torek, 23. december 2014

Home sweet home


Heyhey,

Im home again. It has gone by soo quickly. In Ireland in met some amazing people, traveled to some amazing places, tried some new things. It was undoubtedly the best semester of my student life. And for sure I can say, I will come back. I dont know when, but Ive fallen in love with Ireland and there is still some much more to see and do. Right now the past four month seem lika a dream. Ive woken up, but who says I cant go back to sleep? :)
Ive learned a lot about myself. I want my life to be an adventure. So theres no way Im going back now ...

The best of Ireland in photos:











Yes, I will miss it. I will miss my Irish life, my friends, my landlady, my school ... Its been a great ride.

I will also miss this blog, that now ends, just like my experience abroad. However, if you enjoyed reading it, I decided to start new blog, where you can read about my upcoming traveling adventures, you are most welcome there: http://mywaysblog.wordpress.com/mywaysblog.wordpress.com/

And if you liked what I had to say about Ireland or study abroad, I encourage you to give it a go if you can: its been awesome.

Hope to see you around!

Love,
Urška

četrtek, 18. december 2014

Belfast



Belfast is an unusual city. It has a different vibe than every other Irish city I wisited. Cities on the west are colorful, touristy, loud and surrounded by amazing nature. Dublin is clearly a Guinness city, cozy and nice and ful of kind people. Maynooth is a student town. Belfast was just different than anything else I saw. But I expected that.

Maybe thats because of all the warnings I received before I visited. Maybe thats because the books I read. I dont know. But when you visit, some things are clear. Belfast is a city of its people. Its also a city of division. Its the city of flags and sad, sad history that is wraped into present times. And you can not escape the past, not even today or as a tourist. Its there. From 1969 to 1998, in the era known as 'The Troubles', 15000 bombs were planted across the Notrhern Ireland by both chatolic and protestant groups. Since that time over 3500 people died in the country and Belfast witnessed some of the worst battles. Today, a wall separates the side-by-side living protestand and chatolic communities. Ironically, its called the peace lane.

Today Belfast tries to wake in the modern times. Our guide, residenting in Belfast told us: 'I dont want any more fighting. I want peace, I want peace for my children and grandchildren. I dont think any side is right, more violence is not the answer. I was born a protestant and I think the protestant extremists are wrong. But if I said that in my local pub, they would beat me.'



What I wrote


Love,
Urška

nedelja, 14. december 2014

Christmas in Maynooth + Concert



Since Christmas (and the end of my stay) is quickly approaching, I would like to share with you a few snaps of Maynooth christmas. Firstly, my house is decorated. And i mean DECORATED. There are little Santas and little Rudolphs and little teddys dressed in santa clothes everywhere. There is like fifty of them. And some can dance, some can singt, and one teddy bear can tell the nativity story. So lets just say its official, its Christmas time.



Here is what I listen to, when I want to bring myself a little irish christmas feeling: click.
So now, that you are all set, here are the photos.

College Chapel in preparations on the Christmas Carols
Some decorations of the main square,
Christmas market in one of the schools.

Also, last Wednesday the Gospel Choir I am singing at kinda had a concert at the local church. I had SO MUCH fun an I hope my audience enjoyed as well! Here is the only photo I have, bay quality, but just something to remember. And the set list was awesome, the music was awesome, the solo singers were so good and there was dancing, claping, audience participation, u name it. Overall, a night to rememer. At least, I will.


So till the next time!
Love,
Urška

Think like the Irish

As this sign on one of the train platforms between Dublin and Maynooth says ... You're never more than 5 days till the weekend. Think positive. Its good for your health.'
I think it perfectly embodies what I have learned living in Ireland. Think positive, be kind, be polite, be friendly, think about other people, but more than anything, have good craic. Because those are the moments you will remember.

Love,
Urška

sobota, 13. december 2014

Cliffs of Moher



Time to share some experiences from the most iconic place in Ireland ... and with a reason! Cliffs of Moher are 120m high cliffs that rise above the Atlantic ocean, and reach maximum hight of as much as 214m! The views are simply breathtaking.

The journey to the West started early. My friend Maria and me joined the tour from Dublin. The first stop that day:
So adorable, riight?

OK, but the real first thing we visited was the Village of Kinvara. It lies in the county Galway and I was kinda excited to stop there, because this village is the place, where the story The New Policeman takes place. I read that book for my Irish class and its a lovely story about Irish magic and mythology. Also, the Dunguaire Castle is situated near the village.


