After ten hours of travel, we finally reached our housing in Ireland: Griffith College. A former prison and military base, our new headquarters is located just slightly outside the heart of Dublin. After settling in and signing leasing agreements, we began our introductory tour of the city. We visited major tourist attractions: Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Temple Bar, Trinity College, Grafton Street and St. Stephen’s Green. After my first taste of Dublin, I see many similarities between Dubliners and Pittsburghers. Both demographics are always on the move, even on a Sunday, which is one of the quietest days of the week. The main business district, Grafton Street, is built like many of the big business districts in Pittsburgh. However, Dublin had many more local vendors and one-off businesses compared to Pittsburgh. The building styles between the two areas differ, as Pittsburgh focuses on a modernized look with new developments, Dublin prefers to keep the same rustic look that adds to the aesthetic and preserves the history of the city. Also, Pittsburgh’s main downtown area has been built with a grid-like geography, while Dublin’s form flows with the landscape and waterways that divide the city into uneven portions. Additionally, the cars in Pittsburgh are much larger than the automobiles in Dublin.
Overall, I enjoyed my first taste of Dublin. The atmosphere is much more interesting and I love the miniature differences between here and my hometown of Pittsburgh. I am looking forward to exploring more of the city on my own, especially the unique stores and restaurants that are scattered throughout downtown.