To celebrate my sister's graduation from UVa, the Carlson Clan embarked on a trek to the old sod; Ireland! We consider ourselves Irish, although my dad's side of the family is Swedish. Something about being Irish is just alot more fun than Swedish. Just sayin'!
Bonnie and I arrived a few days before my parents and stayed at one of my study abroad friend's home in Dublin. Ciara's family was SO accommodating, and cooked us a traditional breakfast as soon as we arrived. Bonnie and I spent the next several days traipsing around the city and connecting with several more of my Singapore friends. That study abroad in Singapore has been the best ever - because now I know people everywhere I go!
The trip was truly fantastic - I should really write in detail about each day, but instead I'll give the overall itinerary and highlights:
Dublin to Cashel to Dingle to Kenmare to Kilkenny to Howth.
Probably the coolest day on the trip was our excursion to the deserted Blasket Islands. The Clan loaded into the car and took the Ring of Dingle until we arrived at the pier at Donquin. From there we loaded on an open ferry - the only passengers aside from Sue - a Welsh woman who was written up in our Ireland guidebooks! Sue lives on the island by herself in warm weather in a little cottage where she bakes scones to sell to tourists. The town on Great Blasket Island was abandoned by the islanders in the 1950s.
We picked our way through the ruins to a trail from which we had great views of the rugged coast and the seals on the beach. We spent the day picking our way around the island, through the mist, around the skeletons of several sheep, and picnicked on the beach with the seals for company.
Ireland is definitely on the list for a visit again. There is just too much history and fun to be had here, and what we got during our 10 day visit only whet the appetite for more!