My global studies classmates and I met in the conference center building once more for a class session. In the first one, we discussed culture and its relevance to business. This time, we shared new insights and ideas for our business proposal and marketing plan projects. Between touring Dublin and other areas of Ireland, as well as visiting companies, everyone had great take-aways to apply to their academic work.
I was particularly inspired by the architecture I saw throughout the city. As a result, the location of my business idea changed to a spot from which there would be a great view of Christ Church. For me, this was a favorite of the churches in Dublin because of the bridge feature, arching over Winetavern Street.
Shortly after talking about plans for our projects and small group discussions, class was dismissed. I didn’t have any particular sightseeing plans arranged for the day, but eventually decided to look for O’Dwyer Pub. If I found it, I could take a selfie with the sign in the background. Some of my ancestors had the name O’Dwyer and although I didn’t know if I had any living relatives in Ireland, maybe I’d meet a few of them.
Making my way through the building, I passed the Jonathan Swift Theatre; I loved to see the names of literary figures around campus. Our housing at Trinity College was near the Samuel Beckett Theatre, along with artwork representing tragedy and comedy masks.
Before leaving campus, I mapped the pub’s location and noticed that the National Gallery of Ireland was on the way. My classmates and I were given a brief assignment to stop by there, look around and pick a work of art that speaks to us. It was free admission, so I walked in and headed upstairs. In one room, I saw a painting that stood out to me because of the natural setting with a waterfall in the background. It was called “View of the Powerscourt Waterfall,” a 17th century piece by George Barrett. I liked it because if I were in the place and time represented in it, I would love to spend my time there to enjoy the views and write. The Powerscourt Estate is also on my list of what to see in Ireland.
Photos inside the gallery weren’t allowed, so I went back downstairs to the cafe and made a note of Barrett’s painting. The cafe itself had a nice, relaxing atmosphere and as I sat there, an instrumental version of the song “Smile” was playing. I never heard it without vocals, but either way it’s a nice song that added to the cafe’s ambience.
Back outside, I continued toward Merrion Square Park. Earlier in the week, I caught a glimpse of the Oscar Wilde statue from the red City Sightseeing Dublin bus tour before a stop by the park entrance. Now, on foot, I thought it would be a good time to see the literary figure’s likeness up close and get some photos as part of my scavenger hunt activity. It was also nice to get off of the city sidewalk for a little while and just follow the walkway in the park, taking in the nature. A festival was set up in an area of wide open space and the food smelled delicious!
After a little more walking, I reached the Merrion Square East end of the park and following Mount Street Upper. There was an arched breezeway with a narrow lane of cobblestone, which led me to Mount Street Lower. No sign of the pub, although I had reached its map location on my phone. At that point, I went in the direction of Merrion Square Park and stopped in a cafe before going too far. A waitress told me that the pub’s name had changed a while ago and was now called “Howl at the Moon.”
Even though I didn’t find what I was looking for, I enjoyed the solo excursion and the site’s new name was pretty cool. It was time to head back to campus and again, I went back inside Merrion Square Park for part of the return trek.
I passed up getting lunch earlier at the festival and before reaching campus, decided to check out Insomnia Cafe. They had a couple of tables set up on the sidewalk and hoping to grab a seat outside, I quickly made my choice, paid and found my al fresco spot.
A few stores caught my attention as I got closer to campus and I still hadn’t done much in the way of souvenir shopping. Between stops in a convenience store and one with family history items, there were a lot of great gift ideas from which to choose. In the red tube was a poster of various Dublin tourist attractions.
For my grandmother, I also bought a potholder set decorated with clovers and featuring a recipe for Irish coffee. Since she also loves thatched-roof cottages, another gift for her was a small photo book of the charming Irish countryside homes.
Back on campus, I saw this neat little set of drawers in an office window. Some of the words reflected Trinity College with its literary history. Others did the same in regard to the overall trip to Ireland: Wonders. Discoveries.