Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The officer and the champion golfer

I have a particular affinity for Irish street art and political posters.  

Somewhere you’d like to move or visit.

I’ve been to Ireland and it’s absolutely lovely.  The people are friendly and the landscape is beautiful, plus there’s a lot of rich history mixed with wild legend.  I’d like to visit again. 

As for moving, I’d love to move to Washington, D.C.  I love it there and I’d like to make it my home.

having a good crack means having a good time or enjoying yourself in irish slang. sometimes they say: “how’s the crack?” or “what’s the crack?” or “i’m having a crack”. pretty funny sounding to me. it comes from the gaelic word “craic” which essentially means “fun” though it doesn’t have an exact english translation. 

monday night we went out to dinner to get some “pub grub” as it’s called here. i, of course, ordered a guinness and it tastes so much better here! seriously. never buying it in the bottle from the states ever again, haha. since i bought a pint, i decided to buy something cheaper for dinner and i got some creamy vegetable soup with homemade brown bread. uhhhh AMAZING! so delicious and extremely filling. only 8 euros all together too. i was expecting great, filling soup and bread in ireland and i was not at all disappointed (:

after that, we were all a little jet lagged and decided to call it a night. the weirdest part of being here is walking home around 10:15 at night and it’s completely bright out. that’ll take me awhile to get used to, haha. 

the next day (tuesday) we met up with our CEA correspondant. CEA is the program i went with through my school. (sorry if that sounds confusing.) his name is brian and he is a graduate student here. so nice and his accent is adorable! haha. he showed us the path to take to get to school where we got our class schedules. after, we got a tour of campus. the campus is really small and very modern in most parts. my favorite part is the oldest part of campus. it’s called the quad and it is exactly what you would picture an irish university to look like. 


after the campus tour, we went to lunch and CEA bought our lunch so i was able to finally get some fish and chips since we could spend up to 15 euro and the fish and chips are about 9 or 10 euro here. SO DELICIOUS. i’m not even kidding. i’ve had fish and fries in the states before, but there is no comparison here. the irish definitely know their fish. and the tarter sauce was amazing. ask my parents and you’ll know that i don’t normally like tarter sauce, but it was perfect here. 

when we were done with lunch, we walked through town and brian showed us the direction to take to get back to the apartments and then he left us on our own. all of us split up in groups and about 4 of us stuck together and wandered through town. we needed to buy phones/sim cards so we got those first. we found out that it costs more to call an irish person than for me to call the states. weird, right? we found this amazing chocolate shop. it has chocolate that is made in dublin. soooooo good. i was expecting it to be just alright, but it was so yummy. i got an irish cream truffle… heaven. we saw this little boy playing music on the street and he sounded so much older. he is definitely the next justin bieber. i got about 10 seconds of him singing on video and i’ll upload it to facebook later so you all can it (:

we also took a few pictures by the corrib river. we were able to dangle our feet over the ledge and just sit for awhile. we decided that we were always going to study outside, as long as it’s not raining! haha. the river is so pretty and peaceful. you can see a church across the way and the city behind you. i still feel weird calling it a city, though, since it’s so rural and quaint. 

this is a picture of shop street below. there are tons of little shops (hence the name, haha) and some restaurants and pubs on this street. i love the way it looks. 

we decided to walk back to campus and buy some hoodies. 35 euro for one hoodie (over $45 converted) and there was only one choice… but i know i’ll love having it later. it’s super comfy and i didn’t bring a hoodie, so it’s perfect to sleep in (:

we decided to eat a small dinner at home since we’d already eaten out for lunch and then we headed out to the local pubs. we started walking there and it started pouring. not just a light drizzle, but to the point where we stayed under a bridge until it let up a little. then we eventually called a taxi to take us the last 15 minutes of our walk to the pub. it cost us 9 euro all together, which is not how i would like to spend my money next time. i will not be forgetting my umbrella next time, no matter how lame i look haha. 

i tried a bulmers last night at the pub. it’s a hard irish cider. it was really delicious. a nice alternative to the heavy guinness. this is my friend meggie and i. she’s a really sweet girl. i really seem to hang out with her and my friend jamie a lot, which is great. i love having some pretty close friends already. all of the girls are super nice and friendly, though, which makes this all so much fun. oh yeah, and there’s one guy in the group… poor guy, haha. 

today, i woke up and went to a small lecture that discussed what all the classes would be going over. then i went to my first class at 11am: irish society. it seems pretty fast paced and i’m a little worried since i’m one of the only people taking two courses. i hope i still have time to explore ireland as much as i want to. later today at 4pm i have my “representing ireland in literature and film” which i’m excited about. wish me luck! also, my class schedule is completely different each week, which i hate. i would love to just have two different days that i have class, but it varies each week. 

i have my window in my room open right now. it’s a gorgeous day today. the sun is shining and it’s nearly 60 degrees. perfection (:

fun fact of the day: yesterday was the longest day for ireland. it was the summer solstice and the sun set at 11pm and apparently rose at 3am. (i was asleep at this time so i do not know if this is true or not, haha. our cab driver told us this.) but i kinda wish i would’ve stayed up to see it because that’s pretty amazing.

another fun fact: it is not customary to tip people here. you normally tip maybe 10% at restaurants, but for cab drivers and anybody else, it would be weird for you to tip.

Lough Eske, Donegal

The world can be quite beautiful sometimes.

Dunguaire Midsummer (by Robert Riddell)

Moody sky on a June evening as the tide was turning.
Dunguaire Castle (Irish: Dún Guaire) is a 16th-century tower house on the southeastern shore of Galway Bay in County Galway, Ireland, near Kinvarra. The castle’s 75-foot tower and its defensive wall have been restored to excellent condition, and the grounds are open to tourists during the summer. It is thought to be the most photographed castle in Ireland.

The castle was built by the Hynes clan in 1520, a family who may have been associated with the area since 662, when the site is believed to have once been the royal palace of Guaire Aidne mac Colmáin, the legendary king of Connacht and progenitor of the clan. Dunguaire Castle was transferred in the 17th century to Oliver Martin, (father of Richard Martin fitz Oliver). It remained in his family until it was purchased in the early 20th century by the surgeon and poet Oliver St. John Gogarty. Gogarty began restoring the castle and established it as the meeting place for the leading figures of the Celtic Revival, such as W.B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Augusta, Lady Gregory, and John Millington Synge.

The officer and the champion golfer

Barney Murphy is a 49-year-old Irish-born cop on Cape Cod with a golf game so utterly hopeless that he can’t bring himself to keep score. Rory McIlroy is the new United States Open champion, a 22-year-old Northern Irishman who has captured the hearts and hopes of the entire golfing world.

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