Day 2: Exploration Day

Day 2 of #TakeBackIreland2K15 started off with some uncertainty.  Even though I had visited both Galway and Dublin areas before, the actual use of transportation on my own was new.  After John and I ate breakfast with the family, we went down to the local convenient store to buy something called a LEAP card.  Now this card is VERY similar to the bus system that occurs in Vancouver, BC, CA, but you can actually keep the card and load more money onto the card via stores or the internet.  From there, John and I caught the 15B bus at the stop on Boden Way (7444).  From what it seemed, riding the bus into the city only cost us around 2 euro.  The bus ride is really cool - a double decker bus was in use and we were able to see all the different shops and houses down through Rathmines up to Dublin.

Once we saw a commotion of people getting off the bus, so did we.  I knew from my last journey to look for the Spire, or in this case "The Needle" (A tower about 120m tall that literally looks like a needle) as a focal point of downtown Dublin.  After locating the site, we then traveled to other such places including the statues on O'Connell Street as well as The Garden of Remembrance.  This easily contributed about 5 miles or 10,000 steps alone...which probably helped create an appetite.  We tried looking for wi-fi down through all the shops and finally discovered some near the well-known "Burger King" - yes - Ireland has several American restaurants with a different variety of foods sold (don't recommend them - experience other local foods!!!).  After meeting up with two other members of the student teaching group, we then continued on our journey to visit Trinity College and the Book of Kells.

Getting closer to Trinity College meant getting closer to people - the amount of people gushing through the alleys of downtown is a great scenery in itself.  Just beside the entrance of Trinity College is a huge shopping strip called Grafton Street - YES THIS IS WHERE DISNEY IS LOCATED!!! But before the shopping, Trinity College.

Trinity College has a great atmosphere of being engulfed in education yet susceptible to the positive atmosphere of downtown foods, pubs, and shopping (literally just across the street).  We entered the court area before entering the local gift shop that included a tour of the Book of Kells and the library.  Talk about books upon books! Between what my roommate and I computed when walking into the second floor library, or the "Long Room," there had to be at least 3,500+ books!  My biggest fascination were how the shelves were tiered upward on size, putting the larger books at the bottom as well as the detail of woodwork when establishing a place of tranquility.

After touring the library, the Book of Kells and Trinity College, we then continued down Grafton Street.  Grafton Street is shopping 101 with many lively colors and people surrounding the entire street.  Stores from clothing, books, fashion wear, jewelry, toys and gadgets, to even a DISNEY store, there was something for everyone.  After making many stops along the way, the time was closing on 17.00 - time for dinner.  We made quick time by catching the 15B bus near Temple Bar, a region that is full of bars and pubs which also includes the actual Temple Bar.

Arriving home around 17.30 we were greeted by Catherine presenting dinner to the kids as well as us.  Beef stew! So good and very rich in color! After eating dinner, we then had time to go through some teaching materials and determine certain topics that we would be teaching during our stay.  Around 19.45, Ron came back in and told us about the game between FAI and Bosnia (Football Association of Ireland) where teams from both places played football (NOT American).  The game was crucial as it was a qualifier match to UEFA Championship occurring next June.  The game went back and forth but heavenly favored the Irish in a week of games they were not supposed to win.  John Walters had both the goals on the night as FAI beat Bosnia 2-0 (or 2 nil for that matter).  After the game, we cleaned up for bed and was able to check any last things needed by our advisor.  Tomorrow is a brand new day - the possibility of teaching in the next week is greatly awaited!!! I cannot wait to start covering the curriculum with the students!