The Senior Room got up very early this morning to get the 7.57am train from Rathmore to Dublin.
We arrived in the capital city at 11am and hopped on a double decker Dublin bus into the city. We had to pay the driver getting on the bus, collect our receipt and then we got to sit upstairs to see the sights of Dublin from up high! It was very exciting.
We got off the bus at Trinity College, Dublin, our first stop. We walked in the front door of the college and right through the college grounds to the other side where we again emerged onto the busy Dublin streets and crossed the road to our second stop of the day - The National Gallery.
In the National Gallery, we walked around and saw some lovely paintings by Irish and European artists. We even saw one painting by one of our favourite artists - Pablo Picasso.
From the gallery we continued around the corner to Merrion Square to the Natural History Museum, also known as the Dead Zoo! We saw a load of animals - snow leopards, a huge basking shark, an armadillo, a huge whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling, gorillas, monkeys, chimpanzees and loads of other animals.
From there we made our way to St. Stephens Green, passing the Government Buildings as we went. We walked right through the middle of the park. We saw swans and ducks swimming in the lake, some very pretty flowers and we walked through a small rock garden to the other side. It was full of people enjoying the sunshine in their lunch break. We went to the food hall in St. Stephens Green shopping centre for our lunch and a well deserved rest.
After lunch, we continued along Grafton Street. Along the way we spotted some Street performers, the Disney store, the doorman of Brown Thomas wearing a tophat and loads of others little things. Unfortunately Molly Malone and her wheelbarrow has been temporarily removed so we didn't get to see that.
We continued our walking tour, passing the front of Trinity again and around the columns of the Central Bank and continued until we were crossing O' Connell Bridge. From there we could see the Spire and Haypenny Bridge. We eventually got to the GPO and spent a few minutes finding the bullet holes in the columns and stones, some evidence of the Easter Rising of 1916. We had read The Guns of Easter, so it was very exciting to be able to see some of the places mentioned in the book throughout the day! We crossed O'Connell Street and got to touch the Spire.
From there we walked to Abbey Street Luas stop. We got our tickets and jumped on the next Luas towards Collins Barracks.
We were very impressed with the courtyard of the Barracks, especially as there was a big helicopter on display. We went in to see the Easter 1916 Rising exhibition and saw the first Irish Flag, the uniforms, the Proclamation, some guns and other artefacts on display.
After that we went to the 'Soldiers and Chieftains' exhibition. We travelled through time as we saw the uniforms and weapons used during many ways over time. The final part of the exhibition was what we had all been waiting for: the World War 2 exhibition. There were planes hanging from the ceiling, tanks and other vehicles and some of the large weapons used in the war. We explored this room with great interest and found the flight logbook of Seán Drumm on display (Miss Drumm's Grandad). He was in the RAF and fought 32 missions as a rear gunner for the Brittish in World War 2. His logbook shows that he even bombed 'Berchesgaden' towards the end of the war - Hitler's house!
After we finished looking at the exhibition we got to dress up in some of the clothes from the various wars. This was great fun!
Unfortunately, we reached the end of our day there and had to return to Heuston Station to catch the train home. We had a fantastic day in Dublin!
A special thank you to Eve and Ailbhe, student teachers from St. Pats College, Drumcondra, who joined us for our walking tour around Dublin City.