A Life Changing ExpirienceA Photographic Journey through ireland
When I first got off of the plane I had no idea what to expect. All of the people, architecture, and natural beauty was amazing! And that was just on the bus ride to the hotel!
Wandering around Dublin was mind blowing! There were so many shops lined up and so many people walking around. It felt like a pleasantly busy city, not too crowded, not too slow, but just right. Finding St. Peter's Green was an added bonus! It was a magnificent example of a bustling city still having a hint of natural beauty to it.
Leaving Dublin the buildings got smaller and the grass became more prominent and green. This was introduction to why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle.
This Historical sight taught me that people in ancient Irish Culture revered their dead and made these beautiful mounds for them. Many of the contents of the mounds came from sights hundreds of miles away so they were made with much respect and patience. I didn't know much about Irish history before I came on this trip but it all began when we saw this statue. It opened my eyes to how much the people here have struggled to achieve peace.
This place that we would come to call home for the next week or so amazing. It was quiet, small, and everyone was so nice. Such a big difference from Dublin. It reminded me a lot of Hilo while Dublin could kind of be considered like Honolulu. Both islands have natural beauty in different ways.
I had heard small lectures on how the Catholic and Gaelic religions had merged but this was a good demonstration of it. The Wishing Tree and St. Patrick's Well are a lovely way of showing how two completely different cultures can work together to make something meaningful and beautiful.
This is Donegal Castle. It was originally built by the Irish and and then later on owned and rebuilt by the English after Ireland was taken over by the English. You can see in the two dioramas how different each country's style was.
Going to the college really showed me how much the Irish really want to be environmentally friendly. They want to be free of fossil fuels and importing goods in instead of goods mainly going out. They are working very hard to help local farmers and craftsmen lower their carbon footprint which I wish we would do in the United States. If we had a couple of college's solely dedicated to helping the Earth like this one is than maybe some things would get done and we wouldn't have to worry about our future. This forest had such an ancient feeling when you looked at it from afar and when you entered you understood why. The history in this forest was so old. All of the structures there proved that an ancient civilization lived there at one point was amazing. Hopefully in the future they will know more about the people that lived there.
Going to the folk village was a big eye opener. I never imagined that people had to live so close together in such a small space with their whole families which could go up to 10 plus people. While the rich English and Scottish people lived in luxury these people had to sleep sitting up since all of the smoke from the hearth caused them to have lung problems. Also the food pot was for everyone to share because that was all the food that they had. These people really had a hard time living but still they went to school, helped out around the house, and practiced their religion. Heading to the cliffs was an adventure. Climbing up to the top made for a gorgeous view of the surrounding area.
I read a lot but not a lot of classic literature. So when many of the English majors got excited about having a Yeats day I made it a point to see which of his books I've read. To my surprise I've read quite a few and many of his poems are really emotional. The whole day was about him and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Going to his hometown, where he was buried, and where his poem about the fairies was based.
I didn't realize how close Scotland was to Ireland. I loved how they incorporated a local myth into the museum. People also make wishes here by sitting in the wishing chair and shaking their butt which sounds super cute or by putting money in the cracks of the rocks. I could not believe this place! These rocks do not look like they were made naturally I could have sworn that aliens made this place because it is that beautiful.
Being in Derry was hard. We had a lesson about it the day before but the emotional impact of it all didn't hit me until we were actually there. All of these pictures make you really understand what people had to go through in order to achieve their goals. I didn't know that people were still fighting for their freedom in the 90's and it didn't stop until the early 2000's. We heard first hand stories from some of the people who were there during the Bloody Sunday Massacre and it was chilling. Now everything is better, hopefully, but all of the people who live there still remember the hard times.
I learned a lot from this trip. I feel as though I can fill up a book with all of the knowledge that I've gained but lets not go that far. Being in a different country has made me open my eyes to how different everything is. The people, the culture, the environment and of the course the food. I loved being here and it really touched my heart in all the right places. I'm sorry that I ever had to leave but I know that I'll return again one day.