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Ireland 2014 - Belfast to Dublin

We departed the famous Europa Hotel (the most bombed hotel in Europe) and had a bus tour of the city with local guide Ken, who formerly worked in journalism during the troubled times.  Ken recommends the BBC documentary about the Europa.

Belfast was once the linen capital of the world and was the only Irish city involved in the industrial revolution - with famous inventors and Nobel prize winners all residing in a portion of the city.  We heard about the Crown Pub, which many had visited the night before!

Belfast was Base 1 Europe during WWI and lots of US soldiers traveled through here.  In fact the British trained the first US Rangers in Belfast during that time.  We saw City Hall, the Opera House, Queens University and more....  we even drove down the Golden mile - although no shopping from the bus.

We also drove through the walled portions of the city and heard about the conflicts, the issues, the 'fit for tat' killings and saw the murals - which change regularly to reflect current peace issues of the day (one of the newest cites Gaza).  This was very eye opening, to be down in this area of the city and hear of the long time strife among its inhabitants.

We said farewell to Ken and went to the Titanic Belfast exhibition - a wonderful museum with lots of cutting-edge components.  This has been one of the factors in the rise of tourism to the city.

A few stops along the way and a lecture from Richard about the Catholic Church in Ireland and then we arrived in Dublin.  Frank gave us a basic overview as we checked into the Ashland Hotel and headed out for dinner.  Many of us (including Nancy) dined at Nancy Hands Pub!

We also announced the first Alumni Travel Photo Contest - so there is some competition and we all look forward to seeing the award-winning photos!


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Our special guests were from the University of Granada's GRIIS Program - the one Stonehill has a partnership with for our students to spend a semester.  Amalia and Teresa work for GRIIS and they coordinated a lovely walk down the Avenido de Constitucion with Jessica '14 and Elyse '14 as well as Sara '12 (who has returned to Granada for a year after graduation to get post-graduate work done).  All five of them were welcoming and informative.  We saw some of the university and heard some history of the city, and some current facts as well:  300,000 people live in the city but 100,000 are students!!  This was apparent as the whole city has a college-town feel to it.

Check out more about the program:  GRIIS Program

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