Monday, May 24, 2010

My Mom Wants More Pictures.

Dublin Castle

St. Stephen's Green

Connelly Street

Christ Cathedral

Flower beds in St. Stephen's Green

Country side from the train to Belfast

Stormont Castle

The garden at Belfast Castle

A street in Belfast

The ocean view from the DART train to Bill's

St. Kevin's Monastery

Houses in Cobh

Blarney Castle

The view from the top of Blarney Castle

This was in the back of a restaurant we stopped at on the Ring of Kerry

Killarney House

Killarney Park

A thatched roof house in Adare

Another picture of the Cliffs of Moher

The view of the countryside from the Cliffs of Moher


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day Twelve: Adare and Cliffs of Moher

We have had gorgeous weather for our last day in Ireland! If only the volcano could cause another ash cloud so we could stay here a few more days....

We left Killarney this morning and on our way to Limerick, we made a few stops. Our first was at Adare, which is supposed to be the prettiest town in Ireland. It was a very cute town, but I personally preferred Cobh and the seaside. But it was nice to be able to stop and take a few pictures.

Next, we went to one of my most anticipated stops of the trip: the Cliffs of Moher! I cannot begin to describe how beautiful it was; my camera or any camera could not do the view justice. We spent two hours there, which gave us plenty of time to take pictures and grab lunch. I spent a good fifteen minutes with Ryan and Meagan just sitting and looking at the view, reflecting on the entire trip and how it has affected me. I'm very glad that we saved the best stop for last!

For dinner, we went to a medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle. It was very different than Medieval Times in Florida; since it was in an actual castle, it felt more genuine. We were able to enjoy live Irish music and a wonderful four course dinner. On our way back to the hotel, our tour guide Joe led the entire bus in a sing-along! We sang a bunch of Irish songs like Molly Malone and Wild Rover. It was a very lovely evening to end this amazing trip!

I cannot believe how fast this trip has flown by. Now I'm just more determined to make another trip to Ireland and stop at all the places I wasn't able to see!


The Cliffs of Moher.

Meagan, Ryan, and me at the Cliffs of Moher.

Bunratty Castle.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day Eleven: Free Day in Killarney

We had all day to do whatever we please in Killarney!

Killarney is mostly shops, so Meagan, Ryan and I went shopping after eating breakfast at our hotel. It was dangerous since there were so many shops, but I have so little money! Then we joined Kristen, Frankie, Brittany and Zach for lunch. We had a little picnic in Killarney Park followed by a photo shoot! It was really fun.

Then Declan Malone, the group editor of The Kerryman, came to our hotel to meet with us. He talked about the differences between a regional paper and a city paper, how the Internet is affecting newspapers and libel laws. He was very interesting; he was very open and honest like the speaker from the Belfast Telegraph. I'm really sad that it was our last lecture in Ireland!

Tomorrow, we'll be traveling to Adare, which is supposed to be the prettiest town in Ireland, and the Cliffs of Moher. It will be another long day on the bus, but I'm really excited to see the cliffs!

Me in Killarney Park!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day Ten: Ring of Kerry

It's so rainy today; we're finally experiencing the genuine Irish weather!

Today, we left Cobh for Killarney. On the way, we went to the Kerry Bog Museum, which was a few houses set up like it would be in the 1900's. It was small, but interesting.

Then we went to a sheep dog demonstration. It's so crazy how trained those dogs are! Their owner only has to say a certain thing or blow the whistle a certain way and the dogs will immediately obey. They can even tell when he's talking to them or another dog. It was so fun to watch, but I wish we had the opportunity to pet them!

Next, we drove through the famous Ring of Kerry. Unfortunately, it was quite rainy and foggy, so we did not stop as much as we would have liked to take pictures. That just means I'll have to come back to take the pictures I didn't get!

We're now settling into our hotel in Killarney. Tonight, we're going to a group dinner which will be followed by live Irish music. It should be entertaining!

At the sheep dog demonstration.

