A Weekend Through Ireland

 

Going abroad gives you the chance to have many unforgettable experiences. From the things, you’ll learn at your international internship to the people you’ll meet, going to Dublin is a truly life-changing event. We provide a few social events and cultural excursions for you throughout your program but encourage you to use your free time to travel and experience everything around you. We had one of our past interns put together a blog about one of her exciting weekends in the city and day trips from Dublin. 

A Friday out in Dublin

One of the things I love about Dublin is there’s always something to see or do. On Friday, I went with another GE intern to Merrion Square where we saw some fantastic street performers. Merrion Square had a festival going on during the weekend, and part of it was performances for the Street Performers World Champions. There were showmen from Australia, England, USA, Japan, Sweden, and all over the world.

Merrion also had a variety of food booths, a carousel, and the ride with swings that spins. Saturday had much more, including the breaking of the world record for most people dressed up as ‘Where’s Waldo?’ in one spot. I will never wonder where he is again. I can safely say he is definitely in Dublin. 

Saturday in the countryside 

On Saturday group of eleven of us got on an eighteen-passenger van at 6:45 AM and set out for the Irish countryside with our driver, Bud. Bud was the best guide we could have asked for and a true local. He was an adorable Irish grandpa filled with jokes and interesting stories. We started our tour with a stop at the Blarney Castle. 

The castle and land surrounding it were beautiful. After spelunking in the dungeon, we made our way up the ever winding and narrowing staircase to the top of Blarney Castle. There, at the top, I lied on my back and craned my neck to give the rock wall a smooch, in hopes that I will become incredibly lucky and eloquent. I know it may be gross, but I came all this way. How could I not? Bud said it was safe! 

Next was a stop in Cork. Bud directed us to this tucked away restaurant where they serve excellent traditional Irish food. We got hit with some windy showers on the way, so I was looking for something to warm me from the inside out. I decided it was time for my first Irish Stew, and learned that the driver was misleading us. The restaurant didn’t serve really good traditional Irish food; it served amazing traditional Irish food. It filled me right up and was exactly what I needed. After lunch, we took our time looking through the shopping markets in Cork. 

From Cork, we went on to the Rock of Cashel. It was a breathtaking 4th century castle where Saint Patrick had spent some time living. It was truly awe-inspiring to be standing in a place where people had stood back in the year 400 AD, to touch what they touched, to see what they saw. I can only imagine what everyday life would have been like walking through those rooms. Outside the castle, there was a graveyard with graves dating from the early 1700’s to the mid-1900s. The whole experience just reminded me of how much I love history. 

On our way back, Bud took us through some impressive countryside. At one point, he pulled over to the side of the road so we could get out to admire some fluffy Irish sheep. We got back around 7:30 PM and Bud left us with some big Irish hugs. It was such a fulfilling day that made me feel like I was in Ireland.

Sunday through Ireland 

On Sunday, six of us from the day before and three others took a thirty-minute train ride out to Howth. It’s a small coastal town just north of Dublin. Unlike the hustle and bustle of Dublin, the coastline is a beautiful and calming place. We went to a restaurant called Beshoffs, as per Bud’s recommendation, for the best fish-n-chips in all of Ireland.

As usual, Bud knows best. The meal was delicious, and we got to eat it while admiring the sailboats in the harbor. After eating, we took a stroll out on the pier where a man told us he’d give us a group discount for a boat ride out to the scenic island just off the coast. We agreed and set sail for some closer picture taking. Once we got close to it, the captain pointed out some seals swimming around nearby. On the island, there was a lighthouse from the 16th century that the British had built, along with a few others scattered up the coast, for fear that Napoleon would try to invade.

When we made it back to land, we browsed through the street markets they had set up before heading back on our trip to Dublin, Ireland. On the way back to our apartments, we passed Merrion Square, still buzzing with its weekend festival, and caught a collection of Waldos as they were dispersing from the second day of the record-breaking world attempt.

From countryside to coastlines, it was a very picturesque weekend that made for a lot of exploration. I am now even more excited to be here with the opportunity to experience all this.

Apply today and find your own unforgettable weekend in one of our incredible host cities!

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