Thursday, February 7, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Champs

One of our first assignments was to complete a scavenger hunt for different parts of Dublin. Each group of two was given a different section of the city and a list of places to find. I was paired with Danny and our section was Dublin 1, North Side starting at the Parnell Monument on O'Connell Street. In addition to locating and photographing each place, we also had to find a bit of history or complete a task. Here are a few of the sights we saw:

The Spire

The Spire is located on O'Connell Street and acts as a great meeting point as the structure towers high over any building in the city. The official name of the Spire is "The Monument of Light." It was built to replace Nelson's Pillar, another monument that stood in the same spot until 1966 when it was destroyed in an IRA bombing. We found that Dubliners were apathetic about the Spire as no one showed real enthusiasm with the idea. It has acquired various nicknames including: Pin in the Bin, Stiletto in the Ghetto, Dublin's Biggest Heroin Needle, and many others too "colorful" to mention here...

Our next stop was to head down Earl Street to find a statue of a famous Dubliner:

James Joyce

James Joyce plaques, statues, and quotes are dotted throughout the city. There are also various buildings named after his famous works, displaying Dublin's pride toward the local author. There's also a guy who shows up on different streets impersonating this statue. He scared me half to death the other day when he caught me looking at him and gave me a thumbs up. 

Peacock and Abbey Theater

The Abbey and Peacock Theaters were next on our list. We found out that they are housed in the same building. The Abbey Theater is the National Theater of Ireland and was started by W.B. Yeats.

Our next stop was a memorial recognizing the names of those who were killed in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974. These bombings were conducted by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a loyalist paramilitary group. The 33 people who were killed and the 300 injured in these bombings marks the highest number of casualties experienced in one day during The Troubles.

Memorial listing the names of 1974 bombings

From the memorial, we moved toward the Docklands to admire the mix between modern architecture and historical buildings. The ship, the Jeanie Johnston docked just up river from the newly constructed Samuel Beckett Bridge illustrate a perfect juxtaposition of the blending of past and present. The ship was used to bring the starving Irish to America during the famine.

Samuel Beckett Bridge

Jeanie Johnston

Not too far from the ship is the famine memorial. These statues are taller than 6 feet, and their long drawn out figures give them an even taller appearance.

Famine Memorial

Our final task was to take a team picture, so Danny and I took one on the bridge.

It was a bit windy....

In the end, we presented our scavenger hunt findings to the group in an awesome Power Point presentation and were voted as the winners. But even more awesome was the fact that our Program Director decided to let everyone in the group participate in the prize: a traditional music pub crawl. I'll definitely post about that when it happens! And to wrap up this post, I'll leave with some awesome graffiti we found near the Docklands. Pretty darn creative if you ask me!

Photo credit: Danny

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