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Wales is hosting the largest gathering of international leaders ever to take place in Britain for the NATO summit Thursday and Friday (Sept. 4-5). The last summit in the UK was held in London almost 25 years ago.
President Obama will be in attendance, making him the first sitting US president to visit Wales. The assembled world leaders will focus on the crisis in Ukraine, Afghanistan’s future and new threats such as Islamic State. We’ll let them deal with those issues while we take a much lighter route. With the first family’s interests in mind, VisitBritain shared a few not-to-be-missed places to see and things to do if the president has some free time (not likely) or if the family makes a return trip to visit Wales.
The Obamas arrived in Ireland on Monday, and while the president attended the G8 summit in Belfast, the first lady and daughters Malia and Sasha were able to fit in a 2-day whirlwind tour of Dublin, exploring their Irish roots.
“There’s no one as Irish as Barack O’Bama,” says the web-hit Irish folk song that went viral back in November 2008. The president’s great-great-grandfather was born in the Irish village of Moneygall, and Ireland celebrates this connection by always extending a warm Irish welcome to the president and his family.
Michelle Obama and daughters learned more about their Irish ancestry with a special tour of Trinity College, where they viewed archives documenting their family’s Irish origins and saw the Book of Kells, a 9th-century illustrated gospel manuscript.
Other highlights of the first family’s trip included a private tour of Glendalough, one of the most famous monastic ruins in Ireland, and a special Riverdance performance at the Gaity Theatre, where Michelle Obama addressed an excited audience.
And talk about a power lunch … the first lady dined on fish and chips in Dublin with the “first rock star of Ireland,” U2 frontman and world humanitarian Bono.
This wasn’t Obamas’ first visit to Ireland. Back in 2001, the president visited his ancestral hometown Moneygall searching for his “missing apostrophe.” On this visit, the president met his 8th cousin, Henry Healy, now known as “Henry the Eighth.”
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