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What a Summer September 11, 2013

Posted by B.R. Smith in Travel Log.
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In my last post I ended with my time spent in Edinburgh. Edinburgh was great and allowed me to research some of my family’s Scottish history. The weekend after Edinburgh we decided to head across the Irish Sea to visit Dublin and hopefully see the Cliffs of Moher (more on this later).

                Getting to Ireland, however, proved to be a bit more involved than we originally hoped. The trip started with a seven hour train ride across England and into Wales. We crossed the border into the land of the Welsh and not one stop later did we have to get off because the rail line was down. And there we had it; what was supposed to be the tail-end of a smooth 7-hour train ride complete with air-conditioning and wireless access to the Interwebs turned into a hellish three hour bus ride akin to the bus ride we had up to Edinburgh. We arrived at the station on the edge of the Irish Sea at about 4 AM. Our ferry was situated to depart any minute and hurried aboard. Stepping onboard that ferry was like stepping into an air conditioned room after being in a sauna. It was incredible. Plush, reclinable seats, coffee machines, and the comfort of knowing we were almost there eased my aching joints caused from the bus.

                In three hours time we arrived in Dublin. Our schedule was packed so we immediately went exploring and sight-seeing. We visited many of the sights of Dublin, and ended our exploration with a trip to the Guinness Factory to obtain some knowledge. All the while, we were trying to figure out how we were going to make it to the Cliffs of Moher which, if one is familiar with Irish geography, is on the complete opposite side of the country facing the Atlantic Ocean. Some friends had told us they used a taxi cab driver that would drive us across to the cliffs and back for a flat rate. We decided to hop on that deal. After an early night and a nice Irish breakfast, we met the driver and headed across the country to the cliffs. Our driver, Andy, was a trip. Just a good ol’ Irishman. Andy kept us entertained all across the beautiful Irish countryside that was dotted with cows, stone fences, thatched roofs, and never-ending green fields.

                We arrived at the Cliffs of Moher and immediately our mouths dropped. The green Irish grass led us right up to the edge where cows were still grazing. We looked down and saw the sheer drop that protected Ireland from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Being the interested fan that I am, I was reminded of the scenes of Game of Thrones that were shot there. We spent a few hours there exploring the cliffs and ignoring sensible warning signs. On the way back home we stopped at one of Andy’s favorite traditional Irish restaurants. After sightseeing there’s nothing like some Irish stew to rejuvenate the body.

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                At the end of the weekend we arrived back at Worcester College in England. As I walked across the grounds to my living quarters, I was reminded how unique an experience I had this summer. I had the wonderful opportunity to tour around Europe, experiencing places I’ve always wanted to visit and falling in love with places I had never even heard. All the while I was with a legendary group of people. Not only did I get the opportunity to see Europe, I was also able to spend six weeks in Oxford, England at a college older than the United States. The culture I was a part of while in Oxford is something I don’t think I’ll experience again. When you eat your meals, study, waste time, go out, and travel with one hundred and fifty people every day for six weeks, you start to get really close with everyone. It was this that made me enjoy being at Worcester. I mean, where else can I get a Guinness after class with my Environmental Ethics teacher? Moments like that made me realize that I was a part of something unique in the Oxford Program. It was wonderful; an experience I’ll never forget. Thank you to everyone who spent their time reading this. Additionally, to the PS Program, thank you for allowing us wide-eyed young adults to expand our worlds. This summer has changed my world and I’m excited to bring my knowledge back to Georgia Tech.

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Until next time! 

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