Sunday, May 13, 2012

I wish I was Irish!

Beautiful skyline in Dublin

     Sorry for taking so long to post about Ireland, even though I haven’t been that busy I haven’t found the time to blog about it! This week I barely had work, what else is new? On Monday I had two meetings and one class.  Tuesday I had one class and they were giving presentations in Spanish so I didn’t have to do anything and the rest of my classes were on a field trip to the Beach.  What school approves of going to the beach for a 2 day field trip?! Crazy.  On Wednesday was the 25th Anniversary of my school, so all of my classes were cancelled.  And Thursday and Friday there is no school  because it is the Feria in Dos Hermanas.  So  in the end I only had one class, what kind of job is this? Haha I feel like I have more days off than I actually work! Guess I can’t complain too much…

       I have just been enjoying Sevilla for the time that I have had off.  I was looking into doing a little trip but I decided to just save my money for next weekend.  My friend from college, Whitney, is coming to visit for two weeks and we are taking a trip to Lagos, Portugal! It is a gorgeous beach town, all of my friends have gone and say it’s the most beautiful place.  So I am looking forward to that!
     The weather in Sevilla has been significantly warmer this week.  The weird thing is that it stays hotter a lot later here.  For example: it is 7:45 pm and according to my computer it says that it is currently 97 degrees.  I am sitting on my balcony and am almost sweating! The crazy thing is that the people here are still wearing pants, long sleeve shirts, and some are even wearing jackets.  I don’t think they understand the concept of heat here.  If this was the weather at home we would be barely wearing any clothes!  It was funny because there are two girls staying at our house.  One is a friend of Shayla’s and she has been in Sevilla for 3 months now and her friend just got here.  They were going out to dinner last night and her friend put on a small tank top that showed her stomach.  And the girl that studied here said “ Tori, there is no way you are wearing that to dinner, people here are in jeans right now!”.  Tori was confused and was like “ what, it is hot out, I don’t understand?”.  The people here dress for the season, not the temperature… they think it’s still Spring so they will wear spring clothes.  Some things I will just never understand… haha

So, enough chit- chat.  Now about my trip to Ireland!  My trip was AMAZING! I almost wanted to cry in the airport because I did not want to leave.  There was so  much more I wanted to see but wasn’t able to because I had limited time.  I NEED to go back there at some point of my life and visit the other places I didn’t get to see and maybe even revisit the places I did see J

     We flew into Dublin and spent the first two nights there.  Dublin was a beautiful city!  It had a fun night life with a lot of pubs and more of a city feel to it.  Dublin was great but if you are looking for the green fields and scenic views you shouldn’t go to Dublin.  Lauren and I got a tour of Trinity college and we saw the book of Kels in the Trinity Library.  The library was absolutely gorgeous!  Grandma would have loved seeing this library , it had rows of bookshelves that were at least 30 ft tall in a huge room.  It was great, I wish I could have taken pictures!   We saw the Guinness brewery of course.  It was neat! It reminded me a lot of the Heineken brewery.  At the end of the tour it leads you to the “Galaxy bar” where you can enjoy a beer.  The bar is on the top floor of the brewery and it has windows all around so you have a nice view of Dubin.  At the bar we ran into the 5 other girls from our program that went to Dublin as well.   We ended up getting dinner with them and a restaurant in the center of town.  At this pub we were sitting at a table that was low to the ground and I went to go lean back in my chair and a waiter (accidently) smacked me in the back of the head with a plate that he was carrying.  Not gonna lie, it REALLY hurt!  Usually I try to endure pain as much as I can but this pain I couldn’t hide.  He came over and said that he was sorry and then 5 minutes later he came back with a shot of Jameson.  He said “  The only thing that can cure that is this shot.” Soo I took his word and I took the shot.  It didn’t really cure much because my head still hurt a few days afterwards but it was a nice thought J.

      One weird thing about Ireland is that all of the clothing stores close around 6pm.  We never made it to any stores ( which is probably for the better) but by the time we got done with our sightseeing everything was closed! So odd!

Our first Guinness! 
Shepards pie!
Guinness stew and mashed potatoes

In front of Trinity College

Bridget and I with my free shot!
My favorite part of the trip by far was when Lauren and I made our way to Galway.  It was about a 2.5 hour bus ride from Dublin to Galway.  We actually ended up running into two other teachers that I knew from my orientation on the bus.  They were going to Galway to catch a bus to go see the cliffs of Moher.  They missed the bus in Dublin and were told to go to Galway in order to catch a tour.  When we got to Galway we found out that there is only one trip that goes to the cliffs which was at 10:30am.  They had missed the bus and were not happy! We went to a tourist office nearby the bus station and we met the nicest man.  He was busy working and he offered to take us on a private tour in his car.  This is the perfect example of how the people in Ireland are so friendly and willing to help.  I feel like if this were to happen anywhere else this would not have happened.  So he stopped working, got his things together,  and we left for the cliffs of Moher! This was the best case scenario because we were able to talk to the guide and ask him any questions we had.  He stopped at various points throughout the trip so that we could snap pictures and visit a few castles.  It was the neatest thing!  Everything in Ireland is just green and beautiful.  It has so much natural beauty it is unreal.
Cliffs of Moher!
I won't go into much detail on how close we were to the edge and how windy it was that day :) Love you mom and dad!