The next stop was at the Corcomroe Abbey, whic is a very pretty deserted abby, situated at the Burren. Burren is a stoney-landscape in the West of Ireland, and also a National Park. It is renowed for a wild beauty - totally agree - and another interesting piece of information is, that 3/4 of Irish flowers can be found in the Burren. Impresive for a stoney landscape, hmm?
As we were driving to the abbey, we drove past this field, which was nicely cultivated, except for its far end. The tour guide explained us that this is because on that place there used to be a ringfort. In Irish folklore it goes, that whoever disrupts the ringfort, will make the faries very mad, as the ringforts belong to them. If you, for example, break a little piece of a three growing at the ringfort, you will have seven years of misery. So even today people still respect this tradition.



The first cliffs we saw were The Baby cliffs (The name comes from comparison to the Cliffs of Moher, duh). They are just as pretty, however not as dramatic, since they are much lower. Byt lovely anyway. :)



And then, finally, The oh-so-famous Cliffs of Moher. And then, disapointment. Exactly at the moment we arrived at the cliffs, there came the fog. And when I say fog, I mean the Irish kind of fog, thick and sticky kind, when you cant see the tip of your nose. So not nuch fun, expecting the amazing landscape and getting this:



And then a miracle happened. 20 minutes latter, in one minute, the scene changed from the upper picture to this:


And this:



And this:


I will end now with the story. It was a very eventful day, ful of all kinds of surprises. All I can say is please, please come to Ireland! Its SUCH an amazing country!

Love,
Urška

Thursday night

Thursdays are usually the going-out day. The pub, the pints of Guinness, the talk and the laughter. So here you have it, one of the last Thursday nights together in Ireland .... I am gonna miss those nights.





Love,
Urška

petek, 05. december 2014

The mini-travel guide to Dublin

If you are planning to visit Dublin, there are two things that everyone wants to do/see: The Guinness factory and the Temple bar. There is however, a lot more to the capital of Ireland than just Guinness. Here you have some of my photos of my new favourite city, taken some time ago, but at present cold and wet weather it seemed right to update my blog with something a little more bright and sunny. So here u have it, a few of my favourite spots in the city and a little something about them.

1. The Liffey river and Ha'penny bridge


The Ha'penny bridge is one of the prettiest among the bridges over Liffey. The river itself is like a vain, connecting different parts of the city together and on a sunny day, stroling along is one of the nicest activities, since it is allways good to go outside, while the sun is up, as that does not happen all the time ... :) The bridge takes its name from the one and a half pence - ha'penny - the amount that you had to pay in the old days, to gain the right to cross the bridge. Today the crossing is free and the bridge is as beautiful as it was in the 1816, when it was built.

2. The Temple Bar


While you might think The Temple Bar is a bar or a pub, you would be mistaken. But no worries, everybody thinks that when they first come to Dublin. :) The Temple Bar is actually an area on the south bank of Liffey. Its renowned for its nightlife and it undoubtedly the centre of Dublins pub/Irish music activites. You can show in Temple Bar any day of the week, any hour and you will find a place with live Irish music. Its that serious. However, rather than sitting down for a pint or two, I recomend walking around and soaking up the atmosphere. It can be really fun. And the live music found on the street can be as good as in the pubs - street music is a big part of Dublins culture!

3. Shopping in Dublin  


On the photo above there is one crowded street in Dublin, I dont even know which one. But if you are in Dublin, there are two 'shopping areas' in the city cantre, excluding the shopping malls as I think walking along the street in popping in one shop here and there, that you like is much more fun. Those areas are the Grafton street (more famous) and the Henry street. I love the both areas, but I think Henry street is a little less crowded and it has one pretty unique attraction: the Church bar, which is exactly what it seems. Amazing, ha? On the other hand, on the end of Grafton street there is Stephens Green, which is a lovely park, where you can sit and relax (maybe with some Chinese take away, which I really like here - just a tip;)), feed the ducks, enjoy the sun. And right now, that is the sight for Dublins Chirstmas market. Here, on the map I marked all the stops for you: click. If you are more into crafts and traditional Irish shopping I recomend you google for farmers markets - they have them almost everywhere.

4. The view from the O'Connell Bridge

If you ask me for the most beautiful view on the Dublin city, that would be it. Stop on the O'Connell bridge and just stare across the river. And that would be the perfect way to finish any day in Dublin and todays post.

5. Other things not to miss

If you need some more ideas, what to do there are a few thing I would really recomend. My favourite things to do in Dubil include: the Kilmainham Gaol, the Butlers chocolates, the National Leprechaun Museum, the General Post Office, Trinity College, Pheonix Park, choral singing at St Patricks ... but there are allways new things to discover and enjoy!

Talk to you soon!
Love, Urška