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3 posts from November 2011

11/25/2011

To Western Ireland We Go

By Jordann Trahan

Our first trip with CIEE was to the West of Ireland.  The 11 students from the Dublin program Martin Strokestown-park and Don met up with the 3 students from the Belfast, Northern Ireland program and their equivalent of Martin, Ray, all traveled to different places of historical significance in westernHennigan04 Ireland.  In the first day we went to a plantation owner’s house and a farmer’s house that was built many generations ago and has been used and not changed by the same family through the years. By seeing both kinds of houses we got to see the drastic differences that existed between the different classes during the famine.  

In the second day we went to Croagh Patrick, which is a mountain that is considered holy thanks to National famine memorial
St. Patrick.  Then we went to the national famine monument which is across the street from Croagh Patrick.  From there we went to Achill Island which is an island off the coast that was particularly hit by the famine.  Achill Island was my favorite part of the whole trip because it was truly beautiful.  We drove along the Atlantic Drive, a scenic road that has a ton of great views of the AtlantAchill-2005-3ic Ocean, we were driving to a village that was abandoned by every member during the famine were we could see the ruins of over 70 famine houses. 


After Achill we went back to our hotel and had the rest of the day for ourselves to explore the town.  On the third day we were supposed to drive through Connemara, but the weather was against us so we took a more direct route to Galway City were we had a couple hours to explore and then the bus home to Dublin some did stay to see the city of Galway. 

11/16/2011

Exploring the Country

By Jordann Trahan

I like to spend time to going into City Centre and being a tourist.  I keep getting told that I am not a tourist because I am living here for three months so I should remember that this is now my city but honestly being a touriNew Picture (2)st is fun.  I can get around in the city better than I thought I would be able to and I have gone to a bunch of museums around the city and the zoo.  I am learning more about this country than I thought I would.  Museums are good and interesting and just part of exploring a new country but I have also spent a few days in the city just shopping, and wandering around.  On the days that I don’t spend in City Centre or in class I take it upon myself to explore the surrounding area.  Bus tours are really great for places that aren’t easily accessible on your own.New Picture (1) blog glendalough

One of the tours that I went on was a day tour into Wicklow Mountains National Park.  We drove through the park and made a couple of stops at good picture spots then we went into Glendalough.  Glendalough is a town that has the ruins of an old monastery and being from the States (at least the north east) there aren’t places that you can go to see ancient ruins so it was definitely something really different and really beautiful.  I also went to Avoca which is a town that has the oldest still running mill in Ireland.

I also went on the cliff walk from Greystones to Bray this was also really beautiful.  It’s a bit of a walk but the scenery is reaNew Picture (4)lly worth it and it isn’t that hard to get to. 

The last big day trip that I have done so far was a bus trip to the Cliffs of Moher (which are in Western Ireland and it is a really long bus ride). I made this trip separate from everyone else because I did it through a bus tour from Dublin, that was my choice and one that I don’t regret.  Everyone else went at a different time and no matter how you get there I would totally recommend going.  No matter how you get there it was probably my best day in Ireland so far, it is hard to explain the beauty that comes from that kind of scenery but trust me go. 

If you are coming to Ireland wanting to see the Ireland that is portrayed in mNew Picture (5)ovies you might start out a little disappointed.  Dublin is just a city, a ton of streets and shopping, anything that you might expect in a city (except for the skyline most buildings won’t  be taller than three or four stories because there is a law agaNew Pictureinst tall buildings trying to keep the old world feel), yes there is a lot of history here but it is not the Ireland that we in America are shown.  Being in Dublin is really cool but if you want to see the Ireland that we see in movies take the time to explore outside the city.

11/07/2011

Hi Nice to Meet You

By Jordann Trahan

Hey all.  My name is Jordann and I am a 20 year old girl from a small town in Connecticut.  Jordann
I go to school at Endicott College in Massachusetts and this semester I am living and studying in Dublin, Ireland.  It is so hard to believe that I am actually here I have wanted to come to Ireland for as many years as I can remember finally being here is amazing. 

At home I am a psychology student but here I am taking classes about culture in general and then three classes around Ireland.  Classes here are definitely different from what I am used to at home.  They don’t meet anywhere near as often.  These are things that definitely took some getting used to. 

The first week was a lot, realizing that I was really here was exciting but being in a new culture with people you have never met before is a little stressful.  It could have been a lot worse but we had help from Martin and Don which was really great.  We did normal orientation stuff, getting showed around, figuring out classes, learning how to get into the city and when there how to get around.  Since the first week the only other people are freshmen we spent the whole week as a group, the 11 of us that are here through CIEE, we all went out into the city at night to check out different bars and clubs.  It was a lot to do in one week but it was a good start to the semester.