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Published: March 9th 2005
Living in the Southeast US for the past several years, I've almost forgotten what a glorious experience it is to traverse from the chilled grasp of winter to the wonder that is springtime. Here, though, I am able to experience that sensation again. Now, the flowers are just starting to bloom here, temperatures are rising ever-so-slowly, and the smell of spring is in the air. Yes, I stepped out the door on Sunday afternoon, the sun shining mildly upon me, took a deep breath and knew for certain that spring was on its way. And I love it!
Well, besides these visions of spring (I can't wait for everything to come into bloom!), I've done some more traveling since my last update. Nothing too far or too expensive, but I went to Adare with my French friend Audrey on Sunday! We were going to bicycle there, but after cycling into town on Friday with Audrey, my knee was giving me all sorts of trouble, so we decided that bus would be the best way to do it! It was a beautiful day, with the sun shining the whole time, and the town was beautiful as well. I've been told by
Irish people that it's the epitome of tourist-based-Ireland, and generally more like an English village than a traditional Irish one, but it was still a lot of fun!
We left late for our little daytrip (about 2PM), but it was just enough time to get a feel for the town. After getting a map from the tourist center (not that one could get lost in Adare, but we wanted to know where all the important sites were), we made our way to the various historical monuments and religious buildings. First, we saw the town fountain, which, unfortunately, was not filled. Then, we went to the Trinitarian Priory (1230), which is now a Catholic church. Once inside, you could just smell its ancient-ness! Then, after taking a gander at the acclaimed thatched cottages that supposedly give Adare so much of its charm (it's deemed "one of the prettiest villages in Ireland"), we wandered onto the Adare manor-- an 840-acre tract of land upon which rests the resort hotel and former residence that is the Adare Manor Hotel. The land is sprawling and filled with beautiful fields, hotels, and a wandering river/stream. There's a security guard at its entrance, but they
regularly let the public wander through the estate. And the hotel itself is quite lovely, built as the 1800's residence for Lord Dunraven. It's hard to believe that anyone privately owned the place-- the estate is enormous-- but it was a lovely walk, nonetheless.
After wandering through there, Audrey and I checked out a couple more religious sites, including the Augustinian Priory (1315) and a peek at the Franciscan Friary (it's actually on the Adare Manor Golf Course) and Desmond Castle (1202, which looked like it was being restored). We then took another stroll, this time through the Adare Town Park (where the flowers were beginning to bloom!). After a little more wandering, we finished up the afternoon at Pat Collin's Pub for some pub grub (delicious soup with brown bread) and coffee. Overall, it was quite a delightful day trip!
Since then, it's just been class as usual. Istvan, my Hungarian roommate, got a job in Belfast, so he's planning to move this weekend or the next (he has yet to tell his project advisor he's going!). Oscar continually talks about moving (he's tired of being in the suburbs, and his project is almost over), but he
On the expansive Adare Manor
says he can't decide between Cork and Belfast (with Istvan). Cliona, however, says that Oscar always says he's going to move and never does. We'll see if anything comes of it!
This weekend, the plan is to go to Killaloe and some other places just north of Limerick with the international society. I'm unsure about going with such a big group, but it's an inexpensive daytrip, and I've been told by several people that a trip to Killaloe is worthwhile. So, I'll give it a whirl!
Sara and Rose (two from USC who went to Doolin with me) are currently planning a trip to Rome with me. We'll be going during the first week in April and staying for 4 full days. It's quite exciting! I've always wanted to go to Rome ever since being in Latin in HS (yes, I am a Latin geek!). Hopefully, we might be able to hit up some other places in Italy while there. I'd LOVE to go to Pompeii, but we'll see how things turn out. Before heading to Rome, though, my former roommate (from USC) and fellow study-abroader (she's in Denmark) Rachel is going to join me for some good
More of the expansive Adare Manor
craic (pronounced "crack," it means "fun" in Ireland) a few days here before both of us drop in on another USCer and study abroad friend (as well as APO brother) Karla in London. Hopefully I'll get to see as much of London as possible as well as some of the surrounding area in England. I'll be meeting my Rome travel buddies in London then to catch our flight. It's so exciting!
All right, enough for now. I will be posting pictures from the Adare trip within the next couple days, hopefully. I haven't had the chance to download them to Oscar's computer yet! In the meantime, I'll continue with the fun times and look forward to more traveling soon!
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