There are two things I can be a little slow at: editing photos, and writing blog posts. Sorry for the long gap!
As a part of the Global Experiences program fee, a few weekday outings and weekend trips were planned for all of the interns. So far, these have included a Viking Splash tour of Dublin, a very nice dinner, and a traditional music pub crawl. They’ve all been tons of fun and are a great way for the group to get back together and reconnect. We had our first weekend day trip on June 22, when we went via tour bus (with a chatty tour guide) to Glendalough and Kilkenny.
I was surprised at how close they both were to Dublin, with Glendalough barely an hour’s drive away, but how different it felt from the city. Glendalough (pronounced glen-duh-lock) is more beautiful than words can describe, with its clear lakes, incredibly green landscape, and old monastic ruins. Our tour guide patiently waited for our slow group that couldn’t stop taking photos of the beauty around us, and gave us a great tour of the area. I am so impressed by the memory that tour guides have for history and facts!
On our way to Kilkenny, we stopped at the Wicklow Gap, which was very windy! We felt what it was like to stand on peat (very bouncy) got windblown, and headed back on the bus. Wicklow has some amazing scenery, and was where movies like Braveheart and PS I Love You were filmed. I wish we could have spent more time here!
We arrived in Kilkenny, ready for lunch, and a small group of us headed straight to a local pub called Matt the Millers for some traditional Irish food. I am learning to embrace being touristy! I had a much needed cup of coffee (aka espresso – it’s never actually drip coffee like I’m used to) and bangers & mash. I know it doesn’t look very great, but it tasted delicious.
We explored the quaint town of Kilkenny for a while, taking plenty of photos and stopping in a candy shop, where I found egg shaped gummies. Yes, I bought them.
Finally, two other girls and I headed to the Kilkenny Castle for a short, self-guided tour. As always, I was glad to have my student ID with me for the discounted rate. The castle was different than I expected it to be on the inside, with newly restored and relatively modern looking rooms. We weren’t allowed to take pictures, but managed to sneak a few phone pics – don’t tell!!
After the tour, we made a quick stop at the craft shop and museum across the street, where they sold things made by people all over Ireland. It was fun to look at everything, but most things were a little out of my price range. I did get an iced coffee at the cafe, of course. I’ve noticed that the Irish version of iced coffee tends to be hot espresso with milk poured over ice – I’m still surprised when I take that first lukewarm sip!
All 45 or so tired interns climbed back on the bus and headed back to Dublin, with most of the group falling asleep while Irish music played over the speakers. My coffee kept me awake as we drove through more stunningly green Irish landscape, which I can’t seem to get enough of. Living in the city is exciting and never boring, but it was so nice to have the chance for a daytime escape. Our next day trip sponsored by Global Experiences is in mid-July to the Cliffs of Moher on the western coast of Ireland. I have been there once before, but am so excited for another chance to take in more of the beautiful Irish scenery that I am already missing!
Thanks for reading! Margaret