Abroad, Ireland

Irresistible Ireland

Welcome to the home of lush green fields, medieval castles, and a lot of spray painted sheep! While studying abroad I had no idea that this country would become one of my many homes.

I hear you are saying to yourself “I’m part Irish and I want to visit my old homeland, where do I start?” Well sit down my friend, grab a pint of beer, and let’s go explore the green motherland! This post is to just give you some quick ideas about some of the interesting places you should visit!

Once you are in the land of green just make sure you aren’t asking anyone for a ride to get around town, let’s just say that doesn’t mean what you think it means! “May I have a lift” is much better to say, but why you are getting into a stranger’s car beats me. Let’s go to our first stop, the not so rocky road to Dublin!

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Well of course you are going to be making your way to Dublin, you can’t go to Ireland without seeing such a place! The Temple Bar area, Grafton Street, Trinity College, and Christ Church are going to be your first go to areas.

Kyle and Friend

Right near Trinity College is a building that has a funny story behind it, the bank with no windows!

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Where I am from there is a bank around ever corner with glass windows letting in a lot of natural light. This bank however has nothing of the sort!

There is actually an Irish joke that states that once you put your money into this bank it won’t see the light of day ever again! Back in the day there was a serious glass tax so the bank just shrugged and said that stone would look better in their window frames anyways.

Once you get to know Dublin like the back of your hand it’s time to take a trip to some small towns. Skeletons of buildings are my all time favorite, and the Rock of Cashel does not disappoint in the town of Cashel.

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I guess it’s not really a rock but more of a hill top that includes three ancient buildings that are in pretty good shape!

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A round tower, Cormac’s chapel, and a cathedral all overlook the town of Cashel. I would even recommend spending some time in the museum where you can see some pretty cool artifacts!

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There was some construction being done but it’s awesome how active they are in preserving the buildings. Every new corner held something for me to explore and I was never disappointed.

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Another building from a different time is one of local legend, a stone that once kissed will make your more charismatic. I am of course talking about Blarney Castle!

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Be prepared for tight spaces and stairs, but is well worth the climb. You may just have to avoid one of the many pigeons that have made this castle their home!

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I read a lot of books where knights usually have to fight their way to a castle, so I was glad that I was able to just stroll right up to this one! The Blarney Stone was on the top and in order to kiss it you have to lean backwards off the ledge and kiss it upside down. I decided that seeing the stone would be enough.

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One building I wound have never heard of without going to college in Ireland was Fore Abbey, a place full of magic and curiosities.

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Besides this building being awesome to walk around make sure to check out the whole area! Fore Abbey is not easily accessible so you may want to try to find a tour or rent a car. I was able to see the Fore grounds on a school field trip so I kind of lucked out.

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This magical place includes a tree that will not burn, water that refuses to boil, and a river that stubbornly goes against gravity!  Like what? Heading out of the ancient buildings and wanting a Smithwick’s let’s head down to  Kilkenny!

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I liked this place so much I named my cat after it! Kilkenny is  a small town that in some areas gives you that medieval feeling, especially with the small alleyways, the stone buildings, and Kilkenny Castle!

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This is also the place to be if you are into beer as the old Smithwick’s factory is right in town and you get a free pint at the end!

Whether you are going to knock it off of your bucket list or you just have always wanted to go, Ireland is definitely a country to explore!

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Sláinte!

-K

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