Lauren, Hannah, Christina, and I at the cliffs!

Some more pics of the Cliffs... If you want to see more check my Facebook album, I took tons!

Probably one of the most beautiful places i've ever seen!... See for yourself :)

Some interesting things I learned/saw on the tour:

      1. On the way to the cliffs we went through this little town called Lisdoonvarna.  Our guide explained that  this is town  is always crowded near the end of September to early October because there is a match making festival that takes place there.  People come from all over the country to go to this town In hopes to find a lover. Thought that was interesting!

       2.We stopped at a fountain that has the myth of if you wash your hands and don’t dry them, you will be pregnant in a month! None of us touched the fountain… 

Ice Age rocks
      3. We went past an area with a bunch of rocks that were split apart and it happened because of the Ice age and the rocks just never formed back together.

     4.    The first St. Paddy’s day was in Boston.  And it became so big there and other cities in the states that the celebration than came over to Ireland.  I found that to be interesting!

     5.  There is a race at the end of June called the Valcorcia Race.  This is a 9 month ship race.  They decided to have the finish line be in Galway.  The city is looking forward to hosting the festival in their town!

       6.  This is the Doungora Castle: Sooo beautiful!
Probably one of my favorite pictures I took on the trip

     7.    We drove past a castle that was being rebuilt and were told that a family from New Jersey bought that castle.  They decided to put the common areas such as the kitchen and living room at the top of the castle because it had the most natural light and then the bedrooms would be closer to the bottom.  I never would have thought about that.  I wish that this castle would be on house hunter’s international! I would love to see the inside of it once it is done!
      8.  We stopped and saw the Obrien Castle.

A popular shot in Galway

      9.  We passed an intersection that had this street sign on it.  Our guide stopped and said that this somehow became really popular and you can find it on magnets and postcards at any gift shop.  We thought he was crazy because it is just a street sign, but sure enough,  I found a magnet at the store!  Its crazy how some things become popular…

                        Real Life                                                                                                  Magnet :)

     10.  The Claddagh ring orginated in Galway… and YES I bought a new ring! This design consists of two clasped hands holding a crowned heart, and symbolizes love, friendship and loyalty. Brian bought me one for our 1 year anniversary.  I still wear his everyday but I found a one that is different from the one he gave me and I thought it would be neat to buy one where it originated! Don't mind my chipped nail polish :)

After the tour we made it to our Bed and Breakfast which was so cute! It was nice to have a comfortable bed to sleep in.  In the morning we ate a HUGE irish breakfast it was delicious.  It consisted of eggs, sausages, different types of breads, yogurt, some other things on my plate I didn’t know but were quite tasty ( some sort of pancake thing and something like bacon!). 

The last day of our trip we were going to take a trip to the Aran Islands which are supposed to be beautiful but it would have been a lot of money and the weather was kind of crummy. So we decided to tour Galway on our last day.  We went and visted the cathedral in Galway which was very pretty! We also went to the National University of Ireland AKA” NUIG”.  The campus was BEAUTIFUL!  It made me want to go back to college all over again.  Maybe I’ll look into grad school there… hmmm???

My favorite street in the Latin Quarter! So colorful :)

After we toured the school we decided to get some irish coffee, lemme tell ya, it was STRONG!  We then made our way to a local bar that had live irish music.  We enjoyed a few beers and listened to some irish music for a few hours.  What a nice way to spend the afternoon!  That day the weather was crazy.  One hour it would be sunny and blue skies then the next hour it would be raining or really windy with a lot of clouds.  We heard that is typical in Ireland.

Band in the bar!
Enjoying our last brewski in galway!

A little Special treat.... Here is the Irish band that we listened to at the bar!

That night we made our way to Shannon because that’s where our flight was out of.  That was an interesting adventure.  It started off with two drunk men trying to get on our bus but the driver refused to drive them because they were belligerently drunk.  That gave us a late start on our journey.  Then once we got there we asked how to get to the hotel and we were given the wrong directions. So we had to take another taxi 5 minutes down the road to our hotel.  Oddly enough there was a chineese restaurant in our hotel so we were able to get some food.  Later on there were some drunken men that were running down the hallway.  From what we heard there were two guys that were fighting and were about to call the police.  Let’s just say we didn’t leave our hotel room once while we were there!

This trip was amazing and I cannot wait to go back to Ireland.  I can’t even put into words how much I loved it! You will just have to go and see it for yourself :)

As they would say in Ireland:


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