go, but to be honest I had very low expectations for my trip out there. While there are a few different companies that take tours to the Cliffs from Dublin, I actually took the bus to Galway and used a tour company there, as I have a friend studying there who wanted to go with me. It was a very nice, easy, and early bus ride to Galway, and then the bus for the tour left from the bus station that I’d been dropped off at, so it was a very easy start to the excursion.

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My Trip to Belfast

By Viviana Lletget (Visiting Student – Department(s) at Trinity: English, Political Science, and Sociology – Home University: University of California Berkeley, Ethnic Studies)

Part of the reason I came to study in Ireland was to learn more about its political history, particularly Northern Ireland, which is one of the four countries that makes up the United Kingdom. British colonialism ended with the Irish Partition in 1921 under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, making Northern and Southern Ireland UK territories operating in different Home Rule fashions, but in 1922 with the War of Independence, Southern Ireland became independent as the Irish Free State. Belfast has always been a place to protest and voice your political position within the mainstream two factions of Irish Nationalism or Unionism. Belfast is saturated with social movement histories, and has been affected by violent pasts that seem to still plague the city besides its increasing social solidarity among citizens. People get along, though generally speaking, Catholics and Protestants don’t really hang out in each other’s neighborhoods, but no one is bombing or vandalizing a rival’s area as before. Things have changed in Belfast, though the city is definitely still segregated.

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First Impressions…

Anna McAlpine

Visiting Student

Departments at Trinity: School of English

Home Institution: St. Andrews, English Literature and Philosophy MA (Hons)

“The streets are busy. Alighting the bus at Grafton Street, the city is intoxicating with people bustling all around me, sprawling in every direction. I know my route – dodging bodies on my quest to reach the old building peering over the shops on College Green. The traffic flows constantly through the streets never pausing for rest – carrying vessels filled with people set on entering the town centre as I seek to escape it. I finally clear the corner, following the black metal fence that winds around Trinity campus. Then finally, the ancient wooden gates stand before me, although I am not permitted to stand still and admire them.

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One Young World Summit – Reflections

In her final installment of the series, Sadhbh reflects on her trip to the One Young World Summit in November 2015, taking place in Bangkok.

When I received my acceptance email to the One Young World Summit, dozens of expectations and possibilities began flooding into my mind. We often tend to build these things up too much in our minds, overestimating in our glow of excitement how much of an impact they will have and how transformed we will be afterwards. As the jet lag begins to fade and the taste of fresh pineapple becomes but a memory, I have the chance to reflect on my whirlwind trip to Bangkok – and I can safely say that my experience over those four days not only met every expectation and provided me with all the possibilities that I had imagined, but in fact left me with many, many more.

                  I expected Bangkok to be an incredible backdrop for the event, and indeed our host city had a huge role to play in the experience. It made it all the more exciting and exotic for me, and I enjoyed the bustle and movement of the city as much as I did the fresh pomegranate juice from the street hawkers and the smell of incense drifting from colourful roadside shrines. No modality of sensation is left untouched when walking the streets of Bangkok. The governor of Bangkok and his administration did their utmost to welcome us and ensure our safety, perhaps erring on the side of excess at times – I’m not sure that I’m quite important enough to warrant a guard of honour of policemen or three people to help me cross the road! Although we were very busy and didn’t have the chance to explore much, we got to see parts of the city, such as the gardens of the Royal Palace, Chulalongkorn University and Lumpini Park, that I wouldn’t have visited of my own accord. To top it off, when a dance off began in Lumpini Park on our second night, the governor himself came to join in, showing us his best moves and forever cementing Bangkok as one of my favourite cities in the world.

