Being sick while traveling is the worst. My train ride was miserable because of my sore throat. It didn’t help that everyone in my group of four had to wake up before 6 am today to make the 7:00 am train to Killarney. We got to the train station just in time, thanks to a lack of traffic at that ungodly hour, as well as our taxi driver’s willingness to drive at 80 mph on commercial roads.
When we got to Killarney, it was windy and rainy, so I was grateful for my
windbreaker. We were still slightly unsure of what we should do, and so far I was regretting our “let’s just wing it” attitude in planning the weekend trip. But we found a tourist office where a nice man recommended that we stay in a hostel that was closer to the one we originally booked, which was 3 miles away from the town center. We walked to the hostel he recommended and checked in. Good thing too, because there was a shuttle bus two blocks away that was able to take us to Killarney National Park.
Week two of my study/intern abroad experience in Ireland. Short and simple for now.
Our plans to visit Galway for the weekend were so last minute that I was surprised most people in our 12-person group were able to wake up on time for us to make the 9:15 bus. It was a rainy and dreary day, but we spent most of the morning on the bus, where I took multiple naps. Upon reaching the Galway bus station, some of us grabbed brochures to search for cheap tours. We found one that would take us to the Cliffs of Moher today and to Connemara tomorrow in a package deal. Today’s bus left at 1 pm, leaving us with just enough time to grab a quick sandwich at a nearby restaurant.
The drive to the Cliffs of Moher took over an hour, but we stopped by a couple photo stops on the way there. The beautiful Cliffs apparently served as a filming location for the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince movie. We enjoyed taking pictures on the precarious cliff edges, which left us with barely enough time to see the tower on the opposite side of the cliffs before reporting back to the bus. On the way back, we stopped by the Blackhead area, so named because of a random “leprechaun” face in a stone cliff wall. Such imagination. Upon returning to Galway City, we checked into the laid-back Kinlay Hostel. My friends and I ended up sharing a room with a French PhD candidate and her cousin.
As some of you know, I’m in Ireland for the summer, studying and interning abroad with other UC Berkeley students at University College Dublin (UCD). Here are my brief updates for the first week:
Didn’t sleep much on the plane because of the mandatory screaming baby on-board. Since I was taking my flight with KLM, the movies on the plane had Dutch subtitles. Dutch sort of looks like German, but not really. Had a layover in Amsterdam. I forgot how many famous Dutch people there are: Anne Frank, Van Gogh, and that crazy writer from the Fault in our Stars.
Just arrived in Ireland. Most of the signs are in two languages- English and Irish. Irish is one of those languages that I’m too embarrassed to even attempt to pronounce, despite being able to sound it out phonetically. Too many strange accents and marks. Everything is green, green, green, which I love!
It’s been over two months since I boarded a plane to New Mexico with my Venture Crew, and I still miss hiking with my 35-pound backpack and listening to crazy staffers play banjos. I’ve decided to post my Philmont Journal, which is a collection of scribbles I wrote down during the 66-mile wilderness trek. Hopefully I can return someday as an adult adviser, or go on other amazing Scouting adventures.