This blog post is over the course of two weeks. Here is what we did the first week. Until this point we have been working mainly based on speculation of the the site due to gates and walls throughout the site, so on Wednesday we finally had the opportunity to see the entirety. The site ended up being much more beautiful than I think most of us thought it would be. It looked as if it had already been developed at one point and had been neglected.
Our tour guides through the site were part of the staff coordinating the project. The told us about buildings intended to be renovated and some that were being planned to be bulldozed. Very evident on the site were works of graffiti on the building walls. While most of the building walls will be restored, they plan to have some of the walls painted by local and big time artists. Overall the site visit was a valuable experience and really helped us get a sense of what we have to work with for the next month and a half.
On Thursday, many of us headed to the airport or the train station to begin our spring break adventures. Some people went to Italy, some to Spain, others to London and even Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Irish. As for me, Robert Latham and I did the latter and flew over to Dublin to celebrate a true Irish St. Patrick’s Day.
The first thing we did was get on a bus on a day trip down to the Blarney Castle. This was a beautiful 2 or 3 hour bus ride into the Irish country side. Along the way we also made a pit stop in Cork and one other city. Here is what we saw.
The other three days in Dublin was spent touring the local sites in Dublin such as the Customs House, Christ Cathedral, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral and one of Santiago Calatrava’s bridges. We also checked out the local street fairs which were very lively with Irish people and tourists alike. Robert was even featured in one of the street shows which was a comedy cooking skit. At night all of the historic buildings lit up green. We even saw a concert with Zach Brown Band, Deirks Bently, and the Dixie Chicks. We were surprised to see as much modern architecture as we did, making Dublin a great lesson in how a city can be modernized from its mid-evil roots.