Where has the time gone? Just yesterday it was the Summer Ball celebrating classes being over but in reality yesterday marked the last 10 days in Ireland for me and most of my friends I have made over here. How am I supposed to say goodbye to this country? I am truly in denial of the amount of time remaining. I guess I will cross that bridge when I get there.
I was lucky enough to show my sister Cyan Ireland for 5 days and we had an absolute blast. Cyan got in on Thursday and we dropped some of her stuff off in my room when she arrived and headed to the city centre for her first pint of Guinness and a bowl of soup. After repeatedly saying that we couldn’t believe that we both were in Ireland together right now, we met Jay on a bus to Galway. We listened to a few musicians checking out some pubs that night after a great dinner at McSwiggin’s.
The next morning we went on a Wild Atlantic Way tour that took us around the Burren in County Claire where we went to Aillwee Cave for our first stop of many. Quick story behind this cave: It was discovered by Jack McGann in the 30’s when his dog ran after a rabbit and got lost in the entrance of the cave. Jacko walked in with a flashlight (after he got his dog out, don’t worry I double checked with the tour guide) and explored this massive cave. Old Jacko didn’t tell a single soul until the 1970’s when a group of speleology students were talking to him at a pub one night and Jacko told them he has a cave nobody has seen before.
After the cave we continued to drive around the Durren where we learned some history from our enthusiastic tour guide. The entire area is made up of lots of rocks and very minimal soil. We stopped at a witches tomb (shown in the top right picture) and continued on our way to our featured destination.
We arrived at the Cliffs of Moher and had about an hour and a half to appreciate these wonders on such a beautiful day.
Sidenote: Cyan didn’t experience a single drop of Ireland rain while she was here. I told her next time she comes it will be pouring the whole time.
After our eight hour tour, we hung out in the city with Jay waiting for our bus to Cork for tomorrow’s adventure. We bought some cans and hung out in a park where we unfortunately lost track of time. Cyan and I ended up missing our bus which was the last one to Cork for the day. So, we stayed in Galway for another night where the CIS squad was conveniently staying for another fun evening.
The next morning we did catch our bus to Cork where we walked around a bit before heading out to Blarney. Cyan and I spent a good two hours on the grounds just talking and taking in the colorful flowers and plants in the castle grounds.
We got back to Dublin around midnight that night and zonked out until the late morning when we caught a train going to one of my favorite areas in Ireland, Howth. Sunday’s weather was 16 degrees with hardly a cloud in the Irish sky and it was gorgeous! We walked a good 6km around and soaked in the sun. We arrived in the back in the city centre for a dinner at my favorite restaurant, MJ O’Neil’s. (Only like my 6th or 7th time going there).
The next day we spent the entirety of it in Dublin’s city cente. We started at the Kilmainham Goal where I got my first full tour of the jail. After the jail was the Guinness Storehouse,Trinity college, and the Dublin Castle for the main attractions. We walked the city and checked out a few new pubs. We got back a little early that night to pack up and so I could beat Cyan for the 5th time in cribbage this trip.
We went to the airport and said our goodbyes after 1 or 5 hugs (love ya sis). I got back to DCU where I took a quick nap in preparation for another long day in the sun.
John, Jay, and I put on some golf attire and booked a slot at Silloge Golf Course for a stellar day riding around on carts and smacking some balls. The craic was good, the brews were cold, and the golfing was sub-par in our performance. It was a fantastic day that I will definitely chalk up as one of my favorite days in my stay in Ireland.
Wednesday Beth, Jay, John and I tried to go kayaking in the city centre but found out once we arrived that it was only a weekend gig. So to make the best out of the day we decided to check out the Book of Kells at Trinity, buy a frisbee to hang out in the park and then get some Chinese. We got to Trinity and saw the old book that had the four gospels in some incredible artwork and calligraphy but the coolest part for me was the Long Hall upstairs. It was a room just full of some very, very, very old books with busts of famous philosophers, astrologists, and other famous thinkers. It also contained the Brian Boru Harp which is the oldest of its kind, dating back to the 14th century.
Once we left Trinity, we were on the hunt for a frisbee. After walking around the city centre going from sport shop to random booths, we all agreed it was impossible to purchase a frisbee in Ireland.We still went to St. Stephens green and absorbed some more vitamin D before leaving for 10 Thousand Buffet.
I finished up all of my papers for various classes and took my only final yesterday marking the end of my academic career here at DCU. The final I took was in the gym with another 500 students. You walked to your assigned seat and you were given a test packet and when you were done they walked around and picked it up from you.
I’m certainly not ready to leave this country and I will be doing “my lasts” this next week around the Dublin area. These certainly will not be “my lasts” forever but just for a little bit of time while I finish school and figure out what the next adventure of my life will be.
Lastly, I’d like to have a big shoutout to Carly on her birthday last week and congratulations to all my friends that are graduating back home!