I’ve Been Putting This Off
So, its been almost a month since I’ve been home from Ireland. And I am just not sitting down and writing about my last week. I think its been hard to do so because its been hard to realize and process that its over.
But here I am, finally writing about it.
I last wrote about my trip to London. Upon returning, I had a pretty normal week. I spent time in the City Center, at the English Market and some coffee shops. We enjoyed a night at the pubs and one at home just hanging out. It’s been fun getting to know my new friends better. After three weeks we were really learning about each other and getting comfortable, which was a good feeling.
On Thursday, June 30, Hannah and I went to Middleton to visit the Jameson distillery. It was really fun. Jameson is a cute little town, it had a ton of little coffee shops and cafes. The tour of the distillery was fascinating. I now know so much more about how to make whiskey, and can kind of tell what a “good” whiskey is, even if I’m still not a fan of it. Hannah and I both volunteered to taste-test whiskey at the end, so we got to try Jameson, Scotch, and Jack Daniels. The Jameson was obviously the best lol
Thursday night I was supposed to fly to Glasgow and take a bus to Edinburgh to visit a friend staying there. But my flight got super delayed and I ended up needing to switch to a flight in the morning.
Friday I finally got to Edinburgh and met up with my friend Amanda, who I know from K-State. She was studying abroad in Edinburgh for a few weeks. My flight had gotten in in the morning we had all day to wander the city. We walked along the Royal Mile, the really touristy strip in the middle of the city, we saw the Edinburgh Castle, and stopped at the Royal Mile Market. Amanda showed me the Grass Market, an open shopping/eating area thats really neat. I had some ice cream and we walked along Victoria Street, which they supposedly modeled Diagon Alley in Harry Potter after. We also visited a graveyard that J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, visited a lot and saw some gravestones that had names she used in her books. Next we went to the Elephant House, the cafe where she wrote Harry Potter. It was a pretty big afternoon for us Harry Potter fans.
Friday night we went to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant and had a few drinks at a pub near their campus.
Saturday was an early morning for me because I had signed up to do a tour of the Highlands. The Highlands are the northern part of Scotland, a historic region with mostly mountains and a small population. It’s a really beautiful area and its huge, we spent 12 hours driving up and back. Its where Loch Ness is located, and many other Lochs that are all connected by a canal. It was amazing. Driving along the mountains reminded me of being in Colorado and driving through the Rockies. It was probably some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen.
We made a stop at Glencoe and again in Fort Augustus, at Loch Ness. We took a boat tour on the Loch and got to hear all about Nessie. It was so incredible. I was fascinated with the Lochs, their beauty and mystery is enthralling. I highly recommend the Highlands and will definitely return there someday.
It was a really long, but beautiful day. That night we had a mellow night, drinking wine and chatting with Amanda’s roommates.
Sunday morning we attended church at St. Giles and then I flew back to Cork.
Right as I arrived in Cork, my mom and sister arrived!! This was a spontaneous and short notice trip, which made it all the more exciting!! We squeezed all of our stuff into my tiny tiny dorm room for the week and I got to share all of my favorite things about Cork with them, our first stop being Costigans (my fav pub).
Our first full day together was the 4th of July. While I was in class, my mom and sister went to Cobh for the day. That night we celebrated in our red, white, and blue. Some pubs were giving free pints to Americans so you could say it was a fun night.
Tuesday, while I was in class, my mom and sister went to the airport to pick up a rental car! What an exciting time that was! Not only do you drive on the opposite side of the street, but the steering wheel is on the opposite side and all their cars are stick-shift. SOOOO it was an adventure to say the least. Right after my class we left for Dingle!! It was a slightly terrifying drive, but we made it alive to the cutest B&B in Dingle and had some delish seafood for dinner and hit up the only late pub in Dingle.
Wednesday morning we woke up and took a drive around the peninsula on Slea Head Drive. This is one of the most scenic drives in Ireland and it is incredible. We stopped so many times, seeing beautiful sites and petting adorable sheep. We even got to hold a week old lamb! We saw a Ring Fort and some Beehive huts from back during the famine. It took us 4 hours just because we stopped so much.
We wandered in Dingle for a little in the afternoon, stopping in a few shops, before we headed back to Cork. That night my friends and I had a “last supper” together because we were all leaving different days. Later that night we met up with our professors at a pub. lol. We’d been talking all semester how we would get pints with them, so we finally did after class was over. We ended up spending the whole night with them and having a lot of fun!
Thursday I didn’t have class so I was able to walk around Cork with my mom and sister all day. We stopped at Fitzgerald park and visited the English Market, along with some other things. It was a really relaxing and enjoyable day for us together. We had a going away dinner for the whole program that night, where we got to share a meal and memories together. It was a good way of ending the trip.
Friday was spent packing up and leaving Cork. It was a sad moment when we drove away finally. I did not feel ready to leave yet. We stayed in Bunratty Friday night because it was so close to the Shannon airport. After a good dinner, we visited to Bunratty Castle before settling into our B&B.
Saturday morning we woke up, got to the airport, and started our 22 hours travel home. My mom and I made it home to Kansas City around 11pm.
And that concludes my short European adventure.