Thursday, May 20, 2010
"From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay, And from Galway to Dublin town, No maid I've seen like the sweet Colleen, hat I met in the County Down."
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
"May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, May good luck pursue you each morning and night."- Irish Blessing
Monday, May 17, 2010
“The Irish - Be they kings, or poets, or farmers, They're a people of great worth, They keep company with the angels, And bring a bit of heaven here t
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Last night was our last night in the city of Dublin. We went out to The Temple Bar, and had a wonderful time. There was a celtic band, and people were irish dancing once again, and I’m still not tired of it. But one of the strangests this happened. I finally traced down my family roots, and found out where my family is from. So this was brand new information to me. We met an irishman named Mike McClan, and he said he could tell peoples heritage just by looking at them.
He said he took one look into my green eyes and could tell I was Irish. I wasn’t took impressed because a lot of people are Irish, but then it got a little weirder. Everyone split up into different conversations and I was still talking to him. He says I can bet your from Northern Ireland. WEIRD! I had just found out the city where my family is from is in Northern Ireland. So if that isn’t creepy enough he says, your Catholic right? I was a little reluctant to answer, until he said he was Catholic too.
What’s up with the Irish knowing peoples heritages just from one look at a persons face?? Anyways, all I have to say is that my last night in Dublin was a lot of fun.
So we packed on up and moved on out of Dublin. Hopped on a bus with our new tour guide Jon, and headed for Cobh! We stopped in at Wicklow Mountain National Park, and the views of the hills were so beautiful it almost took my breath away. It was so awesome seeing the sights and inside this park was St. Kevin’s Monestary. There was a beautiful cemetary, I mean if you can imagine a cemetary as beautiful. It was so old, and the gravestones were so intricate with the carving in stone it was absolutely amazing.
Our tour guide set us free for almost an hour in this wonderful park, and I took so many pictures. The ruins of St. Kevins, were beautiful, and the views of the hills and mountains were great. I would upload a picture, but something is happening with my camera, and errors keep occuring when I try to upload pictures. I’ll keep trying, so everyone pray I pull through and get my photos up soon!
After Wicklow Mountain National Park, it was back on the bus for a 3-hour ride to our final destination in Cobh. I was asleep the whole ride. I am now running on a total of 6-hours of sleep in that passed two days! But I’m gonna keep going and going and going!
When we arrived in Cobh were were greated by our tour guide for Cobh, Michael Martin. He showed us some sights in Cobh including memorials for the sinking of the Lucitania, and the Titanic. It was so beautiful. And the views in the harbor are amazing. St. Colman’s Cathedral serves as the focal point of the town, and it is an absolutely beautiful gothic midevil themed church.
After our quick tour, we headed back to our new hotel the Bella Vista. Fun fact; Bella Vista used to be a Convent! We just had dinner, and I am growing more tired with every word I type. I think this is all I have for today everyone. Tomorrow should be promising with our trip to the Blarney Castle. I’m still debating on whether or not to kiss the stone. Who votes yes? Who votes no?
Saturday, May 15, 2010
"Always remember to forget the troubles that passed away, But never forget the blessings that come each day"-Melissa McCorkle
Well schools out in Dublin, and we were set free! Of course I took some time for well needed rest. I went to bed early, and woke up at 10 a.m. and was ready to start the day. David, Jeremy and I walked down to Grafton Street, and it was booming! There were hundreds upon hundreds of people there, and many different buskers doing their performances, it was great since Jeremy and I are doing similar projects about the people of Ireland.
There was a man there who was stood still and it looked like the wind was blowing in his hair and his tie was blown backwards. He really put hairspray in his hair and wire in his tie to make the illusion, it was great! Another busker was a puppetier, and he had a jester puppet that performed to music. There were a few magicians, bands, and individual musicians that all had great talent. Jeremy interviewed the band “The Riptide Movement,” they were absolutely amazing and he gave us their single “It’s hard to explain.” I suggest people check them out on myspace.com and facebook.com, they are definately worth listening to. Very fun, and very upbeat.
David went off and did some of his own shopping so Jeremy and I did the same. We stopped in this shopped called “Crest & Arms” and found our family histories in great detail. The shop owner was so knowledgable of all the histories of many of the names, and spoke fluent Gaelic, Latin, English, and French. I was so intrigued by all his knowledge. After that we went back and I raved about this place and convinced Caiti and Ryan to come back with me. Magically David appeared outside and he tagged along.
