Boring title. Sorry. Just gotta keep my travels straight n clear, ya heard? For whatever reason, I feel like there’s so much invested in this particular blahg post by you readers out there (I know I have at least SOME readers because you’ve been the ones telling me how anxious you are for this particular post). Thanks, but no thanks on the pressure! Sheesh. It’s just going to be normal. So stop being excited. Right now.
The gist of this is that here in England, we get a FOUR WEEK long Spring break. Take that, America. Hmph. They don’t call it Spring break, naturally, in this subfreezing weather, but rather “holiday.” So, I’m off on holiday. I think we’re supposed to be studying during this time. Meh. You better believe I’m doing some traveling. Have I mentioned how awful I am at knowing where I am or in what direction I’m moving? I’m terrible. So here’s a formal thank you to everyone (ok, Chase mostly) who gets me around while I document all the pretty things via my sister’s expensive camera. I’m too poor for that stuff, man. I’ve been eating cereal out of a chinese takeout container for dinner and sliced white bread for lunch. Ritzy glitzy. That’s another talk show.
First stop was Ireland for none other than SAINT PAT’S DAY! Hellur. Never thought I’d say I was there for that. That was cray. We stayed in a town called Cork for the first several (? I don’t even remember how many. Seems like ages ago now, but something like 4) nights including for St. Patrick’s Day. It was so cool to be there for that. In Cork, St. Patrick’s Day was more of a family event with a precious little parade filled with locals and bagpipers (locals and bagpipers—I guess that’s one in the same…) and lots of tents set up along the street with food and crafts. Sort of like Double Decker? That’s a stretch, but it at least gives you Oxford kids a visual. We were part of a bigger group that all traveled to Ireland from Leeds (my university) and all went out to the pub after the freezing cold festivities and drank some green beer.
We stayed in a couple different hostels during our time in Ire (I’m turning into such a hostel girl these days. I borderline hate them all, but I’m really starting to get the hang of nasty places where tons of people sleep in the same bedroom and shower in each other’s scum) the first one being the best I’ve seen in Europe so far, and the second one being the worst by a mile. I’m soon going to have a blahg post just dedicated to hostels (and another dedicated to food), so I won’t go into too much detail, but there was mold everywhere on the walls, it stunk like the grass cutting boy, and none of the sheets or comforters matched each other which leads me to believe they picked them up at a Goodwill or something.
BUT, I loved hanging out with the people we met in the hostel. That is definitely the best aspect of these weird places. They were a group of study abroaders like us from all over the world, studying at another uni (university) in England and were there for the weekend as well. They were so fun. It was like we’d known them all for years. I took this sorta-pic of the nasty hostel, but unfortunately, I didn’t snap any of our friends. We were obvi having too much fun. But I swear they exist. Oh, and we’ve been playing a lot of card games. It’s a good way to meet strangers that sorta bypasses any potential language barriers.
While St. Patrick’s Day was legit and cool and fun and whatever, the BEST part was just aghhdsjfjkdsfk AWESOME. We visited the Cliffs of Moher (which I had never heard of until I was in Ire), which was literally the most beautiful place I had ever been to. Like, by a million miles at that. I wished every person I love could have been there with me to see them. It was almost too much for the human eyeball to even focus on. Not almost. It was. Something I have never experienced before. Simply breath-taking. A mild asthmatic, it doesn’t take a lot to take my breath away, so this about killed me. Which is ironic being that 115 people have died off the cliffs in the last 10 years. They have 700 ft. drops to the ocean with minimal (if any at some points) railings for tourist protection. Livin’ on edge, y’all. Regardless, I am just so happy to have been able to go there (and to have lived to blahg about it). If I don’t get to go anywhere else, I think the cliffs would be enough to keep me satisfied for a while. Meh, maybe. I’m really liking this world traveling thing.
We visited Blarney Castle, too. That was neat except that it started raining/snowing just as we got to the top, and you wouldn’t believe it– I fell. I know. It’s so normal, it’s not even interesting when it happens anymore. Bless the little old Indian man in front of me who sorta caught me. That’d have been a helluva law suit had he not caught me and I instead knocked him off of Blarney Castle.
Then, for the last night, we stayed in a really good hostel. A 16-bed-bedroom that smelled like flowers and rainbows and was visibly clean. Yes. Felt like I had to put that out there after I bashed the hell out of the other hostel.
Here’s the link to see my entire collection of Ireland pics. You can open the link even if you don’t have a Facebook account. Don’t fret, lads.
Came back to campus for a couple days during which I regrouped, did a butt ton of laundry, grocery shopped and worked on this presentation that is taking years off my life. I have to give a 20-minute presentation on coffee harvesting, grinding, and extraction soon after (like maybe the day after) I arrive back from my big excursion all over eastern Europe so I gotta have it done like…. nowish. It’ll be 80-90 minutes all together with my trustee little group all by my side. That’s a dang long time to talk about coffee if ya ask me. Whatever.
Anyway. Spur of the moment trip to Edinburgh, Scotland was brought to the table after a couple days, and voila, we went! That’s the beauty of Europe—going to different countries is like going to different states. The gulf coast to you is like Spain’s nude beaches to me. Sorta. Mind boggling. When we left Leeds early Saturday morning, it was blizzarding outside and we couldn’t get a taxi to the train station. So we walked. For 30 minutes. And I fell twice and have legitimate bruises and a brush burn on my butt. I don’t want to talk about it. This was mine and Chase’s first time traveling together (alone) since we’ve been here, and it was nice. We’re easy and beat to the same drum. Ain’t nuthin’ an ordeal. Even though I really do like traveling in packs, this was a good little switch up. And we made some new friends from Tennessee and Georgia. Hey y’all. Thanks for reading.
Being that Edinburgh is a bit farther north, you’d better believe it was FREEEEEZING. I did not plan for that, man. Made Leeds seem like a beach. I’m talking PAINFUL cold. I didn’t bring nearly enough layers. I don’t think anyone did. But especially not me. And I’m a whiner, so that made things real nice and seem way worse than they were.
And a highlight of the weekend… we met a Scottish Ole Miss alum who was just the cutest thing ever. Scottish Ole Miss alum whose name I CAN’T BELIEVE we forgot to get, I know you’re reading! Hi! And I’m so glad we met you! Yay! Thanks for the shortbread! Here’s our pic togeth:
Irrelevantly and lastly, tomorrow I’m going to get my first manicure in 13 years. For any of you who know what a nail-biter I once was for my whole life (until this Lent) and will hopefully never be again, this is a big deal. I’m going with red. Cha ching cha ching, bling bling bling.