March 31, 2019

Overseas and Off-Campus Programs Blog

On Having Visitors While Abroad

Author Name

Hannah Meggitt-Nxumalo

Author Program

Ireland: Social Sciences

Program Semester and Year

Spring 2019

Student Major


As we approach the end of our time her in Dublin, one thing that I have noticed is the number of my classmates that have had family and friends come visit them in Dublin; and even more people have plans for visitors when the program ends. I had not had anyone come visit until this weekend, until my brother came for the weekend from London. Before we left Portland our Lewis & Clark professor had warned us that if we had visitors for more than a couple days there would not be enough to do in Dublin; seeing as my brother was only here for two days I figured that we would be able to find plenty of things to do in the city. Having been in Dublin for about two months, I was confident in my knowledge of the city, and we also had a list of recommendations (all exclusively food related) from a friend of his that moved to Dublin about 4 years ago. 

Our first stop was The Book of Kells at Trinity College, an illuminated manuscript of the Gospel Book created around 800 AD in either Britain or Ireland. I took full advantage of the fact that someone else was paying for the ticket. The book was incredible, I was in constant awe of the people that wrote out the pages and artists that made the decorations. We then visited the National Gallery and the National Museum of Archaeology, both of which I had visited before but there was so much more to see, they were definitely worth the second visit! 

After this, we went to one of Dublin’s largest tourist attractions that I had yet visit, the Guinness storehouse. I took the advice of one of my apartment mates who had recommended booking the last tour of the day so you reach the top of the building, a 360o view of the city, at sunset. When we reached the top floor, we quickly realized that the 360o view is only broken in one place, for the elevators, and that this happened to be exactly in line with the sunset. Despite this, the view from the top of the store house is absolutely amazing; since the tower is the tallest building in the area (the 20th tallest in Dublin) there was nothing to block the view and we could see almost the entire city. The museum itself was also amazing, I don’t think I will ever forget the roasting temperature for Guinness barley (“232oC, any higher and the barley will catch fire, any lower it won’t develop the signature Guinness taste”). One of my favourite parts of the Guinness storehouse was the gift shop; I had no idea you could put Guinness branding on such a wide array of products. 

After we had struggled to find things to do on the first day, we decided to visit the seaside town of Howth for our second day.  A friend of my brother’s had been to Howth and sent a picture from somewhere along the coastal walk, which we were tasked with recreating and, if I do say so myself, we didn’t do a bad job (we found the exact rock that she was sitting on in her picture). Of course, no visit to a seaside town would be complete without so good fish and chips, so that’s how finished off our trip before heading back to Dublin. 

Lessons learnt: Dublin is a much smaller city than I realized, planning for visitors is actually important, there is so much good food in Dublin (don’t get stuck in the same 4 restaurants)