We attended two paid for courses; one with all included accommodation, one with self-catering accommodation.
We stayed two nights at a hotel in Dublin, one night at a country side hostel and four days at a stormy camp-site with a marvellous view. We flew to Ireland and travelled by bus four times and paid one museum entrance (museums in Dublin are free).
We went out for lunch 8 times and dinner once, eating at home or cooking our own food the rest of the time. We bought coffee 24 times and beers 11 times.
For two (excluding the cost of going to and from the airport at home) we spent €5296,60.
Or almost €190 for two a day, which as you know is almost €95 per day.
This is the sort of trip I have done every second year for the last twenty years and the sort of money I am happy to spend when something extends my horizon, my brain, my knowledge and my experiences. Per person it took around two months savings.
The cost I regret is the price we paid for the hotel in Dublin. We knew we would not spend any time in the room beyond sleeping but we really should have booked something way out of centre, rather than trying to stay as close to the museums as possible. We got a cheap room as we booked months in advance but we still paid way to much for what we got. I think that is the biggest disappointment, that the hotel was cheating us on what is a standard hotel room. Accommodation prices are however very high in Dublin in general, but local transports are good and easy to handle and there is really no point in staying in down-town Dublin. There is nothing special about it if you are anything like us. We have hordes of tourists at home in Amsterdam and was not going to Dublin to see or be more drunk fools on the streets.
For this amount of money we got two individual certificates of participation as well as references which can be used for any future ventures into archaeology and would look nice on our CV's (if we bothered about that). We got an experience of a life time, several months worth of dedicated reading of the history of Ireland as well as the early catholic church. We still have months worth of reading about stone, iron and bronze age ahead of us (personally I am very partial to bronze). We learnt much, realised even more and found ourselves adaptable to very different life styles. Waking up after sleeping in a tent really is the nicest thing ever.
We made new friends, new acquaintances and learnt about what it is about some people we do not like and how to deal with them in a difficult work situation (holding a mattock when somebody is irritating requires a lot of self control from this pagan, heathen and somewhat brutal Viking woman). Most people doing odd or unusual things are nice, generous and unconcerned with minor issues.
The Irish most of all.
It really is no wonder my relatives liked the eastern shores of Ireland when they arrived some 1200 years ago.