Life lesson #4: I am not good at keeping up with a blog.
Well my study abroad experience has be unreal. I was able to go to Switzerland and ski the French Alps and Stockholm Sweden. I also took an amazing spring break with my roomie Siobhan to Nice, Barcelona, Toledo and Madrid.
Nice was very relaxing and we were able to sit on a pebble beach and eat the french lunch of cheese, baguette, grapes and wine we bought. We were able to hike up a hill that over looked the whole city.
Barcelona was my favorite stop on my trip. We stayed at an awesome hostel that was very helpful. Walking the whole city made it easy for us to see a lot. The Sagrada Familia was breath taking and had the most beautiful stain glass windows I have ever seen. Park Guell has detailed mosaics that we were able to view as we looked over the city. Walking around the city and through little markets was so fun. We even spent a day on the beach and ended it by seeing a water light show at the magical fountain.
In Toledo we met up with my friend from school and he showed us around the neat city. In Toledo the streets are all cobble stone with cool old buildings. We were again able to walk up to a look out point to see over the whole city.
Madrid had elegant buildings all over. We went to the Del Prado museum of art and a park right across from there. It was fun to walk the city seeing the different buildings and squares. At the end of our trip me and siobhan were very happy to come back home to Ireland and sleep in our own rooms and beds.
Off to Belgium next. Then Paris, then my parents come to do Ireland and Italy. Then I get to come home! It coming to an end.
Life Lesson #3: Don’t wait till your run out of clothes and food to do laundry and grocery shopping, it makes for interesting outfits and meals.
It has been a couple weeks since my last post and as always a lot has happened. There is so much that goes on while studying abroad it is hard to keep up with posting about it.
Siobhan and I took a day trip to Minzen Head. We went to a small town called Bantry on our way to Minzen Head and had breakfast. After we walked around the cute coastal town and looked at the anchor statue. Then we were off to Minzen Head, where there is short walking trails that take you to beautiful views over looking cliffs along the sea and rock structures. I have never seen water so vibrant blue. We took so many pictures to try to capture the beauty. Then we had our picnic lunch we pack over looking the sea and cliffs. After all that adventure we got back on our tour bus to go head to a ancient tomb. It was from the 2000-3000 B.C and was a neat way the rocks were arranged. Before heading home we stopped in another cute town called Clonakilty, it was a cute town with colorful houses and shops. We grabbed brochette for the bus home and headed back to Cork.
My friend Marlee cam to visit for the weekend! She studied abroad in Dublin last year and missed it so much she had to come back. I took her to the Irish Pub Oliver Plunket on her first night after my French Roomie made us dinner. We listened to live music and enjoyed a few pints. The next day we explored cork, I showed her St. Finbares Cathedral, then the English Market where we had the best seafood chowder of my life! After that we went to St. Annes Cathedral and rang the bells, then climbed to the top to see the best view of the city. That night we pub hoped to listen to some traditional Irish music. On Sunday we headed to Cove and went on the titanic trail walking tour. There was so much interesting information I learned. The deck of card houses are a row of colorful houses, each one having a different color. There was also St. Colbmans Cathedral with a huge clock tower. It was a very cute harbor town with evidence of the history of the Titanic and Lusitania scattered throughout. Then on Monday we headed to Dublin for the day and night. She showed me the city, starting at Grafton Street for lunch. It was a fun, busy street with performers all over. Then we went to St. Stevens Green, the Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Church, Trinity College and then her old we went to see her old house. At night we went out to the oldest pub in Ireland and then to the temple bar area, at both places we heard some awesome live music.
Now I am just catching up and homework before I leave for Switzerland next weekend!
Till Next Time!
Life Lesson #2: hiking in Ireland is not the same as the States
It has been a while since I have wrote so a lot has happened. I have been here about a month now and have become really good friends with my roomie Siobhan. We went with the UCC mountaineering club to hike Gougane Barra. We learned very quickly that it is not the same as hiking in the states. They pick a mountain and hike up, there are no paths and the land is all privately owned so it includes hoping barbed wire fences. Soibhan and I only had tennis shoes so they were wet in 5 mins and we hiked through ankle deep mud and water into a cloud for the next 6 hours. We climbed over rocks, bushes, rivers, slid/ fell down a mountain after our leader got us lost and walked next to billy goats and sheep. It was defiantly an adventure to say the least and I was able to get some really cool pictures along the way.
Another adventure was when my roommates, some friends and I walked 3 miles to the black rock castle and had lunch in front of it. It was beautiful, and I officially was able to see my first castle ever. After the castle we went to the flee market and explored the city some more.
I just got home from LONDON! It was by far one of the coolest cities I have ever been in. The buildings are so detailed and beautiful. My favorite part was just walking around the city, looking at all the architecture, the Big Ben was an awesome site to see! I also went on the London eye at sunset and was able to see the whole city. At night the city comes a live, especially in Piccadilly circus where there are a bunch of street performers. I was able to see most of the important site from our bus tour including, Westminster abbey, Big Ben and Parliament, The Tower of London, the London Bridge, St. Patrick’s cathedral, Hyde Park, Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, Harrods Mall, Albert Hall, and even where Kyle use to live. I could walk around for hours and not get board.
Since I have been home my French roommate Myrium through a crepe party last night. There were a bunch of people over and we all had crepes for dinner to celebrate the national crepe day in France… not sure if it is a real thing but I’ll play along.
It has been an exciting month full of adventure and new friends.
Life Lesson #1: Good Craic does not refer to the drug, it means a good time.
I am all settled into my apartment in Cork with the best roommates I could have asked for. I got very lucky! I have a roommate from Boston, Spain and two from France. They have already taken me out, and Myriam, my French roommate, has made me two french meals. One of the coolest things about having roomies from different countries is being able to learn about their cultures. On my second weekend here they had their other international friends over and we all had dinner before going out. It was awesome being able to talk to people from Italy, France, Spain, Ireland and Greece.
I have explored most of cork including visits to the old Goal (Jail), 3 cathedrals (my favorite being St. Fin Barres), the English market, and any other building that appealed to me. Getting “lost” in the city is the best way to explore. I also took a hour and a half bus to Skibberren in west cork, walked another hour and a half on the country side to Lough Hyne. Louch Hyne is a salt water lake with unexplainable marine life. This trip was not very well planned, I thought Skibberren was a 20 min bus ride and the lake was only a 3 mile walk. Even though it wasn’t planned it was worth the walk because not many tourist get the chance to have that experience.
Corks campus is the prettiest campus I have ever seen, it looks like Hogwarts. The student life is another perk, they had arranged events almost every night last week and there are so many clubs I can join. I want to try the rock climbing club, trampoline club, boxing and archery club.
Ireland is pretty similar to the states which makes it easier to find my way around. The people here are very welcoming, in fact every professor started class by saying “you are all very welcomed here”. I am taking two folklore classes, Irish literature class, Irish history and a Gender & Development class.
So Far So Good….