Thursday, March 2 & Friday, March 3: Ireland

Thursday I brought my luggage with me to class in order to catch a train to Bologna to make it to my flight to Frankfurt, Germany.  Once everyone was sitting and the plane was preparing to take off, one of the flight attendants came to my row to ask me if I was Emma.  I said yes and she asked me to come to the back of the plane with her.  I followed her to the back minority freaking out because I had no idea what the problem was.  They asked for my boarding pass but in my panic I gave them my passport instead.  She looked at my passport and made a call to the front of the plane.  She then said sorry, there is another Emma in your row that hasn't made it on the plane.  She was just checking if other Emma made it on the plane somehow without them knowing.  Shortly after a girl came quickly down the aisle to my row and made it in time for take off.  I tell this story because it is quite the coincidence and I met yet another Emma on my travels abroad. That is 4 or 5 now.  

From Frankfurt we rushed to our next flight headed to Dublin, Ireland.  At the airport Norah and I snagged a taxi to then take us to Greenhills, Ireland which is a 20 minute ride from Dublin.  In Greenhills we stayed with Norah friend from the U.S. who has been studying genetics in Dublin the past 4 years.  Deirdre stays with her granny at a cute house that has a little shack in the back yard for her to stay in.  This way she has her own space and even a bathroom shack as well that is just a pathway away.  When we arrived shortly after midnight, Granny met us with homemade chicken curry to fill us up before bed.  It was delish.  She was such a kind sweet lady.  After our late dinner we went to retire in Deirdre's space where she had a full sized bed for us to sleep.  Before bed we booked our bus tour through Paddywagon to the Wicklow Mountains and to the town of Kilkenny.

Then we went to sleep and a few short hours later we woke up to catch a bus into Dublin to get to our gathering place for the Paddywagon tour.  The first part of the tour was driving for a few hours so we were able to catch up on some z's.  We watch the landscapes of Ireland fly by until it put us to sleep.  Ireland is beautiful.  It reminded me the most of home.  Irish people are very friendly and love some good craic.  (Craic in this instance means fun) The first stop was in the Wicklow Mountains which is one of Irelands National Parks.  We grabbed a tea and some coffee and then went through a graveyard on our way to see the Glendalough Lakes.  It was raining which is usual for Ireland but it was almost better that way.  We embraced it.

The next stop was Kilkenny and the Kilkenny Castle.  In Kilkenny we had a very hearty Irish lunch.  Norah got lamb stew and I had roast beef with potatoes, broccoli, and carrots.  It was amazing.  Norah and I laughed because Italy is known for their food but we actuallly prefer Irelands meals to Italy's.  Pasta is so good but it is hard to eat it everyday like the Italians do.  After lunch we toured the Kilkenny Castle.  It was a neat experience and the first castle I have ever stepped foot in.  It wasn't what I imagined but it was still pretty cool to see.  

On the bus ride home we slept again because traveling takes it out of you.  That night we stayed in because we had to be up early the next day to take our bus tour to the Cliffs of Moher. 

P.S. if you take a trip to Ireland I recommend Gavin as your Paddywagon tour guide.  He was hilarious and kept the trip interesting.  We liked him so much that he set us up for the next day to ride on his bus in the front seats.  He even picked us up first!  His humor and the way he talked reminded me a lot of a cousin of mine in Iowa.