It’s crazy how fast time is flying by, especially this past week! It is amazing how busy I’ve been and how much I’ve seen and done in a week’s time. I’m so glad to finally have a free afternoon to catch up on my blog because life at the manor is always bustling. (Between classes, homework, meals, events and extra-curricular activities- I’m staying up late and waking up at the crack of dawn every morning. The life of a typical college student still exists here!)
This time last week I had just finished my first British Studies exam and was all set to begin my journey to Dublin. So much relief left my body as I handed in the test I had dreaded for weeks and left on my merry way to another country for a five-day escape. With only one backpack, one pair of shoes and two pairs of jeans I was already stepping out of my comfort zone. I was ready to live out of my meager bag and sleep in a different place for the next five days.
Despite the fact that everyone warned us we wouldn’t make our fight, (Dr. Taylor may have even said it was a “stupid and idiotic plan”) we jumped in cabs right after our test and even made it to the airport gate with time to spare. Although independent travel, in my opinion, can be stressful and nerve-wracking, it ended up working out perfect as a flawlessly planned trip. We were extremely lucky; missing a flight or a train wouldn’t have been the end of the world, but it definitely would have put a damper on the trip.
We arrived in Dublin about an hour later (which felt like a matter of minutes to me because I was completely dead to the world during the entire flight) and then rode the free Paddywagon bus from the airport to our hostel. We had a free night and the entire next day to explore the city of Dublin. Next, we were off on our three-day Paddywagon tour of southern Ireland.
Some of my favorite things in Ireland included:
- Galway Bay (I love the water, so being on the shore was a definite favorite for me.)
- Cliffs of Moher (It’s amazing up there…enough said.)
- Grocery shopping and cooking supper in the hostel kitchens to save money!
- The greenest grass I’ve ever seen in February.
- Lee- our bus driver/ tour guide on the Paddywagon. (He was legitimately so good to us and helped us out so much over the course of the weekend. I definitely recommend choosing Paddywagon Tours if you are going to Ireland.)
- We would have never been able to see everything by ourselves had we not traveled with this tour. They showed us so many beautiful stops along the way!
- Kissing the Blarney Stone for good luck!
- Experiencing various Irish pubs and talking with some locals.
Also, here’s a list of the places we visited: Dublin, Cong, Leenane, Kylemore Abbey, Dunguaire Castle, Corcomroe Abbey, Galway Bay, Doolin, Cliffs of Moher, Killarney, Blarney Castle, Cork & the Rock of Dunamase!