Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Four leaf clovers, Guiness pints, and the Atlantic!

Hey all!  Ok, so my promise was not really that good.  I've just realized that in the past 3 months I have really slacked on this blog.  I am really going to try updating more often.  I also realized that in 3 months I have only journaled twice.  Ooops.  I really need to get my act together with these two things! 

The newest adventure in my life was my trip to Ireland!  I left Wednesday March 16th and returned home on Monday March 21st.  Words cannot even describe how much I loved Ireland.  I was just overwhelmed with how beautiful the country is, how sincere the people are, and how amazing the food and beverages were!  Not to mention, how CRAZY the St. Patrick's festival was!  And most importantly, they had DR. PEPPER. I was saved.

Wednesday night we arrived in Dublin and after over 12 hours of traveling, we decided to take it easy and just go to a pub and have a quick dinner and something to drink.  I had my first pint of Guiness here!  (Dublin is famous for the Guiness brewery).  Not my favorite, but it was a must do on the list.

Thursday we woke up extremely early to watch the parade.  It was insane!  It was completely packed.  Kids sat on lightpoles and the tops of trees!  People were on the roofs of buildings, on tops of telephone booths, and peering out windows.  The parade itself was a lot of fun.  I would describe it more as a parade of street performers and actors rather than floats like we're used to in America.  After that we ventured to the carnival where we rode a few rides.  Then, we walked along the river all the way to the port where there was a huge ferris wheel.  When we got close, we realized it wasn't really a ferris wheel.  It was the eye of Dublin, where after paying a fee you rode for 15 minutes and it was like a tour of Dublin from the sky!  It was sooooo neat.  Unfortunately, it was dark so it was difficult to see everything the commentator was talking about.  Nonetheless, it was beautiful all lit up at night!  After our hike to the eye, we went back for dinner in a pub and then went to another pub to celebrate St. Patty's.  I will never ever EVER be able to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the United States without thinking about that day.

The next day we toured the Guiness brewery and went on a pub crawl.  The Guiness brewery was so cool.  I learned quite a bit about the process of brewing beer, along with the history of Guiness.  I even learned that the Guiness Book of World Records was created by the founder of Guiness.  Apparantly, he was in a pub where a dispute about the fastest bird in the world inspired him to create a book of facts to help bartenders with simillar discussions.  Crazy, huh?  The pub crawl was a lot of fun as well.  Our tour guide took us away from the touristy spots and to the pubs where all the locals go.  It was so laid-back, and there was live music at each pub we went to!

The next day I left Dublin and went to Galway, where one of my professors from my home university is on sabbatical for a year.  Three other girls from my home university are spending their spring break visiting her as well.  It was amazing to see friends from back home!  Galway was extraordinarily gorgeous.  I even got to see the Atlantic Ocean for the first time! (Only had to go to Ireland to do it haha.)  We walked around Galway all day and ate in local pubs.  I absolutely loved Galway, but loved seeing my friends even more.  It was hard to say goodbye, but I was anxious to return home to Spain, too.

Ireland was my first taste of traveling outside of Spain.  And I was instantly hooked.  I am just yearing to go to another country and experience another culture!  The next on the list is London, Rome, Florence, and Venice for spring break in about a month.  But before then I am traveling to Sevilla and Barcelona in the next couple of weeks. CAN'T WAIT!

 Katelyn and I with our first pints of Guiness in Ireland.

 Katelyn, Kirsten, and I waiting for the parade to start on St. Patrick's Day.

 One of the children on a light pole for a better view :)

 Dublin at night!

 Laurel, Heidi, Mishayla (friends from back home!) and I along the bay in Galway, Ireland.

 Me in front of the cathedral in Galway.

 Mishayla, Heidi, Rachel, Laurel, and me proudly representing Nebraska Wesleyan University in Galway.

One of the streets in Galway with pubs and stores.

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