By Emma Hallman
There were three lakes surrounded by mountains. At one point we stopped to see a shepherd use border collies to herd sheep. Each dog has its own set of signals, so the shepherd could send specific instructions to each dog to herd the sheep.
Afterwards, three of us took the train to Cork where we went to see Blarney Castle. The grounds are amazing. There were waterfalls and caves. The castle towered above everything. We went into the dungeons, which were caves.
We then took a taxi to Cobh, which was the last port of call for the Titantic and is also close to the spot the Lusitania was sunk during World War I. The town was very quaint and empty. The coolest thing in Cobh was the giant cathedral at the top of the hill.
We then took the train back to Dublin, exhausted after backpacking for a couple of days.
I spent the next day in Dublin at the National Gallery where I saw works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh. There were also paintings of Dublin, which I found fascinating because I could actually recognize the buildings in the paintings even though they were painted more than a hundred years ago. I spent the last couple of days shopping and wandering the streets of Dublin.
I am now back in the United States, but my experience isn’t over. After spending three weeks immersed in Irish business, culture and history, it has been interesting to return to the states and see stark differences as well as similarities.
The study abroad program has been a truly rewarding experience, and I can’t wait to travel again.