The Great Famine
One of the highlights of our visit to Dublin was the Jeanie Johnston boat.
The boat is a replica built to honour the original Jeanie Johnston boat known for the fact it made several crossings to the USA with Irish people fleeing the famine in the 1850s. Unlike the other boats crossing at the time, the Jeanie Johnston boat was the only one that managed to do so without a single death. This is the reason why it is the pride of the country.
I found the visit very interesting thanks to all the anecdotes that the guide related to us and I also read something interesting in the main room.
Giving the length of the journey, 7 weeks , many things could happen. A young woman gave birth to a little boy. Everything went well thanks to the crew’s help. To commemorate all this solidarity, the couple decided to name their little boy after all the crew , so he had over 50 names!
Overall, this was by far my favourite visit!!!!
Sport in Ireland
I knew that sport wasn’t the major focus of our trip to Dublin, but, as a huge fan of sport, I knew that Ireland had a lot to offer. I realized that this was true when, just a few minutes after leaving Dublin airport, going to the youth hostel, we saw the Gaelic football stadium called Croke Park. It’s a stadium with a capacity of 82,300 seats (used by the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Republic of Ireland national football team) making it the third largest stadium in Europe.
We have to know that Gaelic football and hurling are the traditional sports of Ireland as well as its most popular spectator sports. Soccer is the third most popular spectator sport and has the highest level of participation. But the sport where Ireland is the most well known worldwide is rugby. It’s played at local and international levels on an all-Ireland basis, and has produced players such as Brian O’Driscoll and Ronan O’Gara who were on the team that won the Grand Slam in 2009. The national team plays now at the Aviva Stadium, a field built in 2010 on the site of the former Lansdowne Road stadium. THE DART train that we took to go to Braystone passes under the Aviva Stadium.
Fun fact: there is a schoolboy rugby team at Trinity College, they have their own field inside the college.
Lucas L (Tle)
All good fun!
This trip to Dublin was full of very fun moments. It started in Anglet, where I told my mom I knew how to prepare my suitcase but I ended up at Biarritz’s airport without my phone’s charger and my toothbrush. Guess who was made a fool when I quickly called my mother to tell her…
Then it was Hugo turn, who just before we boarded on the plane realized he had forgotten his suitcase in the boarding area. Let’s no talk about Charlotte’s wallet (full of money, credit card and ID card) that was lost the 1st hour we arrived at Dublin’s airport. At this point you may think we are scatterbrained, and you probably right.
There were a lot of very funny moments at youth hostel, in each other rooms (what happen in room 217 stay in room 217.) but also when we were cooking. One night Lucas spilled the pastas everywhere because we had to change the recipients, it was a total mess… Obviously it could have not been funny if strangers weren’t in the kitchen and saw us.
But the highlight of this trip, the funniest that happened in Dublin occurred to be the rain’s fault (stupid Irish weather). We had 30 minutes free before the cruise and it had been raining all the morning. I was with Marilou, near the boat, and may be 15 meters away there was Jade and Charlotte. The soil was made of wood and wood isn’t clearly the most secured soil to walk on when it’s wet. You know where I’m going. Jade started filming with her snapchat camera while running toward Marilou and I. She was almost arrived when she slipped down and fell like nothing. It was hilarious, I laughed so hard I was crying. But the more hilarious thing was that the camera caught this beautiful moment. We still have the video but for Jade’s dignity I won’t share it.
Dublin is definitely a beautiful and charming city full of history. We visited so many districts and we saw so many landmarks! Though, in my opinion, the most lively and enjoyable place was clearly the Temple Bar district (in Irish: Barra an Teampaill). It’s located near the Liffey (North), Dame Street (South) Westmoreland Street (East) and Fishamble Street (West).
Right, first of all, a little bit of history! This district got its name from William Temple. He was the provost for Trinity College, another place we visited, during the 17th century.
To continue, that’s nowadays a very well known place for entertainment in the evening. Singers and music in the streets and bars, restaurants, pubs… That’s a lively place and that’s Ireland! We enjoyed walking down the street very much. Obviously, all the people around were enjoying it as well as we were!
On the way back to our Hostel, our arms were full of souvenirs.
Lucas F (Tle)
Vita & Virginia (The Movie)
When we arrived in Dublin, we were surprised to see that a movie was being filmed in front of our hostel. The movie, called “Vita & Virginia” will be released in 2018. It relates the love story between Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf at the end of 1920s. Vita Sackville-West was born in 1892 and died in 1962. She was an English poet, novelist, and garden designer. Virginia Woolf was born in 1882 and died in 1941. She was an English writer who is considered to be one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century. Virginia Woolf met Vita Sackville-West in 1922 within the “Bloomsbury Group” which was an influential group of associated English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists. The two women had a liaison during 1920s. Virginia Woolf inspired by Vita Sackville-West, created “Orlando” in 1928, a fantastic biography in which the hero crossed centuries and changed his gender. “Vita & Virginia” is directed by Chania Button,a British film director. The cast includes Gemma Arterton who plays Vita and Elizabeth Debicki who plays Virginia. Eva Green was originally cast in the lead role but dropped out.
The scenery was very impressive. In fact, all the actors and extras were dressed in costumes from the 1920s and the whole street was filled with historical cars. We didn’t expect to be at the heart of a shooting and it was a very interesting and funny experience.
What we liked the most
The majority of us had never been to Ireland and the trip allowed us to discover a new county as well as a new culture. So the trip was a cultural as well as an intellectual enrichment experience. If we were to take a poll of the students’ favorite activities, in third place would be the visit to the Jeanie Johnston boat. That day, our amiable guide made the visit very interesting and lively.
In second place, we would find the visit to Dublin. We enjoyed discovering this town very much. Some areas were quite lively at night, such as the “Temple Bar.” Thanks to our free time we were able to explore a place with our own eyes and I admit that I did a little shopping. To conclude, in first place, the favorite activity for most of the students would be the hike from Bray Head to Greystones. Indeed, we loved the very natural landscape and the huge impressive cliffs.
THE BOOK OF KELLS
During our rewarding trip to Dublin, we had the opportunity to see the Book of Kells. It can be seen in a specific area dedicated to visitors at the well-known Trinity College.
In an information tour, we learnt that the book had been written during the Middle Ages and how it had been preserved until today. In addition, we discovered the ancient alphabet and also which pigments people were using to write the Book.
Nevertheless, the most interesting part for me was the outstanding library we visited a few minutes later. We were surrounded by thousands of books of all epochs, stored from floor to ceiling, filed in different shelves and different rows. It was like being transported into a Harry Potter movie. Busts of famous people bordered the walking zone as well; we saw renowned philosophers, writers and even politicians.
However, this impressive library was just a small part of the entirety. There were many other similar rooms. Indeed, the Irish government is committed to keeping a copy of each book published in Ireland!