I’ve got my hot cup of tea, so I think i’m set to write for a little while :). This past week was freshmen orientation, which left us international students nothing to do. Except travel! Along with four other international students, I book a flight to Kerry, Ireland. We started out by travelling about four hours into the heart of Doolin, Ireland. Check it out on Google maps, it’s so small! It was four hours of long, narrow, winding roads. The countryside is absolutely beautiful. We ate in a locals pub that evening (Irish bacon and cabbage was my meal of choice), and then we stayed in a quaint, 300 year-old farmhouse hostel. In the morning we took a two hour hike to one of Ireland’s top sights: The Cliffs of Moher. We walked on a trail along Ireland’s coast. There were rams who joined us for part of the path, and at another time we had to walk through a cow pasture. There was literally no one around, just the cliffs to the right and the hills to the left. Definitely one of the best landscapes that i’ve ever seen. It was as Irish as it gets.
We then spent two days in Dublin. We toured Trinity College, the Dublin Castle, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral (My favorite part of Dublin). Overall I wasn’t incredibly impressed with Dublin, mostly because it just seemed like another big city, and lacked much Irish charm. St. Patrick’s Cathedral was amazing though! It was built in 1192, so it is one of Dublin’s oldest buildings. The cathedral was really large, and filled with memorials to Irishmen who had made their mark in history. One of the epitaphs really stood out to me, as it read:
“He faithfully testified the Gospel of the Grace of God, teaching and preaching Jesus Christ. And he exhibited in a useful and devoted life, the practical influence of the truth that he preached. To his exertions the institutions of the Deanery for relief of the destitute and education of the young owe their origin and prosperity…His spirit rests with the Saviour he loved and glorified.”
I just love that living “radically” for Jesus isn’t anything new. That throughout history people have truly known and loved God, and changed the world through that relationship. St. Patrick is a prime example. I’m so fortunate to get to travel around and see places like the Cathedral, which has had such a monumental impact on the history of Christianity. Yep.
Overall, Ireland is absolutely a European must-see! I would go back to Doolin in a heartbeat, heck i’d probably move there in a heartbeat. The countryside and the friendly people are a combination that just can’t be topped.
School really will start soon. Promise.