HeatherHayden's Travel Journals

HeatherHayden

 
What is the one place every traveler should visit?

Galway, Ireland

  • 27 years old
  • From New York, United States
  • Currently in London, United Kingdom

European Experience...and GO!

This is going to be my first time traveling abroad, as well as the first time to travel without family. This European Experience venture is the culminating piece to my undergraduate college education and I am looking forward to this being an experience of a lifetime.

Adventure in Ireland and Scotland

United Kingdom United Kingdom  |  Jun 07, 2012
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 I have already caught the travelers’ fever 

I am so sorry that I have not been on here to blog much for the first 3 weeks of my trip.  We had a limited amount of internet connection thus far.  Anyways, this has already been a better adventure than I could have imagined!  Here is a little bit about my first two weeks traveling through Ireland and Scotland.

Ireland!

In Ireland we visited Galway (by far my favorite), Dublin, and Belfast in about a week.  This was a phenomenal time, but it was a bit of a tease to me.  For anyone traveling to this part of the world, I highly recommend staying in Galway.

 The people were friendly, the food was amazing and we all felt at home the moment we stepped off the coach.  I am a country girl at heart, but even I was content in this city.We were constantly on the move for this portion of our study abroad experience.  The very first day we went to the Cliffs of Mohr.  It was simply incredible, though it did start to rain which cut our visit short and caused me to slip and fall into the mud (clearly giving a great first impression for my peers).

 The following day we were given a scavenger hunt and were left to wander Galway and explore for ourselves before our gothic walking tour.  This was a lot of fun and we learned a lot (ex. a hooker is a type of sail boat).  Once again my ventures here were cut short, this time due to the unfortunate luck of bird droppings landing on me (according to the Irish this is lucky, I think they are slightly delusional). After I got cleaned up the day improved a bit.  We went on our tour and got the rare chance to see a nesting swan.

One of the individuals that were showing us around Ireland (Kelli Mallone) was so passionate about everything that we all fell in love with everything she showed us; especially ruins like Dun Aonghasa, Wicklow, Clanmacnois, and more.  My two favorite places were the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge (which we were all daring enough to cross) and Giant’s Causeway.  These places were almost majestic in their beauty.

I also loved all the food that I tried here, even the black pudding (“if you don’t know what is in it, then you probably should not ask” ~the waitress).  Everywhere you went you could get wonderful fish and chips, hot tea, scones and Sheppard’s’ pie.  I grew up in a meat and potato house hold, so this was all comfort food to me.We were also extremely fortunate in that the entire time we were here we had warm weather and blue skies!

A personal aspect to this portion of my trip in Ireland is that it is where my relatives are from and I wanted to explore my roots. While there I did meet one of my relatives.  She had been close to my mum as a child but they have not seen one another in 43 years!  

Scotland!

Scotland was alright, though I would rather have to stay in Ireland longer. In part I was less content simply because it was too much of a city for my liking.  We were staying in the heart (or grass market) of Edinburgh.  Another fault that I found with Scotland was that I was displeased with the food meal after meal (I suppose it was just my personal preference).  The best meal that I had there was a Donner Kabob that is got from Yum Yum fast foods and the Nutella filled crepe that I got from a stand in the center of the Grass Market.  Warning to all visiting here, do not bother getting a Sheppard’s pie, the Scotts don’t make it right (can you tell I am half Irish).

On a more upbeat note:  I am a huge Harry Potter fan and I got to visit the Elephant House, see graves that J.K. Rowling got some names from (yes, I way Tom Riddle’s grave), and we saw a few locations where filming took place (how cool is that?!?).We also visited a few other tourist sites.

 Naturally we took the tediously long drive through the highland hills to visit ole Lock Ness; where we were shown how to put on a true kilt at the Clansmen Center.  We also went to visit some more rather intriguing castles.

All in all it was a phenomenal first 2 weeks to my adventures abroad.  I have already caught the travelers’ fever; now that I have started to see the world, I will not be able to just sit at home anymore because I want to see and experience more!

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