17 March (sorry my American readers, I now exclusively use European/British numbering) has been a significant day in my life in the past. A decade ago, this was the day of my first skating competition. I won two gold medals as a twelve-year-old at the 2005 Shamrock Skate.
17 March 2008 was also the date I embarked on my first trip to Europe when I went to Spain with my high school Spanish class. This trip really opened my eyes to the fact that there was a whole world out there to explore and I've been obsessed with travelling (yes, I spell that the British way now too) ever since!
Looking through photos of that trip is amusing. My photography was blurry and absolutely horrendous! It also includes an amusing shot of my trip time on an underground subway in Europe! If you would have told me them how much time I'd be spending on the tube in London in seven years, I never would have believed you!
This St. Patrick's Day was fantastic as well because it included a trip to Ireland! I left Ireland the day before St. Patrick's Day due to classes, but the weekend leading up to St. Patrick's Day was just as festive. The night before I left, I realised that I had no green clothing! Luckily, such a place as Primark exists and I was able to buy a green dress for five pounds and the International Students House also gave us all a festive hat! I've never worn so much green at once!
We arrived Friday afternoon and started with a two-hour walking tour of Dublin. The entire city from the City Hall to Christchurch Cathedral to the Dublin Castle to the Bank of Ireland was bathed in green light. We were told that the city was decorated just for St. Patrick's Day, but a theory about a green ghost also circulated.
During our walking tour, the city was surprisingly empty. When we emerged from dinner, however, the entire city was suddenly filled with people dressed in green or dressed as leprechauns or St. Patrick. I learned that if you explore with someone dressed as a leprechaun while wearing an Irish flag,you get to meet lots of people from all over the world as they ask for photos with him (thanks Max.) Below is a photo with some random stranger who wanted a photo with Max, Lily and me. It was all good fun.
During the day, we got to explore some of the surrounding area. Ireland really does have the iconic rolling green hills! The photo below was taken at the Hill of Tara.
While at the Hill of Tara, I also nipped into an old book shop.
The elderly owner sat in front of an adorable little fire place. I bought a book of Irish Fairy Tales (to which our tour guide helpfully informed me were not actually true) because I have no self-control in book stores.
We also visited Newgrange, which is a Neolithic passage tomb older than the pyramids or Stonehenge. We were able to go inside as well.
We also visited Glendalough and the ruins of Monastic City.
I seem to be spending a lot of time visiting waterfalls in countries that start with an "I" and end with "-eland." (Not that you'd know that since I've been slacking on my blogging! Anyway, we visited Powerscourt Waterfalls.
If I'm rating the trips based on how much fun they were, this one definitely wins! It was full of amusing moments such as when we all decided to take photos of each other taking photos.
If you're wondering what my stupid moment of the trip was, it was probably when I tripped some random British guy at the airport. He told me he was afraid to walk by me again, so he walked out of his way to get back to his table. I think my American friends were more amused than I was, but at least I wasn't the one falling and bruising my knees this time.
And if you're wondering what my soundtrack of the trip was, it was Dropkick' Murphys and Flogging Molly of course! It's St. Patrick's Day after all!
I promise that my Italy, Iceland Part 2, and London updates blog posts are coming soon! (I actually mean it this time!)
Hi, I’m Crystal! I love to travel and am currently a graduate student in Scotland. You’ll get all the best tips and insights from my experiences as a former ice-skating coach in Iceland and former study abroad student. Of the 27 countries I have visited, a type 1 diabetes diagnosis has been the strangest land yet. Type 1 has not slowed down my travels and you'll learn how to take type 1 with you on the road! You can connect with me further on Instagram @CrystalChilcott, or send me ideas of where I should travel next via email: firstname.lastname@example.orgHappy Travels, Crystal
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