The Luck of the Irish

Hello world (more like, hello Wisconsin). Sorry, I know I have neglected this blog. It’s just that preparing for a month long Euro-trip is quite the process. But after a stress filled week of solidifying travel plans, packing, repacking, and cramming in last minute schoolwork, my four week holiday is already well underway. Currently, I am sitting on a plane to Barcelona, after spending the last five, very exciting days in Ireland.

However, before I left for this trip, I thought it might be a good idea to explore Leeds a bit more. I realized that I would be traveling all around Europe, going to museums, learning history, and basically all that I had seen of Leeds was my residence hall, campus, and the inside of Primark (a cheap, ginormous clothing store. Think of it as the Forever 21 of the UK). So, on the beautiful Sunday before  we left, instead of preparing for our trip, my friend Katelyn and I decided to explore the city’s ‘touristy’ spots. Now, Leeds is anything but a tourist destination, but the city does have a plethora of free museums. We went to The Leeds City Museum, the art gallery, City Hall, and the downtown library. We learned about the city’s industrial past, and saw a pre-St. Patty’s Day celebration in the downtown square. However, it only took us 3 hours to see everything, and we ended up shopping at Primark once we were finished. Oops.

Leeds City Museum

The next day, I thought I could explore the other side of the city (away from downtown, and the shopping center) on a run. I was determined to get a little lost (note the words “a little”) and run through the pretty, English neighborhoods. As it turns out, I didn’t get a little lost, but completely lost. And not that, “Oh, I think I know where I’m going,” kind of lost, but that “I think I’m going to die out here,” kind of lost.  After asking 4 different people for directions back to campus, and 7 miles later I made it home alive. While it wasn’t ideal, I did end up putting in a few extra miles for my half marathon training…still don’t understand why I signed up for that…

Anyway, after a few last days in Leeds, I said goodbye to the city I now call home, and flew to Ireland to celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the first leg of the trip. The first few nights we stayed in a hotel in Galway, and then later traveled to Dublin. Honestly, words cannot describe how beautiful the country is, and the pictures do it no justice. The people are friendly, the pubs filled with live music, the beer dark, and the grass certainly greener.

St. Patrick’s Day parade in Galway
The group standing in front of Poulnabrone, a 5,000 year old limestone tombstone
Poulnabrone Portal Tomb

 

 

Me on the Cliffs of Moher

 

The Cliffs of Moher are featured in the films, The Princess Bride and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

 

More amazing views from the Cliffs of Moher

 

 

Katelyn and I on the Trinity College Campus

 

Dublin’s Kilmainham Goal: the prison where Irish rebels were imprisoned and executed.

 

The group, standing on the Ha’Penny Bridge on our last night in Dublin.

 

I would tell you more about Ireland, but I feel that my words would only come up short. I hope the pictures speak for themselves. I am sad to leave this country, but its on to Spain! Guess I should start practicing my Spanish…Hasta Luego! Until next time…