North America, Europe · 30 Days · 16 Moments · May 2017

Abroad in Ireland

18 June 2017

This is my last few hours here in Dublin! What an amazing adventure and a trip I will never forget. From seeing some of the most amazing sights in the world, to experiencing everything a city like Dublin has to offer, I will always cherish this. I met some great people and these friendships will not be forgotten. Thank you to everyone who kept up with this Journi and hopefully you'll stay in touch with my next adventure. ¡Vamos a la playa! I'm off to Palma de Mallorca Spain!

9 June 2017

I haven't posted in a while so here is a little more of this wonderful trip! About 3 days ago, me and 2 other friends hopped on a flight and landed in Liverpool, UK! First time in Great Britain and I could tell the difference from Ireland right away, actually understanding English through the British accent! We took a cab, which are the more adorable looking things out there, to a hostel where we would stay until Sunday morning. The first night we got there we just wanted to walk around the city and be a little more relaxed than the city life in Dublin. Music being played on the street, dogs everywhere and just a happy vibe was being taken all over. Our goal was to "get lost" in the city for a bit, but if you know me, the 'human GPS' (⬅️ thanks Mom) won't forget how to get back. The next morning we toured the famous Anfield Stadium home of Liverpool Football Club, amazing!!The second day we walked more, saw Alberts Dock, the parliament buildings and went on the pub scene at night.

7 June 2017

Our class took a day trip to the wee town of Dalkey, Ireland. To get there we took the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) train for the first time! Just as easy as the busses and the trip only took about 30-40 minutes. This town is so cute and a great break from city life. Our professor organized a tour of the Dalkey Castle where there were people playing the roles of certain figures who would've been living in the castle. The tour was very informative and the tour guides were awesome. Again, if you get out to Dublin, take the DART 30 minutes South and get out in Dalkey, the castle is dead center in the city. Not only did we see the castle, we were taken on a short walk of the town and since it borders the sea, the view was amazing. Also, we had been told Bono from U2 lives there and the writer James Joyce had resided there for a moment in time.

3 June 2017

Mountains are not prevalent in Ireland but we were able to take a bus tour through one! Our tour went through an old German armory base called Glen-Cree which had a grotto as well as the old armory building on site. Next, our trip took us through the tight roads of the Irish countryside seeing things such as where Braveheart was filmed and the 'P.S I Love You' bridge from the notable movie. These sights were crazy to see first-hand. We even passed by "Guinness Lake" which gets its name from being on the Guinness Estate but it is also naturally gaped like a pint, brown in color, and has a foamy shoreline when viewed from above. The main part to this bus trip was the Glendalough Park where we had around 2 hours to hike and see the scenery! Yes, of course, it did rain for a wee moment but one that subsided, the views were amazing. Coming up on 'Upper Lake' was an amazing view, and to see something like that in person, it still didn't look real.

2 June 2017

After Galway, we took a wee journey along the Wild Atlantic Way. This motorway stretches from the top north to the bottom south on the West Coast of Ireland! What a drive. Twists and turns caused my stomach to do the same and nausea was at an all time high! We arrived at the Cliffs of Moher around 11:30am and this experience was probably the best things I've done here so far. I was taken away by the sights and upon seeing it for the first time is something I will not forget. Words will not do its justice so these pictures will solve that part for me. Definitely see this place.
Woke up at the "craic" of dawn this morning, okay 6:15am but hey, the sun rises way too early in the country. Took a solo stroll through the streets of Galway before the trucks were out, before the people were mingling and apparently before every local coffee shop opened. Walked along the coastline of Galway being hit with a little rain of course and a good amount of wind but, it was breathtaking. To see the colored row of houses along the water and the miles of green across the shore, I didn't want to leave. This city is awesome and to be able to come back here sometime would be something I recommend and something I would do again!

1 June 2017

Since our group of students is made up of not only Tourism but Engineering as well, we headed out towards Galway but stopped at a wind farm on the way. Now I know what you're thinking, "don't they have those in Indiana?." You're 100% right but we can't only do Tourism related things I guess💁🏽‍♂️. The drive headed towards West Ireland was beautiful, with all the livestock along the motorway and the endless fields of green, it was amazing. We landed in Galway around 4:30pm, checking into our beautiful hotel and getting a small walking tour of Galway City. Beautiful place, so lively with entertainment, color and passion. We received our 3 course meal at the hotel and then went out afterwards for more city touring and some drinks with friends!

27 May 2017

Yesterday was another amazing day here in the Emerald Isle! About 8 of us bought a full day tour bus ticket to the city of Cork and the county of Blarney. Our tour guide was either singing or telling us Irish history ever since we got on the bus at 7am. Our first stop was the Cashel Rock which is where St. Patrick's Cross from the 12th century is held. The Church was about an hour and a half South of Dublin and it was traditional Irish weather, pouring rain. That didn't stop us though. Later on we hoped back on the bus and visited the harbor city of Cork which a smaller town of about 600,000 people I believe. We stopped for lunch and only had an hour and 40 minutes to eat so we didn't get to experience much of this historic town. Lastly, we drove about 20 minutes from Cork and visited the famous Blarney Castle. Waited in line for a good hour and a half to get through 14th century castle and make our way to the Blarney Stone at the top. I kissed the stone and got the Gift of Gab!

