My favorite picture of the Irish countryside

28 July 2009


I apologize for my lack of picture posting on here. I am going to put links to my facebook albums as it takes a very long time to upload pictures to this site. You do NOT have to have a facebook account to view these pictures (although, please let me know if you can't open them as I could mess this up...I'm a little technologically challenged sometimes.)

The Parents (+ some) Visit:


The Aran Islands

Agus anois...Hamburg!

Spring Break - "Why are you going to Frankfurt?"

Spring Break - Lyon

Spring Break - Paris! Part Deaux

Spring Break - Paris!

Spring Break - Brussels

Spring Break - Dublin


Northern Ireland trip

I have a Phi Mu Castle...

The Burren/Cliffs of Moher


Pre-Ireland and Cliffs of Moher

10 July 2009

Ireland...The Final Day...

My last day in Ireland. :’( We started off the morning by going on a tour of Connemara. It was nice for me that we took a different route than the tour that I took earlier in the month with the only repeat sight being the Quiet Man bridge, which our bus almost didn’t make it over. We also went to the Connemara Marble Factory where many indulged in “retail therapy.”
That afternoon, we returned to Galway where I had 3 hours to show my parents a semester’s worth of stuff. We have to go back.
We ate at the King’s Head off Shop Street, then walked to Gort. Mom thought that was entirely to far so she and Dad took a cab to campus while Ashley and I walked. After showing them the Quad (that’s the only pretty part of campus) we walked to Galway Cathedral, then downtown. Since it was a bank holiday, the market was in place, but not very many of the people were set up so it was nothing like the Saturday Market. After doing a little souvenir shopping, we rested in Eyre Square while waiting for the bus to pick us up.
The next morning we left the hotel at 5:00am in order to get to Shannon in time for the people with 8:45am flights. Sarah and I did not leave until 11:30am so we got to hang out in the Shannon Airport for quite some time.

Ireland Trip Day 6

We left Killarney this morning for GALWAY!!!!! I was a little excited. And a little impatient throughout the journey. Just a little, though. ;) David, our tour guide, gave us instructions to write Limericks throughout the long journey and we would have a contest later that day. I was very entertained that we drove through Limerick as we were writing Limericks.
Our first stop of the day was at Bunratty Castle. This is a restored castle between Limerick and Galway. All of the restorations are period appropriate so we could see what a castle really looked like in the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries. The castle is surrounded by a folk park in which you could see how the villagers around the castle would have lived. We saw quite a few buildings, then discovered by looking at the map that we hadn’t even made a dent in viewing the park!
After this we moved closer to Galway with a visit to the Cliffs of Moher. Forgive me if I’m not too excited – this was my fourth visit in two years and third visit since January.
We then proceeded through the Burren to the Aillwee Caves. Again, been there done that, caves don’t change much in three months. See my post on The Burren.
After this visit, David read the limericks aloud and awarded a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and booby prizes. My Uncle Pat won the booby prize which got him a piece of turf! Here is his limerick:
He traveled so far ‘cross the sea
Seeing sites ‘til weak in the knee
then Guinness and whiskey
got him feeling quite frisky
He woke to find “she” was a “he”
After an agonizingly long journey for me, we arrived in Galway! (In case you can’t tell, Galway is probably the best city, not only in Ireland, but in the world.) We stayed at the Hanley Oaks Hotel, which to my disappointment, was in Salthill (a suburb) and not in Galway. Town was a thirty minute to an hour walk. L Tonight I was able to take a lot of our group to the Crane Bar, one of my favorite pubs in Galway. They have a traditional session every Sunday night, which usually includes a wonderful Irish singer named Steven James. Sadly, Steven was not there that night, but we had a good time anyway.

Ireland Trip Day 5

Today, we went on a tour of the Ring of Kerry. The Ring of Kerry is a circle driven around the Iveraugh Peninsula on Ireland’s southwest coast. Absolutely gorgeous scenery! We traveled from Killarney to Sneem (I kept calling it Smee – lol) in a counterclockwise direction around the peninsula.
On this day we stopped and watched a man named Brenden give a sheep dog demonstration. The dogs were amazing! The first part of the demonstration consisted of Brenden showing us the different kings of sheep they raise in Ireland (he had at least a dozen). He then took us over to a field that went up the side of the mountain. Through a series of whistles he demonstrated how he could communicate with each dog in order to bring the sheep down the mountain. Not only could the dogs bring the sheep down, but they also could separate the sheep into the groups dictated by Brenden! I think I got an overload of sheep pictures there.
We also made a stop at the Bog Village. This gives tourists an idea of what life was like in a little community in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century. We also found out that when fireplaces burn turf, the smell can get quite strong and the smoke very thick! We were also able to try Irish Coffee or Bailey’s Coffee here. I do not care for coffee so I did not have any.
We went to Mass at the Catholic Church in Killarney tonight. Some were brave enough to sit in the front row, but I was not one of them! I thought I was doing good on warning people that they don’t stand as much as we do, but that must have just been a thing at the campus center. Going to church in Ireland does, however, test how well you know the responses because as soon as the priest’s done with his bit, everyone races to the end of the congregation’s response! It’s quite confusing, even during the Our Father! Everyone was also amazed that we were out in 40 minutes rather than the usual hour allotted for Mass.
We went back to Danny Mann’s tonight, but didn’t think the band was as good as the night before and the microphone was REALLY loud so we didn’t stay long.