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One of my biggest expectations was for a diverse and dynamic line-up of speakers, and one cannot find fault with One Young World in this respect. Every sector was represented, from business to sport, healthcare to media – even Durex came along to speak to us! Each speaker had something important and provoking to say, but I found Maajid Nawaz, a reformed Islamic extremist, particularly interesting. He explained the reasons why people turn to extremism and gave me a new perspective on the Isis situation and how it has developed. Kofi Annan and Paul Polman both spoke passionately about climate action and certainly provoked many of us into taking a more proactive stance on this issue. While it was mind-blowing to be in a room with such brilliant people as these, the most inspiring of all were the delegate speakers, young people taking incredible steps in their communities and abroad to make this world a better place. Yeonmi Park, who spoke bravely about her escape from North Korea and the challenges she faced integrating into society after this, made me realise how lucky we are to have our freedom – although she told us, “I didn’t escape for freedom. I escaped for a bowl of rice”. Lina Khalifeh from Jordan works to put an end to violence against women with her self-defence organisation, SheFighter. Bryant Zebedy emotionally shed light on the troubles of his country, the Marshall Islands, as they battle increasing coastal erosion due to climate change. Francois Reyes from Paris, president of a think tank called Reveil Citoyen, gave an especially moving speech after the tragedy in Paris the weekend before. His ardour and passion captured the audience as he declared, “We will fight intolerance peacefully and never, ever give up hope”. The inspiration and empowerment I gained from listening to these delegate speakers cannot be measured. Coupled with the advice from Professor Yunus to “solve the issue of the person in front of you”, I feel ready to use these tools to create further positive change in my community.

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Of course, once the serious work was done, I expected great fun to be had in the evenings. After the long days of talking and debating, our evening entertainment was catered for with dinner, live music, DJs and even a miniature carnival at the closing ceremony, complete with game booths, rides and food stalls. The highlight of these would have to be the dance-off I mentioned above. I have shimmied my way into many a circle of boppers and shakers, but never one so multicultural as this! The Portuguese guy spinning on his head was followed by a hip-hopping Japanese student, quickly elbowed aside by a tangoing couple from South America, all co-ordinated by a young man from Essex, Hussein Manawer, who later went on to win the Kruger Cowne Rising Star Programme for his phenomenal slam poetry on mental health – meaning he won a trip into space. Yes, you heard me. Outer space. And now you see why it is almost impossible to underestimate the possibilities that One Young World allows you.

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What I didn’t expect were the friendships. Yes, I knew I’d make connections (hence the hasty joining of Linked In) and I knew I’d come home with more Facebook friends than I’d left with. But I did not envision coming home with friends that I fully intend to keep in touch with, from Brazil to Australia and many places in between. One Young World is more than just an organisation – it’s a community, a collection of passionate, proactive, forward-thinking young people. Yes, there is a great deal of networking and exchanging of business cards, and of course some of it is tactical. But more so, there is genuine connection and the desire to maintain this bond, because every person there ultimately wants the same thing, regardless of cultural, political or linguistic differences – to take action in order to make this world better. I am hugely grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend this Summit, and cannot thank the Global Relations Office and the Provost’s Office enough for their support. I have come home with expanding expectations of myself, plausible possibilities to connect with others on international projects, and a renewed fervour and positivity. The message of One Young World is not just for the delegates who attended the Summit. Paul Polman believes that “the reason changes are happening is because of the millennials”. We, the millennials, can call ourselves the leaders of the future – but why are we waiting for the future? It is time to talk. It is time to act. What will you do?

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Short Trips in and around Dublin

Having previously explored the various day trips you could take around Ireland, we now take a look at summer excursions a little closer to the capital. Byrne and Lydia,  two Student Ambassadors, look at some of the short trips you can take to sights just outside of Dublin.

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1. Newgrange

Newgrange, a prehistoric Passage Tomb in County Meath, is a perfect day trip excursion for any history buff. Surrounded by the Irish countryside and less than a 60 minute journey from Dublin city centre, a visit to Newgrange is also perfect for those of us who need a break from urban living!

Buses to Newgrange can be taken from the Bus Aras Station with a student return ticket costing 25.65 euro – with a packed lunch, this is a savvy tourist’s means of exploration!

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2. Castletown House:

Castletown House is situated just 20km outside Dublin City Centre. A large, impressive Country House with beautiful surrounding lands promises a comfortable spring-time picnic – or a rainy dash to Castletown House’s front door!

To get to Castletown:

With Dublin Bus, take the 67 bus from Merrion Square to Main Street Celbridge and walk (approx.. 10 – 15 mins) down the avenue to Castletown House.

