We were up very early and grabbed some breakfast, before heading to Belfast port, to catch our boat across the Irish Sea to Bonnie Scotland! We bid farewell to our shuttle driver Daithi, who transported us during our time in Ireland. We entertained ourselves in the ferry’s game room and with an exciting card game. The crossing was not too rocky and we arrived on time. We went to find our new coach and were soon on the road for the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. We drove through Glasgow, the third largest city in the UK. Once in Edinburgh, we went for some lunch before walking along Prince’s Street and climbing up Carlton Hill, with breathtaking views of the city and The Firth Of Forth. We then walked back in to the city and went in to The Old Town. We walked along the Royal Mile before getting dinner in Edinburgh. We had a special guest at dinner – Amina F., class of ‘17, who is currently studying at the University of Edinburgh. After a great dinner, we returned to the hotel for some relaxation. We’re excited to see more of Edinburgh tomorrow, especially Edinburgh Castle!
After a full night of sleep, we met our local guide, Gerry, and he took us in to Phoenix Park, where we saw The President’s and the American Ambassador’s official residences. We saw the Papal Cross, which was erected in 1979 for the former Pope’s visit. The present Pope visited in August of last year. We then went to St Patrick’s Cathedral. From there, we drove back over the river and saw the sculptures dedicated to those who died in the Great Famine. We then went along O’Connell Street before our visit to The Long Gallery and The Book of Kells, at Trinity College. We had time to grab some lunch, before we visited St Patrick’s Cathedral again to explore more. After our visit to St Patrick’s Cathedral, we walked to Dublin castle. We walked back in to the centre and went for some free time in St Stephen’s Green, before going for our dinner at Hairy Lemon. Tomorrow, we head north to Belfast.
**Drafted 3/18 but couldn’t upload until 3/19** We made it to Dublin! Our flight went smoothly and we were able to rest. We met our guide at the Dublin airport then went into the center of Dublin for a guided walk. The city was comparatively quiet, after a busy weekend of celebrating St Patrick’s Day. We walked on the south side of the river Liffey and passed by the statue of Molly Malone. We then went in to Temple Bar, before crossing over The Ha’Penny Bridge, and along the broad walk, to O’Connell street, once the most elegant street in Europe. We passed by the General Post Office, where the Independent Irish State was declared. We then walked to The Garden of Remembrance, a tribute to those who gave their lives for Irish independence. We then had time to explore Henry Street before heading to the National Irish Museum. We then had some time in Grafton Street. After a lot of walking and taking in the city, we were able to rest our feet at a fun dinner, complete with a delicious dessert pictured below. While everyone’s pretty tired, day 1 in Dublin was a success!