Hola todos! A week ago I traveled to Ireland! Definitely one of my favorite places in the world....
We started in Dublin. The first day was occupied by the tour of the Old Jameson Distillery, which ended with a whiskey tasting where we all decided that indeed Jameson is better than American and Scotch whiskey. We also toured to the Guinness Storehouse which ended with my first pint of Guinness in the Gravity Bar overlooking the city of Dublin. Both of the first two nights we were able to find some great live music. The second night, we found a little pub in Temple Bar area that was willing to play all our favorites, especially Wagon Wheel, Country Roads, and Galway Girl. The second night, we also brought along two new friends, a Dutch girl exploring Ireland and a boy from Maine who was backpacking Europe. After two nights in Dublin, we journeyed to Cork.
Cork was definitely one of the happy surprises for the trip. We basically went there because one girl in our group had a friend there, but none of us had any particular knowledge about the place. Her friend turned out to be extremely fun and we all really enjoyed Cork. We met all of his friends. It was great to meet a bunch of university students and we had a great time with them. We also visited the Blarney Castle. We spent the whole day there, exploring the grounds, checking out the lakes, climbing the crumbling walls and taking some beautiful pictures. Cork was definitely a place none of us expected to be our favorite, but the people we met and the beauty of the countryside made the trip totally worth it.
After two nights in Cork, we traveled to Galway for three nights. Here, too, there were friends, but these were from UW. It was great having people show us around the city. We visited the Cliffs of Moher, and as you can see in the pictures, it was quite windy. It rained the whole time and the wind was so strong it was practicaly blowing us over, but it was still beautiful. Thursday, we took a ferry over to the Aran Islands. There, we rented bikes and made our way across the island to the fort. About ten minutes into our ride, a threatening cloud came our way. We stopped to put on our jackets and ponchos but unfortuntately the rain hit first. Like the super smart tourists that we are, we decided to ride through the rain instead of going inside for the torrential downpour that lasted just long enough to get us soaked. Still, this did not deter our plans. We continued to the fort, where we able to sit on the edge of the cliff, something that would have been extremely dangerous on the Cliffs of Moher because we probably would have slipped off. Our feet dangled 287 feet above the ocean as we let the sun dry our clothes. On our journey back to the ferry, my friend Kristin and I found a swing very like the one we used to have in our old thee in our backyard. Naturally, we played at the park that was meant for children under 12. Our last morning in Galway we hiked over to the ocean to walk along the beach and enjoy our last moments in the beautiful city of Galway.
Our last two days were spent in Dulbin. We were able to get to Temple Bar, where we met up with our friend who is studying abroad in Rome. Our last day we went on a Paddywagon tour to the Wicklow Mountains, where we also stopped in Glendalough and Kilkenny.
I loved Ireland and I would go back anytime. The live music was my favorite part. Walk into any bar and youll find a fun live band that usually takes requests and was full of people to meet. It also was great to have real beer again. Once you go Guinness, you don't go back, something I never thought would be true for me. The group of girls I went with was great, although a bit large. I became closer with them and have truly found a solid group of friends abroad, which is something I know will make the rest of stay in Europe even more enjoyable. Still the people were make Ireland truly special. By staying in hostels, we were opened up to a whole new perspective of international travel. We met Spaniards (who unfortunately overheard us practicing Spanish when we happened to be putting as little effort into it as possible), Irish (of course), English, Swiss, Americans, Dutch, Germans. It was great. Some people we befriended in obvious places like the hostel or the bus ride to the cliffs of Moher. Others a little strange places, like the bathroom of Temple Bar (we overheard an Andalucian accent, which is the region of Spain that we live in, and started talking to the women in Spanish and she lived very close to Granada). It was a great experience, full of great memories.