A Family Visit Abroad

Throughout my four months abroad in Dublin, it was inevitable that I would feel a little homesick. Luckily, my friends became a second family to me, and me to them. But, as the holidays rolled around the corner, my family could no longer hold back from visiting me for the first time in months. My parents gathered the troops (my big brother and little sister), and hopped on a red-eye from Boston to Dublin.

Family Photo in Howth

Upon their arrival, and a brief period of insurmountable jet-lag, my family was ready for me to show them around Ireland… and I could not disappoint. 

I began by bringing them to Howth, a coastal town in Co. Dublin, just a little under an hour bus ride from the city center. This Howth cliff walk is a perfect way to feel the ocean breeze, take a hike with a beautiful view, and explore the quaint town center (with some of the best Fish and Chips). 

It wouldn’t have been right if I didn’t at least show them a bit of Irish history, so we also went to the Trinity Library to see the Book of Kells! 

My little sister in the Trinity Library

After giving them their taste of Celtic history and relaying some information I learned from my Dublin: It’s Museums and Collections class at University College of Dublin, they were ready to embark inwards to the Temple Bar area. (They made sure to get their classic photo-ops). 

Temple Bar

We then took a scenic train ride down to the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland: Cork. Since my Grandma’s side of the family has its roots in Cork, it was a “must-do” on our list. Of course we stopped by Blarney Castle, where we were absolutely blown away by its beauty, but we also stopped in Cobh.

Cobh was the last port of call for the Titanic, formerly known as Queenstown. It was also the home of the first migrant to pass through Ellis Island. Her name was Annie Moore. 

We made our way back to Dublin, and flitted around trying new foods and adventures, and soon they made their way back to the USA. I was absolutely elated to get to see my family while I was still in Dublin, and though it gave me a taste of home, I was even more excited to continue traveling throughout Ireland for another month. 

Thank you for reading! I can’t wait to share more.

Last Day In Dublin

As my friend Julia and I say our good-byes to the beautiful city of Dublin, we made our last pit stops at our favorite and most iconic spots. We took this opportunity to get pictures with the Holy Cross pendant Julia brought from Worcester!

First and foremost, as we hopped off of the 39A from UCD, we walked through St. Stephen’s Green. This gorgeous green-scape was the perfect spot for picnics during the warmer months and for brisk walks during the cooler ones. Right around the center of town, St. Stephen’s Green is perfectly placed by the best restaurants or cafes to grab snacks for those aforementioned picnics. 

Me at St. Stephen’s Green

Speaking of, our next stop was the Beanhive. This was our go-to spot for the most delicious muffins you’ll ever taste. Not only this, but they customize your latte art every time you go!

After our warm mocha lattes, it was time for us to take a turn onto Grafton Street. This iconic parade of shops is undoubtedly a stop for many tourists, and rightly so. Flower carts line the street, luxury brands are at every corner, and musicians create crowds down the entire alley while playing their melodies. 

Me on Grafton Street

Following the excitement of Grafton Street, we made our way over to the Temple Bar area. It is essentially a rite of passage to get your picture by Temple Bar, and it’s an added bonus if you’re in the area around Christmas in time for the festive decorations.

Me Outside of Temple Bar

I’m going to miss Dublin dearly, but I’ll be back over Spring break to visit a few of my friends abroad! Stay tuned for more content I’ve collected along my months abroad as well as future content from my visit. Worcester here I come!

Fan-girling in Dublin

If there is one thing you need to know about my friends and I, it’s that we are very dedicated to the things and people we love. In this case, my friend Helena and I are VERY dedicated to the band Inhaler. If you are unaware of this Dublin-based band, you may be aware of the classic Irish phenomenon U2. The frontman of Inhaler, Elijah Hewson, is Bono’s son! My friend and I have seen Inhaler many times in concert, and when we heard they were playing a show in Dublin, it felt like fate. 

Since Helena decided to book a ticket from Boston to Dublin just to see Inhaler (and visit me of course), I knew I had to show her around and make the most of her weekend trip to the Emerald Isle. I started showing her around by stopping at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which was absolutely breathtaking on that sunny day. We then made our way over to the grounds of the Dublin Castle. Here I caught a photo of Helena in the gardens.

Making our way across the River Liffey, we made it to the Hugh Lane Gallery. Since I’m currently taking a class at University College of Dublin called “Dublin: It’s Museums and Collections”, I’ve been studying a lot about Hugh Lane and the works he collected while he was in Dublin. If you’re looking for a fascinating class combining Irish history and its art, this class is for you. Helena and I walked around the museum during its exclusive Andy Warhol exhibition. We got inspired and decided to take a shot at photography while viewing the art. 

Finally, after stopping at Tower Records foreshadowing our evening, we made it to the 3Arena to see the concert of our lives.

We made so many fun friends waiting in the line with us, listened to our favorite songs of all time, and never stopped jumping throughout the entirety of the concert. I’ve been incredibly grateful for my study abroad experiences thus far, and I’m so lucky to share these moments with some of my best friends. 

The Inhaler Concert!

Thanks for reading, and stream “Dublin in Ecstasy” by Inhaler on any streaming platform.  

My best friend and I

A Trip Up North!

 

Belfast City Hall decorated with Christmas lights for the Christmas markets
Belfast City Hall

I’ve been studying at the University College of Dublin for about 3 months now! I’ve loaded up on my Irish literature, art, and history modules, so while I may not be the most knowledgeable person on Irish history- I’d like to think I’m almost there!

Dublin has been absolutely phenomenal, and is of course vital to major Irish historical events, but what better way to gain a deeper understanding than to take a train up to Northern Ireland? Fellow friends and I studying at UCD (University College of Dublin) from Holy Cross went all the way up to Belfast. Because the Titanic was built and launched here in Belfast, we of course went to the Titanic museum where we learned a lot about the process of making the boat as well as the aftermath of its sinking. 

After that, we went on the infamous Black Cab tour where we drove around Belfast and its different neighborhoods. Ireland has a rich and complex history with religion. Tension arising from British Imperial rule has taken the form of religious unrest for centuries, and because of this, there has been a major divide between Irish Catholics and Protestants. This divide still remains in Belfast, and the tour brings you through the Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods which are still to this day divided by walls with hundreds of murals between them. 

From Belfast we took an all-day bus tour up to the Giant’s Causeway! This coastal route brought us through the most beautiful views of the Irish Sea and was close enough to see Scotland. On the way to the Causeway we went to the Dark Hedges, which any Game of Thrones fan may recognize. The Causeway was absolutely beautiful, but a bit difficult to walk on since the stones are very unique and uniform. 

I’ll be writing more about Dublin, and the excursions I’ve been on here. My semester in Dublin has already been one of the best experiences of my life, so be sure to check out my blog if you’re interested!