The man was happy to see I brought him more business, and Caiti, Ryan, and David were so happy to find their family histories. It’s great being here in Ireland and finding out about our roots. It so interesting to know finally where my family is from and to say that I’ve been to my homeland.
But sadly, tomorrow I will be leaving here. But thankfully not back to the States. Not just yet. We will be travelling to Cobh tomorrow. And don’t even think about pronouncing it like “Cob,” it’s actually pronunciation is “Cove.” The ‘b’ used to have two dots over it which made it a ‘v’ sound, but when it was transfered to English that’s how the spelling ended up. Weird eh? Anyways, we will be going through a Titanic walking tour which I’m super happy about! I love the history of the Titanic, every since I was younger. So this experience is extra special for me.
Since it’s our last night in Dublin, that gang’s going out for our last ‘hoorah!’ I better get to packing tonight before we leave, I don’t wanna leave anything behind!
So stay tuned for my adventures in Cobh!
Friday, May 14, 2010
Its was an early start today. I mean really early. No, I don’t think you fully understand, we were walking and on our way at 6:30 a.m! I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to wake Ryan up so she could Skype with her mom. It just so happened to be perfect timing since her mom is 8 hours behind us they were able to video chat this morning. After I woke Ryan up I hopped into an extremely cold shower, but it was good because it woke me right up.
We hopped on a train at Connelly Station, and two short hours, and a few rolling green hills later we arrived in Belfast! Now when they say that the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland are two different countries, most people ignore it thinking Ireland is just Ireland. Let me tell you, who ever thinks that couldn’t be any more wrong.
Everyone got on the tour bus thinking nothing much of a tour of just another city in Ireland. But the fact of the matter is that Northern Ireland is still recovering, and suffering the effects of the war going on between the Catholics and the Protestants. Murals were painted on multiple buildings serving as huge displays in memory of the hardships and troubling times Northern Ireland has gone through. Our tour guide Michael pointed out to us the peace wall that is still up that seperates the Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods, and that even schools are seperated by religion. There are very few schools where children are mixed up with Catholic and Protestants.
I wasn’t aware of just how prevalent the issue was, or just how serious the issue still is. It’s crazy to think that prejeduce like that still exists in our world, but I guess something may never change.
We first drove up to the Northern Ireland Assembly Building, and I thought I was going to the White House. The long drive up to it was so beautiful, and we were able to quickly go inside the Grand Hall of it to take pictures. After about a 15-minute visit we were back on the bus.
But as I was in awe of all the murals and chaos of Belfast we drove up to Belfast Castle for a few moments for literally five-minutes of photos, and then hopped back on the bus and headed for the Titanic Shipyards. I was pretty excited, but a little dissapointed that we didn’t get a walking tour of it. We ate at the White Star Cafe, which was in the Shipyard. Everything was delicious, but I wasn’t exactly graceful. Needless to say I slipped down the steps, but luckily it was only one step, and I caught myself very quickly. All while holding a bowl of soup! Impressive eh?
After that we hopped right back on the bus, and headed for the Belfast Telegraph. We spoke with Gerry Patterson about different aspects of news, but he caught my attention once Helen asked a question about the problems between Catholics and Protestants, and Gerry shared a story with us from his past. He said he had a Protestant girlfriend and while they were driving around she made him duck down in the car so her parents wouldn’t see her with a Catholic. Crazy right?
After meeting with Gerry we hopped back on the bus, then hopped right back off. Are you seeing a trend here? We walked a few blocks and were able to take pictures inside of Saint Patricks Church, and saw a painting of Madonna worth millions of dollars. It’s protected by bullet proof glass!
I took a few pictures, and said a prayer in the church, then we walked to dinner. Everything was great especially my apple crumb pie dessert! YUMMY. We took a group photo, presented Michael with his gift from us, and headed back to the train station. We got on our train and set ourselves up for a two hour journey back to Dublin.
I was really excited to be in Belfast. The town where my grandfather’s family is from is very close to Belfast, and I was so excited to see where my roots have came from. So far so good everyone, 6 out of 6 days have been successful and fun. I have a free day tomorrow, and I’m hoping to use it wisely. Tune in tomorrow same time, same blog.