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The Land of the Irish: Beautiful Countryside, Vivacious Cities, Tastes of Home July 23, 2013

Posted by pranayachilukuri in Travel Log.
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This past weekend I embarked to Ireland to make the most of my last weekend of traveling during the GTL program. I was very excited to be going back to Ireland for the second time. This time two friends and I stayed with my aunt, uncle, and cousin who live in Drogheda, Ireland, a town that is 1 hour away from the heart of Dublin.

After flying to Dublin on Friday night, we made our way to my family’s house. My first plan of action was collapsing at the dinner table and feasting on delicious home-cooked Indian food that I hadn’t eaten in more than two months. The thought that we were feasting at 12:00 am did not even cross my mind. We slept very contently the first night.

On Saturday morning, we decided that we would explore the idyllic countryside of Ireland. Our first stop was Wicklow Gardens in Powerscourt, Ireland. The breathtakingly beautiful gardens are coined as being the “Gardens of Ireland.” We strolled around for a couple of hours just absorbing the natural beauty around us. It was an incredible experience to be one with nature since most of the other weekends in the past have involved us hurriedly city hopping and being in very urban environments.

After leaving Wicklow Gardens, we took the backroads to drive up the mountains to Sally Gap, a peak in the mountains that is very famous for its sight overlooking the green Irish countryside. Standing there at that moment made me feel infinite but at the same time, very diminutive.

Next, we had lunch and nothing speaks home in the USA more than eating a chicken burger and fries for lunch. Lunch was such a great but teasing reminder of home and the nine days left until we leave for home.

After lunch, we drove to Glendalough Park, which is nationally known for its beautiful hiking paths and picturesque lakes situated between massive hills. We walked through the paths to the upper lake and lower lake. After soaking up the nature, the evening ended perfectly with butterscotch ice cream and chocolate.

That night for dinner, I devoured more delicious Indian food cooked by my aunt and ended the night by lounging on the couch and watching a Bollywood movie. And that was the end of Saturday.

On Sunday, we explored the city of Dublin by visiting the Guinness Factory, walking around the grounds Trinity College, and driving by the Dublin Castle. We also walked around a part of Dublin known as Temple Bar, filled with so many restaurants, cafes, and pubs. Each place had bands playing, people dancing, and the atmosphere erupting. The vivacity of the place was so energizing.

After walking around Dublin til sunset, we made our way back to Drogheda, bringing the weekend to a close.

Overall, Ireland was incredible. A perfect balance of idyllic countryside plus vivacious city side, American food plus Indian food, tourist activity plus local activity was just what I needed to call my European travels this summer to a close.

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