Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Today we arrived in Dublin, Ireland. It was rainy almost all day! We are staying at Trinity College which was founded by Elizabeth the first. The rooms here are nice, we are considering asking Harding for similair ones lol. We were also able to take a brief walking tour (brief because of the rain). We saw the oldest manuscript, The Book of Kells and that was cool. I like the library (the Long Room) better though. You could still read the title of books so old they were tied with string so they wouldn’t fall apart! In the hall, there were lots of busts of famous writers whose works were there. I slept when we came back from the tour, it was nice! Then I woke up and went to a pub. We listened to live music and walked around a lot. Tonight when I came back in to our dorms, I talked to some new people, I hope to make a good effort to get to know the people I don’t already know, this was a great first step!
The song we learned in the pub
Giddy-i-a for the one-eyed Riny
(clap clap clap)
bangin on your el (like old but possessive) big drum.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Today was a LONG day! We woke up early for breakfast, which consisted of fruit, cereal and bread, but it was a very good start. We went to Waterford, where the crystal is made. The things there were GORGEOUS! I was amazed by the time it takes to work there. You must apprentice 5 years to be a molder, another 3 for master blower and 2 more if you want to be a maser cutter or engraver. Some of the engravings were so intricate, so beautiful. They even had one they sent to the Fire Stations that responded to the call from 9/11. I knew that that event had impacted the world but I don’t think I realized just how much people responded to it until today. After that we went to a ruin called Glendalough. It was one of the first church settlement, a monastery of sorts. We learned about the Celtic Cross, which is a melding of the previous Pagan culture with Christianity. Its always interesting to me how people hole on to so much even when the change in their lives is done by themselves. Today I bought a beanie and a scarf…in ZP colors! I didn’t even realize it until someone said something. And Amanda and I ate at this place we heard the guide today speak of, Abrekababra. It’s a fast-food of sorts, very hip and the burgers were really good, im glad that I got to try something the locals eat a lot even if it isn’t Irish. I’ve noticed that here, places close early, around 7 and people get to go home to their families. Though, like America there is a nightlife scene and people are up all Hours. People are very much in a hurry here, passing you up constantly.Dubin is very much a walking city and the people have become used to it, there are very few dawdlers and those that are are tourists. Im already ready to stop traveling and just chill. I hope im ready again by the time free travel happens! Something else ive noticed is the freedom of fashions, I suppose we have that in America…but maybe just not where I am. There are many who are up to date but still put their own spin on things. Lots of tights and heels, tho how the girls walk on cobblestone, which is what most of the smaller roads are made of, in heels I don’t know….i have enough trouble with my tennis shoes.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Today we left Ireland. We took a ferry-boat….which wasn’t like any ferry id ever ridden. It was about an hour ride, and very hard to walk around in. I bought some locks for my backpack where my laptop is. After that we got on a bus and rode to a beautiful castle. It was very tiny tho. We had to climb stairs to get to some of the sites tho. I think I did quite well. The best part was when I sat on a bench and a little boy and his mum walked by. The little boy was very polite and said “please can we sit here”. He had the most adorable accent! After that we wandered around and I found my first red telephone! Pictures exist OF COURSE! Then we took a short trip to a place called snowden (snowdonia) it was BEAUTIFUL! We took lots of pictures and it was quite a treat. I enjoyed the waterfalls a lot. We also got to know some people on our trip with us…..through interesting ways lol!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Last night we slept in our first hostel. We were in England but we didn’t know it yet. There was a really pretty lake outside, but there was fog in the morning. I didn’t sleep well last night. The food was the first food that has been “interesting”. There was some kind of baked medley of fish for dinner and meat and bread for breakfast. After that we got to see Beatrix Potters house. She wrote and illustrated many childrens books like Peter Rabbit. It was very neat to see where some of her drawings came from, for instance there were points when she used the rug or even a speacial teapot in her illustrations. She lived at Hilltop Cottage. After that we drove to Dove Cottage which was where William Wordsworth lived for a time. I was kind of bored. I didn’t really know who he was or what he wrote. Samuel Coleridge did visit so there was some information about “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and the poem about Kubla Kahn. I thought that part was interesting, After that we drove to the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE! Seriously. Well actually we are next to “Hadrians Wall” im not altogether sure of the reason I should care, but other people were REALLY excited about it. Im really enjoying
the countryside here, I probably would have in Ireland except for the rain. But the mountains and the lakes (we were in the Lake District) are breathtaking. Hopefully soon ill have internet so I can post these things…….
Sunday, September 23
Today I sampled a traditional English breakfast item…..scrambled eggs on toast! I enjoyed them…separately. Hahaha. We then Went to Hadrians Wall and Housestead Fort. They were both parts of an ancient Roman wall that was built to keep out Barbarians. They both involved LONG walks up and down hills…almost mountains. It was really hard for me to do that, my lungs were totally burning and my legs need stretching badly but we’ll get to that later! We are currently in Scotland, we got here around 3 and we are currently near Melrose Abbey. We went there today and we had our first pub meal! The town here is small and picturesque. We had a devo church service tonight. Its going to be very interesting singing with just four guys but technically 5 male voices. We girls stepped up pretty well. Tho. Tomorrow we go to Edinburgh and surrounding places. Then we have a free day! Hopefully I can find a new memory card for my camera I haven’t had a camera since Wales…….:( soon tho soon.
Monday, September 24
Our hostel last night was amazing! We had room for 12 girls but only had 9! Our room was GARGANTUAN!.....compared to our other lodgings. Today we drove to Edinburgh (Edinburrah) Castle, which was AMAZING, you can see all of Edinburgh from the top. We saw the most beautiful act of love- an older couple was climbing the stairs to the top and the husband carried his wife on his back all the way up! We almost cried at the sight. After that we walked down the royal mile and went to Holyrood (Hollyrood) House which is the residence of the Queen and any other Royals when they are in Scotland for business. It was such an amazing experience, we walked where Queen Mary of Scotland walked…..so surreal that so many things happened before our country existed as a whole. Our hostel here is brand new! Its really nice, there are bathrooms in the rooms and everything, the nicest weve stayed in so far. Tomorrow is a free day in Edinburgh which translates into SHOPPING. Weve opted not to climb to King Arthurs seat so well be busy busy busy! Im really enjoying my time here. Amanda and I are getting along great and weve made a new friend Jennifer. We are exhausted with travel, today is the first night in a while that we don’t have to pick up and leave in the morning. Amanda and I are going to rethink free travel because of this, taking it slower maybe or seeing less things.
Tuesday, September 25
Today was a free day in Edinburgh. We got a nice and relaxed late start and had a day of shopping. We walked down Princes Street and returned to the Royal mile for shopping. Im exhausted and could not do anything for the rest of the day and be ok with it! I think we are going to try to go on a Ghost Walk tonight!