When I signed up for the New Media and Changing Communities core class, I knew the class trip to Dublin would be something to look forward to. Since my professor grew up in Ireland, we had the perfect tour guide for a week of both acedemic and cultural activities. The trip started off with an early flight, and before long we were in our downtown Dublin hotel.
Day 1: The trip started off with a trip to the Guiness Storehouse where I figured out I actually like dark beer. The top floor was completely glass and had a 360 degree view of the city, so we hung out there for a while. That night we had a group dinner and then some free time to enjoy the Dublin nightlife.
Day 2: First stop of the day was DCU where we had a guest lecture from Eileen Culloty. Eileen is an Assistance Professor in the School of Communications, and deputy director of the Institute of Media. Her research is focused on disinformation, digital governance, and media. It was a great experience to hear about media through the lens of a published author and professor.
Next up was the Book of Kells at Trinity University. When I say this campus looked like something straight out of Harry Potter… I’m talking Ivy up the sides of buildings, massive floor to ceiling book shelves, long hallways, and home to Ireland’s oldest harp. After looking around the Book of Kells exhibition, my entire class laid on the grassy quad for a good 20 minutes just soaking up the sun (which we hadn’t seen in a little too long).
Last stop of the day was the EPIC Irish Immigration Museum. EPIC was the first immigration museum I had ever attended. The whole experience was guided by stamping your “passport” at different stops along your journey through Irish Immigration. I was surprised to see how many celebrities had Irish ancestry, no matter how distant.
Day 3: After breakfast at the hotel, we made our way to IADT where we were able to sit in on an Irish media class. The small arts school reminded me of the show “Victorious” because every student was insanely talented in their field. We walked around campus where we saw massive film sets, podcast stations, art room, and the colorful library. After the tour we were got some time to talk to the Irish students where I learned that college in Dublin is not much different than school in America or Denmark.
We had one more guest lecture who talked to us about online privacy in the EU and Ireland specifically. Our lecturer also happened to be an American who came to Ireland for University and loved it so much she decided to stay. Her perspective was especially interesting because she had both the American and Irish point of view of privacy.
After dinner, we went to the famous Abbey Theatre to see the show X’ntigone. All I knew going in was that the show would have something to do with COVID. I’m not sure what I expected exactly, but I was definitely surprised to see how intensely the one act play portrayed the current pandemic. The acting was incredible and although the play was somewhat intense, I found it to be a worthwhile experience.
Day 4: This might have been my favorite day of the whole trip. We were assigned into groups of three and given a location to explore for our “Hotel Project”. The idea of the assignment was to go to a coastal town a little outside of Dublin, and pretend we were looking to build a hotel in the area. We needed to find the best food, sights, historic attractions, and get quotes from the locals about their experience with the town. My group was assigned to the town called Howth. When I say I want to retire here, I’m not kidding. Howth was exactly what you’d picture when I say quaint, beautiful, Irish coastal town. We met plenty of locals, dogs, and ate the best fish and chips I’ve ever had.
After Howth, we made our way back to Dublin for a class dinner at The Winding Stair where pretty much everyone ordered a steak. I also tried bone marrow for the first time which was not my favorite, but I’m giving myself credit for trying a new food.
Day 5: Our last day was spent roadtripping from east to west Ireland. First stop was King John’s Castle where we were able to see the whole city of Limerick from the top. This castle was built in 1200 so it’s safe to say the inside was pretty ancient.
Next up was the Cliffs of Moher. After many warning from our tour guide Jack to stay away from the edge, we climbed the steep hike to the top of the cliffs. The view was quite literally incredible. I had always heard about the Cliffs of Moher but wasn’t sure I’d make it there since its so far from the city of Dublin. After seeing it for myself, I can definitely say it was worth the three hour drive.
The day ended with dinner followed by a night out with my class. We all decided to meet up at a pub which made for some fun outside of class bonding.
London: The next day Claudia and I left Dublin and made our way to London for the weekend. We arrived Friday late afternoon, and immediately got ready to see a West End showing of Dear Evan Hansen. I knew the play would be good, but I was not expecting to be balling my eyes out the way I was at the end. The show was actually incredible so I guess it was worth the embarrassment of walking around the street of London with tears in my eyes for an hour after.
The next day was our first and only full day in London. We started with a tour of Camden street, Liberty, and a drive by of the Big Ben and Parliament building guided by Claudia’s camp friend who also happens to be a London local. We spent the late afternoon shopping and exploring before making our way to a rooftop bar for drinks. Later that night we met up with a sorority friend who happens to be studying in the city for dinner and going out after.
Leaving the next morning was painful as we had to catch an 8am flight from an airport that was an hour away. After chugging coffee and napping on the plane though, we were back in Copenhagen ready to recover after a busy week of travel.