One of our few photo stops in the Ring of Kerry.

Another photo stop in the Ring of Kerry.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day Nine: Red FM and Blarney Castle

Today has been great, but I really wish we didn't have to leave Cobh tomorrow!

First, we went to Red FM, a radio station that is like KISS FM back in Pittsburgh. We met with Grainne Murnan, the advertising and sales manager, which I was more interested in since I'm an ad/PR major and not a broadcast major. I thought it was weird because the radio station license says that everything must target a specific audience, ages 15-34, so even the advertisements must do that. She also talked about the company's specific problem with creating their brand image when it was first created and the different promotions they do. Then we also talked to Elish Barry who does the station's Breakfast Show three times a week and works on all the Irish broadcasts. Apparently a percentage of Red FM's programming must be in Gaelic, even though some people who work there can't even understand the language. I think it's very interesting the lengths the Irish government has gone to in order to preserve the Irish language. Finally, we met with Colin O'Sullivan, the program director, and saw the station's control room. Even though I'm not a broadcast major, I still really enjoyed our visit. I particularly liked hearing about the different promotions that the company does.

Next, we went to Blarney Castle and Blarney Woolen Mills. It was so fun! The stairs up to the Blarney Stone were a little narrow and crooked, but it was worth it. There was a beautiful view at the top and I kissed the Blarney Stone! Now I'm eloquent, according to the legend. I also enjoyed the shops; we almost didn't have enough time to at eat lunch since we spent so much time in there!

We have the rest of the night off, so I plan on going out to dinner with Meagan and Ryan then packing since we'll be leaving Cobh tomorrow. Next stop: Killarney!

The control room at Red FM.

Me in front of Blarney Castle!

Me kissing the Blarney Stone!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day Eight: Wicklow Park and Cobh

Today, we left Dublin for Cobh!

On the way, we stopped at Wicklow Mountain National Park and St. Kevin's Monastery. It was so nice to escape the city and see some of the countryside. It's so crazy that the stones of the buildings have been there for about one thousand years and there's no cement or molding that holds it together! We saw a lot of traditional Irish architecture, like the tower and the Celtic cross. It was so gorgeous.

Next, we drove to Cobh and checked into our hotel before taking a guided Titantic walking tour. Our tour guide, Michael Martin, told us a lot of historical information about the city as we walked down near the harbor. It's so beautiful! We have a very nice view from our hotel of the harbor. During the tour, we saw where passengers of the Titantic went before boarding the ship and the Titantic memorial. Overall, the tour was very interesting and I enjoyed learning about the history of the city.

Now, we have the rest of the evening off. I plan on catching up on some much needed sleep.

The entrance to St. Kevin's Monastery.

More of St. Kevin's Monastery.

The view of Cobh from our apartment.

The Lusitania Memorial.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day Seven: Free Day in Dublin

Today was our last day in Dublin and we could do whatever we wanted, so I visited my relative Bill, his wife Lillian and his daughter Isolde in Shankill. Bill has a very lovely house that has an amazing view of Killarney. They all showed me a very good example of Irish hospitality! While Lillian made lunch, Bill drove me over to the small town of Bray, which was right on the coast and had a very pretty view. Then we returned for a brunch of scrambled eggs and salmon, which was delicious. I was supposed to go meet more of the family at this point but unfortunately, due to The Last Waltz, I did not have the time to go. But Isolde and Bill took me to the National Gallery of Ireland to see the Taking Stock exhibit, which had art pieces that the museum had acquired in the past 10 years. I was very happy to be able to meet my relatives and I really wish I could have spent more time with them!

Next, we went to The Last Waltz, where a band performed many popular songs from the 60's. It was very entertaining, especially when half of the audience drunkenly began to rock out. Overall, I really enjoyed the show.

I had a very lovely last day in Dublin and I loved our week-long stay there! Next stop: Cobh!

A view of Bray.

Bill, Lillian and me.

Isolde and me outside the house.