A Travellerspoint blog

St. Patty's Day

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Our day began outside of the Civic Offices in Dungarvan where we raised the Ireland, US, Pennsylvania, and Dungarvan flags. It was really an honor for us to have our flag raised on Ireland's most important national holiday. We then made out way to St. Mary's Cathedral where we attended the St. Patrick's day mass. It was mostly in Irish, which was really neat.

A little bit later we gathered outside of the hotel, all decked out in our green garb. Dr. Hosey handed out bobbly shamrock headbands, and bags of key chains to hand out to the kids. Several people were given flags to carry. It was a lot of fun walking through the town and handing out the key chains. When we go to the bandstand at the end of the route we were invited up to watch the rest of the parade. There were some really funny floats and groups that were marching.

When the parade was over we were served a traditional Irish meal: Corned beef and cabbage.

We went out afterward to the pubs in town. IT was nowhere near as crazy as a St. Patrick's Day would be in the States. There was no green beer or weird things like that. We had to be back to the Hotel bar by 11 so that Dr. Hosey could make sure we were all safe, and so we could say goodbye to her since she was leaving the next day to go home.

Posted by Caitlin39 16:42 Archived in Ireland Tagged events Comments (0)

West Waterford

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Today, instead of having classes, we took a day trip around some of the towns and sites of Western County Waterford. Our first stop was just outside Dungarvan where we visited the ruins of an old church and an extremely old graveyard that has become rundown in recent years. We plan on heading out there again to clean it up for the local people.

We stopped after a while to get some pictures of Dungarvan from above. The view was absolutely stunning.


We stopped again just outside of Ardmore Where we explored the ruins of a 12th Century Cathedral. I could have spent hours there taking pictures of the ruins and the graveyard. There was a tower on the grounds as well that was used as a belltower and to store church goods. In war times it was also used as a refuge for local people because the entrance is twelve feet off the ground and the walls are four feet thick!


Once we got to Ardmore we walked up the hill to get to Declan's Hermitage. I'm pretty sure that this was my favorite part of the day. It is a place of pilgrimage for many people, and crosses have been traced in the walls for hundreds of years. We got to add our own scratches to those of the countless people who have gone before us.


Afterward we were able to spend some time down on the beach before heading to Lismore.

In Lismore we got to see Lismore castle, but only from a distance. We took the most dangerous group picture EVER! we all had to stand on this tiny sidewalk on a very narrow bridge, while Tom Keith stood on the other side of the road, where there is no sidewalk, to take our picture.


We also visited some really pretty old churches in Lismore.

then we ventured up into the mountains to visit a very pretty monastery.


Posted by Caitlin39 15:13 Archived in Ireland Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

First Hurling Match

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Today we were taken to our very first hurling match. Hurling is a Gaelic sport that is reminiscent of Lacrosse, Hockey, and Baseball. It is the fastest field sport in the world, and is absolutely amazing to watch. Its a contact sport, and its hard to believe that the only required protection is a helmet. (and they only instituted that rule this year!)

The match was between Waterford and Limerick, so we obviously were rooting for Waterford. There were at least three injuries during the game, one where the keeper had to be taken off the field on a stretcher! It was a lot of fun to watch, and must take a lot of skill to play.

Posted by Caitlin39 16:58 Archived in Ireland Tagged events Comments (0)

Cristy Moore

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We were treated to a concert tonight in Cappoquin. Cristy Moore, a famous male Irish singer, along with another artist and some guitars entertained us for the night. It was such an informal atmosphere, and we all enjoyed it immensely. He was given a note before the show about our group being in the audience and made an announcement and then sang a song to the Pennsylvanians. It was amusing because it was really a depressing song...

Afterwards we went down the road to a local pub where the Mayor of County Waterford, Nora Flynn, was our bartender for the evening. We all had a lot of fun dancing to the music we picked on the fancy touchscreen juke box that was paid for by Mayor Damien of Dungarvan.

Posted by Caitlin39 16:31 Archived in Ireland Tagged events Comments (0)

Day Trip to Cork

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We hopped on a bus at 8:50 this morning headed west towards Cork. It's about a 2 hour trip to the second largest city in Ireland, and we used it as an opportunity to nap a for a little bit. We pulled into the bus station, grabbed a map and a bus schedule and headed out into the city.

The station is very conveniently located in the middle of the city, so it was no time at all before we were walking along the busy streets. We were all tempted by the shops and restaurants that surrounded us. We window shopped, and did some real shopping, down St. Patrick's street until we saw a church down one of the side streets. It seemed impossible that a church that large was hidden away between the buildings.

We continued to wander around the city until we stumbled upon a St. Patrick's festival. There was live music, and stands set up along the street. We got sausage sandwiches (basically hot dogs) for lunch, and followed with delicious pastries for dessert.



We went to explore one of the huge cathedrals, but it wasn't open. We had fun taking pictures outside though!


After that, some of our group decided it was time to head back to Dungarvan, but Monica and I still had one more place we wanted to explore. We headed off in the direction of a bell tower that we had seen earlier in the day. It took us out of the main part of the city, and up the side of a hill. We made our way through the streets, and figured that as long as we kept going up we would eventually each the tower. We went a little too far though, because it somehow ended up behind us!


We finally made it to the church that housed the bells, and paid the five Euros that it cost to climb to the top. On the next floor we got to actually ring the eight bells that were at the top of the tower. There were even little cards with songs that you could play that told you what ropes to pull. Further up we found the pendulum, and then the machine that worked the clock. Here there were headphones to protect your ears around the bells. We didn't realize how necessary these were until we got to the next floor. At the top of the stairs were the eight giant bells. in order to get to the next floor we had to climb up through the rafters to get the the stairs. We made it up to the top and went out where we could see the entire city of Cork.



Posted by Caitlin39 15:47 Archived in Ireland Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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