As the end of the semester approaches time has been moving faster and faster and I realized that I have not updated my blog in a couple weeks. Over the past two weeks I have visited a Mosque (with our Understanding Britain class), enjoyed the very exciting CAPA pub night, visited the National Gallery, attended Easter mass at Westminster Cathedral, walked along the Themes in common tourist form, AND most recently, I just got back from Ireland!
I felt the overwhelming need to visit Ireland before I left Europe (especially since I am so close). It was a quick trip, but still amazing! We took a few trains to the ferry that goes to Dublin. This was not the amazing part of the trip in any way. But after about 10 hours we arrived in Dublin at about 6 am. We spent little time in the city, taking a bus about 4 hours south to Cork, basically on the cost. Since the weather was so great the hostel suggested we travel a half hour outside of the city to Kinsale, known as the food capital of Ireland. After walker along the water we explored Fort Charles, another ancient structure in Europe! Next, taking advantage of this food situation, I had fish and chips, and they were amazing. The next day we went to Blarney, which is a cute small town known for the Blarney Castle, containing the Blarney stone. At the top of the castle you lay on your back and lower yourself down backwards, almost hanging - upside-down - facing the Blarney stone which you then kiss because it's good luck. While we were in line, there was an American family (Southern, 20-something-year-olds calling the older lady they were with 'Grandmama') and what I remember to be a young British family. These older ladies and gentleman lean back and kissed the stone. The children from the British family were next (about 8-10?) and they both refused to bend over backwards off a stone castle and kiss the stone. But moving on, I did and now I should be lucky. Next we walked to the Blarney Mansion - this castle has been owned by the same family since 1703 (!) and in the mid-1700s they decided they didn't like living in the castle so they did the obvious thing and built a mansion in walking distance from the ancient castle. We toured this mansion and quickly realized that this family still lived here and the tour was a bit strange. I can't imagine living in a house that had to constantly cleaned and have nothing laying around. But I think the tours is how they pay their bills.
We got back to Dublin later that night and quickly fit in St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Bank of Ireland. After having a Guinness and some garlic bread we headed back to the bus station to make our final journey to the airport, where we waited till 6:25 am to catch our plane to London. If you were wondering we were there from about 11pm-6am. And now with about 30 min (the pane ride) of sleep out of about the past 30 hours I am exhausted. I have also realized that I have two weeks left here in London, which I can only imagine will fly by - which means next post will be filled London tourist adventures (and maybe a bit about my upcoming trip to the BBC!) I'm not sure what kind of coverage the US gets but the UK is currently in the middle of electing (or possibly re-electing) and new prime minister and not only do they not have political advertisements (this was the first election EVER to have a debate) but the actually have parodies of what they ads would be like if they followed American format. Politics here can be entertaining, a lot less annoying, but occasionally quite ignorant (both Tony Blair and David Cameron have been quoted saying that the British class system doesn't exist.) Until next time, cheerio loves!