26 May 2017

Last Friday, me a and a group of friends went to the Dublin Zoo and the Guinness Storehouse. The Zoo was fairly big and we actually were there during what seemed the be feeding time. So we were able to see the Grey Wolf and the Tigers eat, which was terrifying but also awesome. The Guinness Storehouse is Ireland's largest tourist attraction for something like the last 5 years straight. I can see why, the place was PACKED with people. We bought our tickets online which saved us time standing in the long line when you first get in. Walking into the factory, it was a massive gift shop which escalators going up to various floors, each being a different section. We were under the impression this was a guided tour though the factory being taught how their beer was made and maybe some history behind it. This was not the case. It was a self guided tour where there are number and arrows on the floors to follow. By the end of it, we felt like we paid €15 for a beer.

25 May 2017

After class this morning, we had a class trip to Christ Church Cathedral in Downtown Dublin. Just up the road past Trinity College is the Cathedral which was built somewhere around the 11-12th century and is the oldest standing building in Dublin. We were able to see the baptismal font, the alter and the organ! Also, we were taken up 86 stairs in a tight space to the roof where we were able to take amazing photos and go into the bell tower and were allowed to use the ropes that can play the bells out through the city! It was an amazing place to visit and I highly recommend the tour if you get into Dublin.

23 May 2017

At night we headed to South Dublin, after first going to the campus bar to eat, where we went around to a few other bars. Took the bus into downtown with about 12 of us which was a sight to see, groups of us taking up almost the whole top of the double decker. Tried my first Smithwicks Red Ale and some Heineken while out, experiences some more of the culture and saw some more of the city as well. It's funny, bartenders won't let you order anything less than a pint because it's "a better deal." Also our professor, Martin, claims everyone drinks in Ireland and if you're not drinking it's because you're on antibiotics or pregnant so, there's my reasons!

22 May 2017

It's study time! Studying at Dublin City University, me and the rest of the group of students arrived on campus yesterday. Compared to IU, this school is tiny (about 12-16,000 students) but over the summer there are mainly international students and students who are abroad (such as me). It's a cozy university with 2-4 full soccer fields, which are as common as basketball hoops/courts in the states. Also, there are 5 turf futsal fields (small field soccer) and that is something I am going to be falling in love with! Everyone in the group gets along super well and there are about 16 of us total, from universities such as Michigan, Temple, UNCW, and Utah. There is a bar with a kitchen on campus as well as a convenience store for grocery items which is going to be useful. My room is small most definitely and had two twin beds so I pushed those together and made a full size bed. The bathroom is super small and I found out there is no toilet seat or electrical outlets in the bathroom (odd🤔

21 May 2017

So here I am! The Emerald Isle. I was not able to get into my room at the Almanii B&B because check in was 2pm and my flight arrived at 6:30am but the hostess was kind enough to let me drop my bag for the day and serve me a hot breakfast and coffee. What next? Master the bus system in a country I had been at for 2 hours. Easy enough right? The hostess tells me the 4 bus lines that will cross past the B&B and that I needed to get a 'Leap' card which is their card system from riding in and out of Dublin. I put €15 on the card which will get me multiple rides and is also the most efficient way to get through the city. When the 1st bus comes up to the stop, I wait behind 2-3 others to see how they operate getting on and scanning the card. I walk up, feeling confident, and the driver asks, "what fare?" I inform him this is my first time so he continues in a pissed off manner almost and his Irish accent, "where are you going?!" Never really experience unless you get yelled at by Irishmen!
Of course you need to eat, am I right? As soon as I got into Downtown Dublin, I couldn't stop smiling and people probably thought I had an issue because of the looks I was getting, maybe it's the hair? Not sure. I was walking solo around the city for a good 2 hours just viewing and getting comfortable with me surroundings and obtaining a directional standpoint. At about noon or so (7am Indiana Time) I was able to contact Madeline and Megan, two other students from IU who are on the same trip and came a couple days early. Scouring the streets for WiFi so I could be able to contact them was a small challenge but we made it work. Then ended up grabbing a bite to eat at an Italian style place (who would've guessed right?) where I go chicken wings and a Guinness! Wings seems to be an odd favorite around here, realizing almost every menu we stopped to look at had them. Safe to say, Guinness is a damn good beer. I then was able to find my bus back to the B&B and get much needed R&R!
Took my flight from Chicago yesterday afternoon to Charlotte, North Carolina where I had a short layover. From NC I went to Dublin which was a 6 1/2 hour flight through the night but since we were traveling east I was able to watch the sun rise while in the plane. Lucky enough, I was seated next to Lord Mayor Brian Kingston of Belfast who was coming back from a trip in Nashville, TN where the two communities are trying to become shared cities with similar interests. Very interesting man invited me to a trip up to Belfast!! Upon landing in Dublin, we had to go straight through immigration which was a breeze compared to USA customs. Agent took my passport and in his Irish accent he asks, "what you plan to do in Dublin?" I respond and receive an, "Aye." Then I was off! Exchanged my currency at a kiosk in the airport and preceded to find a taxi and get to my B&B. Hopped in a taxi and freaked out for a second or two driving on the "correct" side of the road.

19 May 2017

Tomorrow I will embark on a journey of a lifetime. I can't wait to study abroad in a country so close to my family and culture, and I want to gain the most knowledge necessary while here. I leave tomorrow and the excitement while getting ready couldn't be more real. I will continuously post my studious experience through sights, accommodations, food, and especially the culture. I cannot wait to get started and bring everyone along with me!