Studying Abroad at UCC / Traveling Ireland!

Ring of Kerry!

We took a trip to the Ring of Kerry this weekend! This trip was one organized by our college. It commenced at 2:00 pm on Friday and we returned home around 5:30 pm on Sunday. And every hour in between was literally packed with the most amazing activities/sites/people we’ll ever be lucky enough to encounter. Here’s what I came away with this weekend.

15 Lessons I Learned on the Ring of Kerry Trip (February 15-17):

  1. I thought the word was “stalagtites”, but it’s really “stalactites”. Spelled with a ‘c’. This was our first stop of the weekend, Crag Cave!
  2. One “S” makes a world of difference. Hostels aren’t bad, but hotels are wonderful. Four of us in a room versus 8 or 12 AND we all knew each other. Plus, the beds weren’t bunk beds, so we could jump on them. I’m not saying we necessarily took the opportunity to do so, but…yeah, that’s exactly what I’m saying. The hotel we stayed at was called the Ring of Kerry Hotel. It is located in Cahersiveen on the South West coast of Ireland.
    IMG_0992Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 8.54.47 PM
  3. Baguettes on baguettes on baguettes. You can never have enough. We had them with all our meals. Which were 3 course meals and delicious. I realize the picture is not of a baguette, but it just shows how fancy our desserts were!
  4. DO NOT reenact the “Titanic pose”, while on a slippery rock (that is actually a cliff), in non-tractiony rainboots. You will nearly kill your dear friend. This unfortunate event took place at the Fogher Cliffs. I’m still apologizing. But if you subtract this particular moment, the cliffs were amazing. Don’t get me wrong, this was hilarious, but terrifying at the same time.
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  5. I love Ireland. You should all probably come and visit.
  6. Céilí, or Irish dancing, is a real workout! But it’s great craic! (“Craic”, pronounced crack, means fun, or a good time. The Irish say it all the time.) Friday night we learned how to Irish dance. It was honestly one of the best parts of the trip. So fun.
  7. The Irish say “like” at the end of their sentences all the time.
  8. The 5 of us fit perfectly in the back of the bus like. Our transportation for the weekend!
  9. I cannot wait for my family to come and visit. I continuously plan our itinerary. Each weekend I find a new place to visit. Maybe you guys can come for all of May instead of just 10 days. (I’m batting my eye lashes.) Please and thank you.
  10. I’m relatively afraid of heights. I didn’t learn that fact this weekend, but the weekend’s activities confirmed the idea: scaling fort walls and slippery beach boulders in gale-force winds. If the climbing wasn’t enough to get my heart rate up, the heights were.
  11. If you have the intuition (or common sense) that something hilarious is about to happen, start video recording before it’s too late. If there is an opportunity for Maggie to fall into mud, put her foot/leg into a waterfall/lake etc…she will.
  12. I honestly love castles. Especially ones that are free of cost, free for the exploring, and free of commercialization.
  13. Baby lambs are precious. I want one.
  14. We’ve all missed being able to call someone Mom, so when our guide this weekend presented the opportunity, we fully embraced the idea. Her name was Maura.
  15. Gale-force winds are invigorating – insanely ridiculous – but awesome at the same time. And apparently when you’re in them, you can’t keep your eyes open, no matter how hard you try.

It was a lovely weekend, with lovely people, in a lovely country.


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