Friday, May 27, 2011

Ireland and Scotland

Dublin and Galway:  We drove from our school to Holyhead in Wales, where we boarded an Irish Ferry at 2 in the morning for a 3-hour trip across the Irish Sea to Dublin.  We had breakfast in a hotel (that we would return to in a few days) and then drove across the country on our way to Galway, where we would spend two days.  We visited a 6th century monastery, Clonmacnoise, on the way to Galway.  Clonmacnoise was founded by Saint Ciaran in the 540’s, and he is buried there.  There were so many gravestones, and many of them were his contemporaries, and some were as recent as the early 1800’s.  We also saw the Cliffs of Moher and a little teeny tiny town called Doolin, which has more street signs at the end of the main road than in my entire town back in the States.  We saw the Spanish steps and had Jalepenos in Galway.  In Dublin I got to see the Four Courts, Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, Stephen's Green, Trinity College, and the statue of Daniel O'Connell.  We took the overnight Irish Ferry to get to Ireland, and then came back the same way.  We drove back through Northern Wales and stopped at Llanfair PG (it has one of the longest names in the world).

Edinburgh and Hadrian's Wall:  After a six-hour drive, we arrived in Edinburgh.  The Royal Mile was fantastic.  I found a gorgeous dress that I am bent on returning to find.  We saw the Palace of Holyrood and Edinburgh Castle, where we also met Braveheart.  I found a police box that was very similar to the TARDIS from Doctor Who.  We climbed what we thought was Arthur’s Seat, which is a gigantic hill.  When we reached the summit we discovered that what we climbed was in fact not Arthur’s Seat, so we renamed it Arthur’s Footstool.  The real mountain was behind the one we climbed.  On the way back to school, we stopped at Housesteads Fort on Hadrian's Wall.  Sadly we only had 45 minutes there, but it was still cool.  I stood on a 2,000 year old wall and climbed in a 2,000 year old drain.  We also made a pit stop at the border between England and Scotland, where we took pictures on both sides of the rock that has “Scotland” on one side and “England” on the other.

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