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3. Bray:

If you’re searching for an escape to the sea, then consider a trip to Bray! A seaside town situated close to Dublin City Centre offers stunning, oceanic views, quaint little tea shops and hosts a myriad of Arts festivals. Bray is also home to Ardmore Studios, an Irish film production company that has produced films and television series such as the Tudors, Braveheart and My Left Foot – you might even be in with a chance to meet your favourite actor!

To get to Bray:

Bray is on the DART Rail Network and a train can be taken from Pearse Street Station just across from Trinity’s Sports Centre and next to the JCR on Pearse Street. Return tickets cost 6.30 euro.

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4. Howth:

Howth is a stunning coastal fishing town, just north of Dublin City. It has a remarkably small village feeling, considering its close proximity to the city centre. Indeed, it is very well serviced, with commuter darts every few minutes from town. Hence, one can leave at a moment’s notice to find the perfect, quick escape.

On a sunny day, get up and out of the city from Pearse station, and arrive into the quaint town of Howth.  Directly in front of the train station, there is a wonderful tea room, called “The Dog House Blue’s Tea Room” that serve lovely tea and cake.

A strip of road leads you to a small marina, where boats bobbe in the wind.  Across the strip, there is a very easy hill walk, and a view point where you can look across the bay of the Irish sea into Dublin City. After you’ve worked up an appetite with the short walk, we recommend returning to the city and having the famous fish and chips from Beshhoff’s The Market.

How to get there:

Howth is very easily accessible – the Dart zips along the coast in under 30 minute from Pearse Station (at the bottom end of Trinity) right to the town.  Look for the Howth Train, Northbound, €6 adult return.

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5. Powerscourt

Powerscourt Estate is a large country estate, complete with a grandiose house and manicured gardens.  Originally a 13th Century castle, the building was altered and changed into a Manor in the early 1700s.  Recently refurbished into a hotel and golf course, the grounds make for a perfect day retreat.  You can see the house, stroll through the gardens, and eat in the lovely restaurant, Avoca.  The restaurant is possibly outside the student budget and so we recommend a bringing a small picnic in conjunction with a trail to a stunning waterfall – the highest in Ireland!

How to get there:

Take the Dart southbound to Bray from Pearse Station.  The 185 bus goes from Bray Station to Powerscourt.

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6. Kilkenny

Kilkenny is a beautiful medieval city in the south east of Ireland, sporting one of Ireland’s largest castles, complete with acres of manicured lawns and a forest leading to the River Nore.  Kilkenny is an hour and a half train trip away from Dublin City – the journey is a relaxing, winding course through the gentle rolling Irish countryside.

Things to do:

The train stop is quite near the city centre – exit the platform, descend the small hill and turn left onto John’s street – an old street with a plethora of traditional Irish Pubs. The historic John’s Bridge is at the end of this street, with the fortified castle high on a hill on your right.  We recommend taking a tour of the castle, and then a lazy afternoon picnic in the grounds.  Other noted attractions in the city are to walk the old town, like Butterslip, Kieran’s Street and Kyteler’s Inn, and the wonderful St. Canice’s Cathedral.

Kilkenny is also a noted centre of the Arts.  The Kilkenny Arts Week Festival happens annually in the first week of August, and sees the city come alive with exhibitions, theatre, music and street art.

How to get there:

Take the Waterford Bound train that goes from Heuston Station, Dublin. A student return ticket is €21.

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7. Hillwalking in Glendalough 

Glendalough is a historically significant monastic site, having had settlements founded as early as the 6th Century.  It is located in the mountainous areas of Wicklow, affectionately named “The Garden of Ireland”.  The entire area is a protected national park, saturated in beautiful indigenous Irish flora and fauna.  There are nine demarcated woodland trails through the region, from easy to moderate in difficulty. There are maps and information available at the Visitor Centre in the old town.  More information can be found here.

Glendalough is a living dream for the outdoor nature trail lovers. It is an idyllic day-trip escape from the city, and sees Irish nature at its best.

As it is a national park, access is more difficult, with little to no public transport services. We would recommend gathering a group and chartering a minibus to take you to and from the site, before your day’s walk!

For example: http://www.glendaloughminibushire.com/