Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Irish Adventure!

Why, hello everyone!

I'm back from my two week adventure across the ocean to my mother-motherland, Ireland. It was a whirlwind trip, but the most amazing one of my life. I fell in love with that country, and already achingly miss it.

View from the sky of Toronto!
My trip started off the worst way it could: I got sick. By sick, I mean so ill I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get on the plane. My parents and I arrived Person Airport (after the five hour drive to get to Toronto), and said a very tearful goodbye. I've never gone on a trip this big, let alone gone on one by myself. When I went past security I was in a bit of a panic. Terrified, nervous, and not really sure what to do with myself. Then I heard my name called on the loud speaker. Turns out, I left my coat with my dad, and had to go back to the main area (and sadly go through secrity again) to get it. I felt a lot better though, after I saw them laughing instead of teary. Once I was back on my own, the ill feeling started and I spent the next two hours feeling like absolute garbage. Thankfully, my friends with on Facebook chat so I got some pep talks from them. Finally it was time to get on the plane, and I was feeling a lot better.

Spent most of the plane ride going in and out of sleep (or being bugged by my seatmate but that's a long, irritating story). I woke up at 3am eastern time to have breakfast and got to see the most amazing sunrise. 

Gorgeous, huh? A few hours later I was finally in Dublin! 

I was greeted by my aunt Siobhan, and she took me on a mini driving tour around Dublin. We then got to my aunt Maeve's house (who I was staying with), and I ended up napping since I was sick again. When I woke up, my cousin Emily and her boyfriend took me to a pub. Going to pubs is very much a THING in Ireland, and I went to my fair share. The next day, I walked the pier with my aunt and did a little too much drinking with my cousin. Sick, again, on Sunday but this time I wasn't letting it ruin my day. So my family and I went to Glenalough!

Guys, it's honestly the most gorgeous place I've ever seen. Pictures don't do it justice. I was stunned, and completely fell in love with it. Bed early that night cause it was off to Liverpool the next day!

My favorite band, Mayday Parade, was playing and I just had to see them! While we were there, my cousin and I...got lost for five hours searching for Eleanor Rigby's grave, ate lots of toast, walked around pretty much the whole of Liverpool, went on a ferris wheel, went to The Cavern Club (where the Beatles first played!) and, of course, saw Mayday Parade!

Mayday Parade!

I adored Liverpool, which I didn't think I would. On Wednesday it was off to Nottingham to visit my other cousin. 
On the train!
Nottingham consisted of lots of drinking (at one point drinking at a Beer Festival on castle grounds), visiting the oldest inn in England, shopping, posing with Robin Hood and lots of cheese fries. It was so much fun, and I loved getting to see my cousin, whom I'd only met once or twice before (and YEARS ago).

It was back to Dublin on Saturday, and I was determined to jam pack as much as I could into my last week. Sunday we went to Killiney hill, which has one of the most stunning view of Dublin. Although I was dying from walking up the crazy hills, I was awed by what I saw at the top!

Monday, I traveled to Centre Dublin! My aunt lives in Dun Laoghaire, which is just outside of Dublin proper so I hadn't been to town yet! I went to visit Christ Church, which was stunning and grand. After that, my aunts and I went to St. Michan's Church, which is a 900 year old church on the North side. I did a tour of the crypts they have under the church (which was so creepy...and cool) and got to touch the hand of an 800 year old Crusader!

Christ Church!
Tuesday brought the day I had been looking for the most: when I got to go to Newgrange. I love history, and I couldn't wait to visit a place so magical and enchanting as Newgrange. I was especially excited because one of my favorite series, Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready has Newgrange as a central focus! (And to all you #TeamKilt members reading this, be sure to stalk the #ZOGANplank thread because I posted a bunch of pictures of the pair around Ireland!) My aunt and I arrived after lots of the tours were booked, so we ended up going to Knowth before going to Newgrange! I was really excited, and Knowth was absolutely fantastic! Our tour guide was great, and I learned a ton about the history of the site. We even got go inside of the grave! We also got to climb on top of the mound and had a gorgeous view of Ireland.


At the top of Knowth
After Knowth, we took a bus that led us up to Newgrange! I had my eyes glued out the window and my jaw was agape when it finally came into view. I jumped off the bus and impatiently waited for our turn for the tour. Walking up to the monument I could feel a tug in my chest. There's just something special about it. I could feel all the history of the site surrounding me, and was in awe thinking about it. Finally, we were allowed to enter the site, and I couldn't contain my excitement. I'm surprised I didn't hit my head because I was bouncing into the monument. And the chamber room? Oh, the chamber room. You guys, you need to see it yourself. It's impossible to aptly describe it, and I don't think I even want to try. This is a place you need to experience. I was the last one to leave the chamber, trying to linger in the moment for as long as I could. When I left I think I left a little piece of my soul in those walls. I have to go back. And I can't wait to do just that.

Outside the entrance of Newgrange
After Newgrange my aunt and I drove to The Hill of Tara which, although just a field, had just a mythical air to it. I got goosebumps there, and the view was fantastic. I also tied my wish to the wishing tree! I went to the James Joyce tower, Dalkey, and Trinity College the last few days and, of course, a ton of pubs. 

Hill of Tara

On top of James Joyce Towe

It was great to spend time with my family, and to travel this beautiful, lush country. I had the best time, and I can't wait to get back there. Magical, visually astounding, and more than I could ever have expected, Ireland has always had a place in my heart, but now it holds a huge chunk.

In other news, I'm slowly but surely getting myself back into blogging. There's TONS of awesome stuff that's going up on the blog in the next few months and I cannot wait! Hope you guys are excited too.

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)


  1. Sounds so fabulous!! I've been to northern England and (very briefly) to Scotland, but I'd love to visit Ireland as well. It looks so gorgeous, and I'm sure the pics don't do it justice.

  2. Ahhh you got to go to the Cavern Club! I am so jealous!

    Your pictures are gorgeous. I've always wanted to go to Ireland, everything looks so pretty there. Glad you had fun!


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