Thursday, January 31, 2013

Week 1: Getting the hang of things


Tomorrow marks the end of my first week of classes and what a week it’s been! I can safely say I’ve mastered the art of getting to and from class. You might find that a bit funny, but hold your laughter until I’ve told you about my trek to school.

My day begins around 7:45 AM when I wake up, get dressed, have the day’s first cup of tea with my breakfast and leave the house. I have a 15-minute walk through the streets of my development, across the busy main road where cars hurtle by, down to the LUAS station. The LUAS is one of the many forms of public transport here in Dublin. “Luas” in Irish means “fast” and I would agree that the LUAS lives up to its name considering the ride only last 20 minutes compared to 40 minutes on the bus. The LUAS is a tram and has two different lines in the city of Dublin. Once I get to the station, I don’t wait very long as a different tram runs every 5 minutes or so. The tram is pretty well filled during the morning commute.



The LUAS

The LUAS drops me off at St. Steven’s Green at the very bottom of Grafton Street. This means I have about a 15-minute walk to the classroom if all goes well. When you factor in large crowds of people who walk at all speeds, road crossings where people hardly wait for a walk signal, rain, and of course the wind, the walk could take longer. I often find myself getting distracted by the window displays or small details I failed to notice before.  I follow Grafton Street to the top and take O’Connell Bridge across the River Liffey past the GPO: General Post Office, the site of the Easter Rising in 1961. The bullet holes in the pillars of the building keep the memory of the past alive as this building is seen as a symbol of Irish nationalism. I duck around the corner of the GPO onto Henry Street where I cut through the Iliac, a mall, onto Dominick Street where our classroom is located.


The GPO

This morning commute is very different from the 5-minute walk to class I'm used to at St. Mike's. And being dependent on public transportation requires you to be much more aware of schedules and planning for delays. I quite enjoy my morning journey to school. It's a great time for people watching, but also a good time just to blend in to the rhythm of Dublin. 

I’ve definitely fallen behind on my blogging so hopefully I’ll get caught up this weekend. Be on the lookout for a post about exploring the city, our classroom, and my host family. 

5 comments:

  1. That's quite a commute! Do all the other students in your group have to commute as far from their host families to school?

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  2. Everyone has a long commute due to the fact that none of us actually live in the city center. Some students take the bus, while others take a rail line called the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit). And of course there is a lot of walking to and from the public transport!

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  3. Hi Elena - looking forward to learning more about your experiences! Sounds like a wonderful opportunity! Enjoy!
    Love
    Mom

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  4. I'm jealous of your daily walk, Elena. Walking down Grafton every day sounds like bliss! Hope you've had time to dart into a few public houses! Have you seen the Joyce statues!? Made it down to Temple Bar yet?

    xoxo!,
    Beau (and Ashley)

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  5. Great to hear from your Beau and Ashley! I've been to some pubs to enjoy some good rugby matches, seen the James Joyce statue, AND have been to Temple Bar a few times to enjoy some local music!

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