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Published: February 28th 2005
This weekend, I went to the town of Doolin (about a 1.5 hour bus ride from Limerick) with four other American girls (two of which are from USC). My original plan for the weekend had been to go to Adare (about 25 minutes from Limerick) for a day trip, but when the opportunity arose to go to a traditional music festival in Doolin AND see the Cliffs of Moher, I couldn't pass it up.
Doolin is a small town with more pubs and hostels than anything else, but it was quite a fun place to spend a weekend. We went up there early on Saturday and got up there in just enough time to explore the pier and go to a 3-hour long traditional Irish music concert. That was quite a long time to sit, but it was certainly well worth it. We saw several different people and groups play, including a concertina player, a Sean Nos (singing in Gaelic) singer, a tin-whistle and flute player, fiddler, dancers-- just all kinds! After the concert was over, we went to one of the three pubs, McGann's, for pub grub (we went to O'Connell's for lunch) and then meandered back to O'Connell's
A Long Hike
Part of the path we hiked along for the Cliffs of Moher.
for some more traditional music (as if we hadn't had enough!).
We stayed the night at Paddy's Doolin Hostel, which was very nice, and then the next morning, two of the girls left for Limerick because they were coming back for the Cliffs of Moher the next weekend with the international society. The three of us from USC stayed, though, caught a bus up to the Cliffs and roamed there the whole day. The Cliffs of Moher are quite a sight to see. They are dizzyingly high and quite breathtaking. We walked all along the cliffside, wandering far from the most touristed areas, out to a place we think is called Hag's Head, with some fort or castle ruins and quite a view of the whole set of cliffs. Lunching there (after about the hour walk it took to get there), we headed back for another hour's journey and ended the day in the Tea Room at the start of the trail, where we had coffee and got warm. Another great weekend!
This week was also eventful in other ways. On Tuesday I went to see Seamus Deane, a famous Irish poet and literary critic, speak downtown on
View of the Countryside
Here's the view away from the sea from the top of part of the Cliffs of Moher. Pretty!
the effects of modernity on Ireland. Also, I got a job collecting money for a charity. Granted, it feels strange collecting money for a chartiable cause and getting paid for it, but I AM selling something (scratch cards for a raffle). The cause is good (the ISPCC- the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), and my boss is really nice. One of the USC girls who went with me to Doolin also started working there when I did. We stood on the streets of Limerick City on Friday selling the scratch cards, which was quite a cultural experience in and of itself. Seeing and interacting with so many people made me really feel a part of the city. That night, we also went on what our boss calls a pub run. Starting at the pubs in Ennis, then hitting pubs at Sixmilebridge and Shannon, we sold the scratch cards to the pub-goers with the permission of the bartenders. Another way to see Irish society, I suppose. However, I must say I preferred my work in Limerick City, despite the cold!
For next weekend, Chris (Dutch friend), Audrey (French friend), and I are planning to cycle to
Castle on Hag's Head
I think this is Hag's Head, and I think it's a castle, but maybe it's just a fort! It's old, though, and it was cool!
Adare (I'm borrowing one of their flatmates' bikes) for the day on Saturday. Supposedly there's an impressive estate to check out there (840 acres or something), as well as the typical thatched-roof cottages and such. We'll see how that turns out.
All right, enough of that for now. I will continue to post updates on classes and such, but for now I must be off. Oh, yeah, and yay Ireland for beating England in the latest rugby match! :-D
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