Monday, 1 October 2012

Long weekend getaway to the beautiful country of IRELAND!


After our first two hour long British Studies ESSAY exam, the only thing on my mind was finally getting away to Ireland. I've heard stories about Ireland and seen movies filmed there, and I must say it is just as beautiful (if not more) than I had expected. I had seen the countryside landscape in movies, such as P.S. I Love You, and could NOT wait to see it in person. 

Sara, Rebecca, Mackenzie, and I left on our plane just hours after the exam... Clearly, we could NOT wait. With the long weekend ahead of us, we were all giddy and excited to see just what Ireland had in store for us. At about 8pm that night, or 20:00, we boarded our plane to Dublin, flying Ryanair. 

Flying Ryanair made us all nervous, since it was our first time using them and all of the supposed strict rules, but we had no problems at all- thankfully. It was really nice to only travel using a small carry-on. The problem was trying to fit EVERYTHING we were going to use/need/buy in Ireland in that one bag, but we all made it work. 


The next day, after we arrived in Dublin, we took the PaddyWagon tour bus to the Cliffs of Moher and Killarney. From what we had heard, we expected the Paddywagon to be crazy, exciting, and fun. It was definately fun, but nothing like we had expected, which was probably for the better. The Paddywagon took us on our first day-long adventure through the Irish countryside. This is where we visited the Cliffs of Moher and eventually stopped in Killarney for the night. 


When we stopped at the Cliffs of Moher, we saw Dumbledore's cave (from Harry Potter), located right under the cliffs. Since I haven't read or watched anything related to Harry Potter, I wasn't sure what it was, but it was clearly a big deal. The views from the cliffs were amazing and beautiful, but of course nerve-wracking to try to get as close to the edge as possible. We wanted the best pictures, even if it gave us a panic attack for a second. 

Making a wish at a castle close to Killarney


After a long day of traveling, we ended up in Killarney. We knew nothing about this town, but from the locals and our tour guide, it was sure to be a good time. Not to mention, it was Arthur's Day (the man who created Guinness). Everybody was out celebrating, and live bands were playing everywhere around Ireland. The celebration is biggest in Dublin. We were sad to not be there that night, since famous bands were playing in almost every pub, but later we heard it was extremely packed and crazy with all the people. The pub we went to in Killarney was called The Grand. It was amazing. Two live bands were playing, and of course both ended up playing Galloway Girl (from the movie P.S. I Love You) and everybody went crazy. 





The next day, we made our way to Blarney, where we visited the Blarney Castle and other sites around that area. Of course, we had to kiss the Blarney Stone.  According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). 







On the way back to Dublin, on Friday, we passed more countryside and old castles, which offered great views and pictures (which we are ALL about). And we visited an old castle, overlooking Ireland, at sunset. A couple who had just gotten married was having their pictures taken at this time. I could only IMAGINE how beautiful they turned out. The view at this time of day was the definition of perfect.





Once we made our way back to Dublin, we were done with the PaddyWagon. For the last day in Ireland, we decided to sight see around Dublin and do a little souvenir shopping. Later that day, Mackenzie and I went to the Guinness Factory, where we watched how Guinness beer was made. We also got to pour our own pint, the correct way. Both of us also got certificates that say, "Courtney Leer and Mackenzie Shriver have crafted The Perfect Pint of Guinness." How cool, right?!





Bridge in Dublin

The streets of Dublin, Ireland
Random art on the walk to the Guinness Factory (my favorite)
Shopping in Dublin
We spent our last night around the Temple Bar area, where we ate at a Pub, drank, and watched X-Factor... Exciting right?! All of us were EXHAUSTED, though, and watching T.V for the first time in a while was pretty relaxing. None of us had ever watched the show before, and actually, it's a REALLY cool show. Also, we could see the drunk people dancing in the bar area (which is always hilarious to watch).

That morning, at around 4:30am, we made our way to the airport. We had to make the free shuttle in time for our early flight at 8am. 

Ireland was so beautiful and the people who live there are a great time.
 I would definately love to make my way back to the Land of the Irish.

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