Journal Entry 1

February 11 – 15

I have now been in Ireland for one week! The first week of classes are completed. Monday, which is the Special Topics class, went to the city of Galway for a walking tour. I particularly enjoyed this tour because it contained both historical knowledge and a live look at the city. On the tour, we walked through the main streets of Eyre Square seeing live music and local shops. The other three classes consisted to be what I expected. After class, each day has varied. Some days we spent time napping, another we did our assignments.

Tuesday, we walked 2 miles to the closest town Spiddal, which only has about 1500 people. I always find smaller towns fascinating because my high school had a higher population. The scenery walking to town and once we arrived is beautiful. Everything is green and there are moss/plants flourishing everywhere. This is refreshing compared to the freezing cold and blanketing snow back home. While walking I tripped – more than once – because I was too busy looking at my surroundings rather than where I was headed. Attentive to what was around me, I noticed things were different than from what I am used to. The biggest being that the cars drive on the opposite side of the road. This at first, was frightening was going around the round-a-bouts because I kept thinking the cars were going to hit directly into us. Another obvious difference are the measurements. Nothing is measured in miles, feet, or even ounces and pounds. Mile markers back home are usually a green sign, whereas here they are large cement blocks engraved. Ireland uses Euros as its currency, but the difference in Euros and USD are not all the dollar bills are the same size and there is one and two dollar coins. All of these things are a bit different than what I am used to, however hasn’t been a that difficult of a transition.

Wednesday and Thursday, we headed into Galway as a group to try out a couple of the pubs. This week was called “rag” week where college students have a week off. During this week many of the Irish students travel to Galway for pubs. While out, I talked to many Irish students attempting to learn where the good spots were throughout the city for shopping, entertainment, and food. Saturday, we ventured back into Galway, but this time for the Saturday market we learned about in the tour. Bunches of local vendors were there selling their goods. The girls from my cottage tried the freshly made donuts and they were to die for. If we ever go back into town on a Saturday, I will certainly be stopping to get another fresh airy delicious donut.

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