24 April 2009
Well, today was the day that I would go to Ireland to visit my friend Sarah in Limerick. A place I’m pretty sure my sister didn’t visit during her semester abroad in Dublin. Anyhoo, I flew out of Gatwick, which isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be. There’s shopping to keep you entertained and it’s easy to get into London from it (Gatwick Express baby).
Now here’s a helpful hint for anyone flying to Ireland on RyanAir, even if you do online check in you still have to go to the desk and get a nice little stamp on your boarding pass.
On my flight was a ruby team and the one who sat next to me felt he had to tell me that he and his team had been drinking since 10 am. All I did was ask about the tacky Irish hats they were wearing and should only be worn on St. Patrick’s Day.
Getting to Shannon Airport no problem. It was the first time going into a new country that they had asked me the reason for my visit. Apparently Ireland’s really strick on who they let into their country. But I got through no problem, and once I found the bus that would take me into Limerick I was a bit more at ease.
To cut things down a bit, waited a while for the bus, caught the bus, made it into Limerick. Then I waited at the station for Sarah. We found each other then went grocery shopping for the next two dinners. Then it was back to her place, prep dinner, eat dinner, then go out to the student union pub. The pub was rather empty for a Friday night, but apparently all the Irish students go home on the weekends. Lucky them right?
We drank, laughed, talked, and not hit on (what is the world coming to?). Then we went back to Sarah’s for ice cream and sleep because we would have to get up early on Saturday for the bus tour.
25 April 2009
Bus tour day! I got up at an hour I usually get up at, but for Sarah it’s an ungodly hour, 7:15 AM. Got ready then headed to the Limerick tourist center where the tour was going to start.
Well the tour consisted of six tourists and the bus driver. Small, but some times those are the best tours. We got to see the Burren, which is a part of Ireland that is basically covered in limestone. It almost looks like the surface of the moon with some green poking out in places and cows. While in the Burren we learned about ring forts, which is basically Ireland’s early idea of a richman’s home. It’s a home built around a stone ring wall and it was made to protect their livestock. We visited one of the most complete ones in Ireland known as Caherconnel Stone Fort. Now this one they’re still making discoveries on because back in 2008 they found a skeleton. No, no one was murdered and dropped there, carbon dating but this skeleton as a 15 year old girl back in the 15th century. What’s odd is that they figured she would be a Christian but she didn’t have a Christian burial.
Our next stop was a portal tomb that was once where all the big wigs of Ireland use to be burried, there were thirty found here. Talk about keeping it in the family (not really).
We continuing driving along the Earth’s version of lunar surfacing. Eventually we stopped at an area that had some cliffs and could see the Cliffs of Moher in the distance. Well there was this cool cut in the cliff and trying to get the perfect angle was rather difficult because one it was really windy and I could feel it wanting to throw me off and two the rocks were not as smooth as one would like. But I did get the angle I wanted. HA take that weather.
We continued driving, stopped for lunch at a pub then made our way to the Cliffs of Moher.
The entire day had been gray, slightly rainy, and very windy. We got there and the sun had come out but the wind didn’t like us there. These cliffs are beyond words. You can see the layering in them, and just how tall they are. Birds are flying below you to nests that you can’t see. One side of the area there’s a lookout castle-like post built in the 1800s. The other is a dangerous path that a ton of people walk on that backs up into a cow paddock. Sarah and I walked towards the castle first but the wind had other ideas so we went in the other direction.
Now you come to end of the paved path and there’s a plague that says to everyone who lost their lives there. Really reassuring that is. Hopping the barrier we made our way onto a dirt, slightly muddy path, with another sign that’s telling us to not go on because it’s dangerous. Phesh. I’m young no big deal. Every view it beyond belief. There were times on this path that we had to stop moving because the wind was so strong and to move would have been to risk being blown off the cliffs to a very long fall down to the turbulent Atlantic Ocean.
At one point on the path there was a point where Sarah walked to the edge and with the background she had it almost looked as if she were in front of green screen, it didn’t looked like she should have been there. As if someone was projecting the cliffs behind her.
We would have continued on this path but suddenly we saw this white flashing things going in every direction. What the hell was that? Well one got my ear, it was rain. It was coming from the side, above, at an angle, and even up off the cliff. It was very much a Forrest Gump moment when he’s describing the rain in Vietnam. It was a quick turn around and head back.
After that it was the drive back to Limerick. The driver was nice enough to drop us off at Sarah’s place. There we ate spaghetti for dinner, watched Enchanted before it went bonkers. Ate ice cream while watching Stardust. We had planned to go out to the club but I was tired and we would have to get up early again the next day so I could get to the airport on time. Bed it was.
26 April 2009
Another early wake up for Sarah. After having cinnamon toast, thanks to oh so lovely Sarah, we took a cab to the bus station. Waited a while, I got on my bus and said goodbye to her. I wouldn’t see her again until late August. I got the Shannon Airport with time to spare. Geez, talk about boring. Nothing to do there.
Got my flight went home to London. There I got online and saw things about the Swine Flu…oh goody and my going home to the States in two weeks. Not what I wanted to hear. I think I’m going to cut pork out of my diet now. But my host family and I ate dinner outside. I never thought we would but we did. Who would have thought that I would have done that when my second day in London there was that massive snow storm. Not I, but cool right?
Now it’s back to the grind stone of papers and prepping for finals.