Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 10 -- Goodbye Wales, Hello Ireland!

Helo Aye,

Brett Condon checking in.  Currently sitting our surprisingly luxurious, enclosed ferry, we students have said our last goodbyes to Wales and have started our next journey to Ireland.  Our time in Wales exceeded all expectations.  All of the students pushed their limits when taking the challenges of the outdoor experiences.  From sliding off of massive cliffs into the water to climbing a mountain in a ferocious storm, many students pushed their limits to the extreme.  While enjoying our time with less adrenaline pumping through our veins, we experienced the culture of Wales in many different ways. Many visited local shops, went to the beach, and enjoyed different Welsh foods in some nostalgic restaurants. While moving further into North Wales, we experienced more of the Welsh traditional culture in the towns that we stayed in through the people and sites. Visiting Conwy Castle took us back in time to the 13th century as we stepped into the perspective of King Edward I.

Last night we ended our time in Wales with a karaoke party at the bed and breakfast.  Our amazing hosts, Simon and Leslie, set up their karaoke equipment in a room specifically for our group to enjoy.  What better way to get some group bonding time than to make fools out of ourselves through our 'amazing' voices?  Jill had the outfit of the night as she busted out her flowery wind-suit from the 70's.  I'm told I had the performance of the night with the Rainbow Connection in my Kermit the Frog voice.  I'm weird. Everyone had a blast during our karaoke session and it was a great way to wrap up our time in Wales.

Well, Ireland is in our site and our ferry ride is coming to an end.  It is time to see what Emerald Isle has to offer.  When we dock, we will begin our private tour of Ireland and learn about their culture and history.  Later on we will be visiting the Jameson Distillery and downtown Dublin.

Until tonight, cheers aye! (read further for the night's activities!)

Goodbye Wales

Hello Dublin!

(Later on....)

Our day in Dublin was a success. We started off by taking a stroll around the city and seeing famous sites such as Trinity College, O’Connell Street, and the Molly Malone statue.  After touring the city, we made our way to the Old Jameson Distillery.  It was interesting learning about all of the culture centered around the history of Jameson.  The distillery itself is surprisingly directly related to the class, with the connection to this class.  They pride themselves in advancing technologies to make their product in the most efficient way possible, caring for the environment, using resources efficiently, and impacting society around the world.  Dera, Molly, and I were lucky enough to be one of eight people selected to do taste testing at the end of the tour, after which we became certified taste testers.

After the tour, we walked downtown Dublin and experienced a bit of history being made.  The Ireland and England football rivalry had been suspended since the 1995 match when some fans caused the match to be stopped.  It was crazy being in the center of such a huge event for the locals.  We were then able to experience the nightlife of Dublin.  We spent some time at the world famous Temple Bar.  It was a blast experiencing the Irish culture first hand in such a popular spot.

After leaving Dublin I feel like a small chunk of my life is complete.  I have always wanted to visit this place and experience the day in the life of the Irish.  The end of our trip is sneaking up on us as we only have three days left in the United Kingdom.  Make sure to catch our last few blogs and check out our final experiences of the trip.

Closing time. Cheers!