I am a sophomore at JCC, but I am currently living out an adventure in Ireland! I have now been here for officially three months and five days, and it’s flying by.
I’ve been on so many great adventures! I started my trek in Dublin, Ireland, which is a couple of hours north of where I go to college in Limerick. I toured the city and went to the Dublin jail (tourist site, no prisoners currently). I also went to the Guinness warehouse, an amazing library at Trinity College, and more! As I made my way down through the country, I stopped at Killarney, Cork, Galway, Wexford, and Kerry before I landed in Limerick. I’ve added some photos of some of my journey!
I started classes here in January, and around the same time I joined a club called OPC: Outdoor Pursuits Club. I go on weekend hiking trips every Sunday with OPC, and sometimes we hike for the entire weekend. During my hikes I encounter the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen, and I get to explore the mountain side with many international and Irish friends while walking alongside goats! (The goats here are so daring! They wander around everywhere from the road to the top of the mountains.) Each hike is different from the last, and the longer I’m here, the greener the mountains get as the weather turns to spring, so every week each view changes slightly. I’m really looking forward to all of the flowers along the hillside and mountains I will see as I hike at the end of semester. Through this club I have met so many other international students from around the world and I’ve also met a lot of Irish. Who knew leprechauns could hike?….just kidding:) Joining this club is definitely one of my favorite ways to see the landscapes of Ireland and my favorite weekend activity.
One part of Ireland that I will never get used to is the amount of castle and abbey ruins that are everywhere! There are even castle ruins on my campus along the river! It is so exciting to climb through the old rock windows and doors when some of them are thousands of years old! The history behind some of these buildings is incredible and you don’t have to go far to find them.
Each day I’m here I’m so glad I chose to attend JCC because now I am living out an amazing experience in an incredible country!
The library at Trinity College in Dublin.
A rainy and overcast day but it still made for a great adventure! We went to the Burren, which is the name of the natural rock formation that stetches for miles along the sea.
This hike was a couple of weeks back but I hiked the Boolas loop in the Comeragh Mountains, it was one of the first hikes I went on and was so beautiful. At the bottom of the mountain you could wear a t-shirt but at the top it was freezing cold and snowing! It was a great day when we stopped for lunch and I got to eat my Nutella sandwich!
This is the view from the top of St. John’s Castle in Limerick City. The castle is one of the main tourist attractions in the city right on the river Shannon.
This is the view from the Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, which is one of the most beautiful places and has an amazing view. There was also a monastery and the biggest garden I have ever seen.
Enjoying a cup of tea on a street in Limerick City.
Ruins of an abbey on the side of the road!
A beautiful abbey on a lake with a mountain view. The Kylemore abbey was built by a husband for his wife as a gift. This abbey was also a very expensive private school run by nuns for girls.
This is the oldest working lighthouse in Ireland. We were able to tour this lighthouse and went to the top where we could stand outside with 30-40 mph winds. That wind speed doesn’t seem like much until your standing up at the top of a lighthouse! If it weren’t for the fence they had lining where we stood we would have fallen off, it was hard to even stand or walk! Such a great experience and one of my favorite.
Coming to Ireland of course I had to kiss the blarney stone and it was nothing like I expected. It was at the top of Blarney Castle and you get held upside down while two men with a camera take your picture. Being held upside down was terrifying because there was a huge drop off to the ground…YIKES! But it was really fun and I’m so glad to say I kissed the Blarney Stone.
Coming up from kissing the Blarney Stone
Going to the Cliffs of Moher was one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen, the weather was perfect and sunny.
Another angle of the cliffs
Sun setting over the cliffs, being artsy
The Irish Sea
Tiny books at the Trinity College library
The front of the jail I visited in Dublin city