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Warning: This Post Contains Pictures of Farm Animals

Warning: This Post Contains Pictures of Farm Animals

I apologize in advance for the short and potentially choppiness of this post. I am currently in the middle of writing a 2,000 word essay on the root causes in the Northern Ireland conflict, booking flights and hotels for spring break, and packing to leave for Scotland tomorrow at noon. Please bare with me.

The month of March off to a crazy and busy start already. I was able to spend this past long weekend on a true Ireland adventure. Thursday I took a Paddy Wagon Tour (which I would highly recommend for anyone if they were to ever come to Ireland because it’s just fantastic) with my roommate from back home, Alyssa, to the Cliffs of Moher. When I arrived I definitely had a fear that I would simply just fall off the cliffs by either the wind or me just tripping, however, it was a bit safer than I had thought. There was a stone wall that provided a small barrier from falling to my death, but I would be lying if I said that I stayed behind it the whole time. Alyssa and I ventured all over the cliffs, and pretty close to the edge, but I was more worried about her falling over the edge than me, but we both survived and took some pretty killer pictures.



The next day I woke up and embarked on a three day long trip of the Ring of Kerry. This trip was “paid for” by USAC (yes I’m putting that in quotes because technically “we” paid USAC when we booked my semester abroad (yes I’m putting we in quote because I really didn’t pay those fees)). The best thing about this trip was that we were staying in a hotel for the entire weekend and all of our food was paid for in advance. I do not think I can properly articulate how much bread I consumed in that 3 day period, but it was a lot. We arrived in Caherciveen, where our hotel was, just in time for a delicious dinner. After dinner we sat in a back room and sang some traditional Irish songs (think Galway Girl) and then participated in a trivia contest. The trivia contest was for teams of 5 and luckily it was the 5 of us girls who were in Kerry this weekend so we immediately formed a team and proceeded to dominate. Luckily the combination of the 5 of us provided us with a bizarre arsenal of random facts and information from major river’s names, the president of Ireland, movie facts, capitals of countries, and more. We were also the only team who seemed to be having fun and laughing the entire time, and add the one pint of beer on the table, everyone (including the Irish moderator) thought our team was drunk. So it was especially satisfying when we came in first. Our prize was two coasters made of Valentia Slate, so it was well deserved.

Transatlantic Cable Site


View from Valentia Island

The next day we woke up bright and early and spent the entire day roaming around Valentia Island and other small Kerry towns. We saw baby calves, walked up crazy high hills, saw the location where the first transatlantic cable was connected to Europe, ate more good food, and sang happy birthday to Kristen (who turned the big 2-1) three times throughout the day. That night the group received lessons in Gaelic football and Irish dancing. We learned dances to four traditional group Irish dances, which brought back memories. I definitely remembered most of the dances, and I was even complimented on how well I did, however my calves still burn.

On top of one of the Stone Forts
A bit windy on the top of Geoghan Mountain

Sunday was spent doing the full Ring of Kerry, and the highlight of it all was getting to hold two, 3-week old, baby lambs. (Yes I made a number of Silence of the Lambs jokes and my friends definitely wanted to feed me to Hannibal Lector by the end). The Ring of Kerry was simply gorgeous. It was beautiful rural Ireland, that we saw while driving through a number of small towns, and stopping at a number of locations. We saw so much in these three days, and they even gave everyone a flyer that laid out everything that we saw:

Some of the grounds of Muckross Castle


Crag Caves, Castelisland


Transatlantic Cable Cite, Valentia Island

Geoghan Mountain & Fogher Cliffs

Valentia State Quarry

Skellig Experience

Ballycarberry Castle

Daniel O’Connell Memorial Church

Stone Forts– Cahergal & Leacanbuaile

Cumakista Pass

Derrynane House & Beach

Ladies View, Ring of Kerry

Torc Waterfall

Killarney National Park

Muckross Castle


Overall, it was a fantastic weekend. So many sites and experiences crammed into one weekend. I arrived back in Cork throughly exhausted but completely content. Now, time to pack and get ready for a weekend in Scotland!

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