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HC Abroad: Feeling Lucky in Ireland…

Hello from Dublin!

Last week, we arrived in Dublin at 5am. I was a little tired from the overnight flight, but the excitement of arriving definitely kept me going. We’re staying at the charming and historic Shelbourne Hotel – it’s been here since the 1800’s! Complete with crystal chandeliers and large bouquets of bright flowers, the decor is as gorgeous as the Shelbourne’s classic exterior. We spent our first day walking around the city and exploring the streets. As Ireland’s capital, Dublin is the country’s center of culture and entertainment. There are several town squares filled with cozy bars, quaint bistros and one-of-a-kind theatres. The art and music scene is a popular one too – l was surprised to discover that many Irish and American teens actually listen to similar songs. It’s not uncommon to walk into a clothing store and hear Bruno Mars’ latest single blaring from the speakers! In fact, two of my favorite bands, U2 and The Script, got their start here. It was cool to walk down some of the streets mentioned in The Script’s songs!


Still adjusting to the time change, I woke up at 3am the next morning and just couldn’t fall back to sleep. Eager to see more of Dublin, I put on my running shoes and headed out for a jog (During this time of year, it gets light really early and stays that way until late at night…it’s a little bizarre at first, but I’m getting used to it). There’s a lovely park called Saint Stephen’s Green right across from our hotel. Past the iron gates, you’ll find lush gardens and paved walking trails. When the sun comes out, locals take advantage of the warm weather and relax by the fountains and greenery. Since the park is locked at night, I decided to run its circumference a couple of times.


I’m sure you’ve heard about Ireland’s remarkable scenery before…yes, it’s as great as everyone says :) But in addition to several breathtaking landscapes, Ireland is home to a unique brand of architecture. Named after King George, Georgian architecture has a strong presence in Dublin, manifesting itself in the buildings that remain from this time royal period. One thing I’ve noticed is that each Georgian building has true character. The richly adorned entrances are equally elegant and inviting. I’ve really become fascinated with the bold, vibrantly colored doors that are distinct among these homes. They are so well known that locals coined the term: “The doors of Dublin.”


During the course of my family’s previous travels, we’ve discovered a wonderful way to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time: hop-on, hop-off buses! These double decker vehicles take passengers to famous spots around the city, hitting several different landmarks along the way. After a long ride, we got off and walked to the Guinness factory, where we learned about the creation of the famous Irish drink. It was a cool experience and we even ate at the bar restaurant, located at the very top of the factory…the views were stunning!

Highlights so far:
Talking to locals and getting the scoop on the best places to shop and eat!
Visiting Trinity College – one of its famous alums is Oscar Wilde
Wandering around town & taking hundreds of photos…I love taking pictures so much – you’ll rarely find me without my camera!
Enjoy your week, Collegiettes™.  Tomorrow, I’m off to London :) My next post will cover my experiences in incredible England!

Dani Wong is a sophomore at the University of San Francisco, where she is double majoring in media studies and journalism. After her short story was published in a recent book, she decided to explore a new facet of writing and became involved with student newspapers and magazines. Between interning, taking classes, and exploring San Francisco, Dani is embracing the new opportunities that city life brings. Her true loves include traveling, taking photographs, playing sports and anything food related!
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