Cultural Ecology of Ireland 2016 Ariel Moniz
Our first taste of city life came with a stunning view of just what I had hoped to see, beautiful old buildings that have managed to stand proud and tall for generations.
Everywhere there were reminders of Ireland's turbulent history.
One way to describe Dublin: Grungy mysticism with a punch of pop culture.
I was enthralled by the endless supplies of street art that graced walls and sidewalks.
Even though we were in a city, we never felt too far from the natural beauty of the land of the green.
Among the life changing facets of this trip was the delicious cream, which I feel is underrated!
The view from our room on the third floor of our hotel truly woke my spirit every morning.
Some of the things that reminded me the most of Hilo was the surf culture-- particularly the street art!
The sea is beautiful everwhere, but Bundoran stole my breath away, and my heart.
I got to see so many new types of plants and animals that I could never witness back home! I was particularly drawn to all of the beautiful flowers that graced parks and roadsides.
There is a spirituality tied to the land through the ancient Celtic culture that reminded me a lot of the Hawaiian culture.
Hawaii is so well-known for its glorious beaches, but I found my heart reaching out more towards the stunning coastlines-- rocky or sandy-- of Ireland.
The Sliabh Liag Cliffs reminded me very much of some of the cliff-sides of Kaua'i. It was also difficult not to notice the close ties that both the Hawaiians and the Irish share with the sea. They base much of their lives around it, and the many aspects of an island culture-- such as surfing, fishing, and so on-- that we are s accustomed to back home were vibrantly present in Ireland.
Surf culture was very visible in Bundoran, an irony not lost on those of us from Hawaii.
Hawaii is also so greatly known for its natural beauty, particularly waterfalls. We visited Glencar Waterfall, which Yeats deemed to be the home of the fairies, and one look can tell you that he was surely right.
Like Hawaii, Ireland still has a lot of political unrest. Both islands have faced oppression by outside political, religious, and cultural forces for hundreds of years.
Of course, money was different! This was also a sign of the current ways in which England's reign affects Ireland. (In Northern Ireland, they used pounds and euros.)
I do love Hawaii. It is my home, my birthplace, the only place I have truly known-- but Ireland has won my heart. I will never again stand on a white sand beach in the heat of a Hawaiian summer and not long for the cool winds off the coast of Bundoran. My heart has molded to it's chilly, mystical embrace.
Green hillsides covered in sheep were a common sight.
Rivers, bogs, and marshes are a large part of Ireland's landscape.
The most stunning coastlines I have ever seen!
A snail! One of the many mystical inhabitants of Glencar Waterfall!
Giant's Causeway! I could not have imagined something so massively perfect.
This is my kind of beach!
Some of the oldest things that we saw were the burial mounds at Knowth, which have been re-purposed for thousands of years and yet still stand.
How languages change!
We later also visited Cavan Burren, where some of the oldest man-altered rock formations in Ireland have been found!
We also visited Drumcliff, which had some ancient rock formations right off the side of the road! It seems that Ireland has so much ancient culture that it almost doesn't know what to do with it all!
The Wishing Tree in front of St. Patrick's Well was a humbling place. People leave items on the tree in exchange for a wish or a prayer. I left some of my hair, and made a wish.
St.Patrick's Well! A man who changed the face of Ireland forever!
Catsby Caves-- Where Catholics had to practice their religion in secret as not to be eradicated by the incoming Protestants.
Donegal Castle! My first castle! A dream come true!
We visited a mock village in Glencolmcille which truly made us feel as though we had stepped back in time.
The fisherman's cottage was my favorite part of the village. It felt so genuine and intimate.
Street art in Derry was full of culture and political unrest.
There were many politically charged murals gracing the walls of buildings throughout Derry.
The Irish are known for their creativity and pride in their culture.
The Guilded Hall in Derry was a perfect example of the glory of mankind's architectural accomplishments.
Trinity College in Dublin taught the minds of many inspiring figures of history.
Full Irish Breakfast!
Bangers and Mash!
Ice cream with lime sauce and sprinkles!
We went surfing, thousands of miles from home, in the Atlantic!
I also went to a concert! I'm not fond of crowds, I don't drink, and I'm always sleepy, but I laughed, danced, and sang the night away.