Day 15 - Sunday, September 23, 2018 - Tour of Dublin; Easter Rebellion; General Post Office; Trinity College; Farewell Dinner; Irish Music & Dance
And never want as long as you live.” Irish Blessing
After breakfast at the hotel, we asked the desk clerk take a photo of our whole group. As we have said on previous days, this was one of the most congenial groups we have ever traveled with. Our driver Richard and our OAT Tour Director Thomas made the 14 days a delightful adventure.
At 9:00 we were on our way on a walking tour of central Dublin. It was 46 degrees but it was not raining and there was no rain in the forecast. We started by going just across the street to the Garden of Remembrance, the memorial for all of those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom.
This morning was quiet and no one was at the usually bustling Moore Street where the fruit, vegetables, flowers, and meats are sold every day of the week but Sunday. Just our luck…
We walked past the Rotunda Hospital; the oldest continuously operating maternity hospital in the world, founded in 1745. Ralph’s grandfather studied pediatric care at Rotunda so he went in for a look around.
Dublin was the center of the Irish pursuit of independence and our early Sunday morning stroll emphasized that quest and the Easter Rising of 1916. Better known as the Easter Rebellion, Thomas told us of the battle of young Irishmen with sticks, rocks, and hurleys.
The rebels were fighting against over 10,000 British soldiers with rifles, grenades, and heavy artillery such as 18-pound field artillery guns. The back breaker was the HMS Helga Armed Auxiliary Patrol Yacht that sailed into town on the River Liffey and shelled the buildings destroying almost all of the entire city center.
We walked through the back alleys and main streets where the Irish and British fought and were killed. We found our way to the General Post Office of Dublin that was taken over by the Irish rebels.
The leaders held the post office until the total destruction and burning of the building. Only the shell remained but it was rebuilt in 1929. One can still see the hundreds of bullet holes and broken granite from the shelling.
Our last major stop was at the campus of Trinity College, Ireland’s most revered university, begun by Queen Elizabeth in 1592. We were able to learn more about the campus and its history. Until 1891, no Catholics were allowed to attend and only after 1904 were women able to study at Trinity.
Right in the center of Dublin, the Bell Tower was one of the iconic landmarks. Also housed at the school’s library were the Book of Kells, illustrated books of the Gospels written in Latin. The line was already long to see one of Ireland’s national treasures.
Thomas left us with directions to walk back to the hotel and we had the rest of the afternoon on our own. We walked back across the river after spending time just wandering the streets that were starting to get a little busy with tourists and locals alike.
At 6:00 we went to the lobby to meet our group for one last time. The OAT famous Farewell Dinner is always a fun time to review and relive some of the happenings of the past two weeks.
Thomas surprised us all with tickets to see the Traditional Irish Night Dance Show at the Belvedere Hotel right across the street from our hotel. The three musicians and five dancers kept our toes tapping and our hands clapping for almost 90 minutes. It was a delightful ending to our Irish Adventure.
Our flight leaves at 12:25pm for Toronto and then we have a four-hour layover before our final flight to Denver. Our shuttle to the airport will pick us up at 9:00 so we did not have to worry about a late dinner.
The last travel day of the journal will be posted after we get home. We want to thank all of you for your comments and for following our latest GarciaTrips journey. It has been a delightful trip and we were happy to share our adventures.
Accommodations: Hotel 7 - Meals included: B & D
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Sounds like an absolutely lovely vacation, you guys! Time to return to beautiful wx in CO, I hear. Always wonderful to follow you on your travels, lovely narrative, lovely pics. Greetings to you from Lima.
On the 1990 trip that I mentioned before, we stayed in student apartments at Trinity College while in Dublin. How wonderful, after the hectic, crowded streets of our adventures, to enter the quiet sanctuary of the campus (it was during school break). Your trip has brought back delightful memories.
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Do you remember Heather Ford at Grace Best? I taught her for 3rd and 4th grades. She was an Irish dancer, and Randy and I went to see her perform one time. It sounds like you had a fantastic time!
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