As we are homeward bound, sitting in the Dublin airport waiting to board our flight, stories are thrown around about the favorite memories and fun times experienced during the course of this study abroad trip. Smiles and the eyes of weary travelers rest on the faces of our group as we have traveled long and far, and have learned much more than we could have imagined. The educational aspect of this class was one beyond compare, and one could argue that the cultural adventures exceeded all others. Many amazing places were visited during both the day and night throughout this trip, but in this blog, we will focus solely on the nighttime adventures of our troop.
The first stop of our trip was in Galway, Ireland, and when the sun goes down, the city comes to life. Our bus driver and good friend, Tony, told us young lads and lasses about the fun bars throughout the city. We stopped in at the most suggested hotspot, The Tigh Fox. We listened to some traditional Irish musicians while sipping on Guinness. The next night we returned to The Tigh Fox, then also popped in the King’s Head and the Quays for a bit. We then headed to Cork, Ireland, where we visited a place called, Rearden’s. Rearden’s was a three story building that had a pub on the first floor and an “I Love Monday’s” club on the second and third floor. Our last stop in Ireland was the capital city of Dublin. We participated in the Backpackers Pub Crawl which consisted of visiting five different pubs and meeting lots of new people! We said farewell to Dublin and headed for London.
Our adventures continued in London as on the first day there, we visited a little town called, Bath, England. We spent much of the day there and part of the evening. We were advised by our tour guide, Chris, to try the ciders of Bath as the town is famous for them. We stopped at the West Gate bar to try a few, and boy were they delicious! We then left and headed for Lacock, England where a very popular hero lives. Some say he is fictional but we know that Harry Potter truly exists and originally lived in Lacock before He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named killed his family. We saw his house which was a dream come true! We then had a pint at the Red Lion Pub, which is the famous pub used in the film Pride and Prejudice. Our last nightlife activity of London was the Eye of London. Arguably one of the best nights in London, we were able to see the city in a whole new way. The views were absolutely amazing! Our next nightlife adventures occurred in Paris.
When in Paris, we visited Montmarte, which is famously known for its restaurants, street musicians, and street artists. Some of the group got their pictures drawn while others were able to get some fascinating views of the city at night from such a high vantage point. The next night our group went on a Seine riverboat cruise which was incredibly spectacular! We were able to get up close and see the Eiffel Tower lit up and shining in the night sky. We also tried “foie gras,” or better known as duck liver. Snails were also on the menu and our entire group tried them. Both dishes were quite interesting and went nicely with the wine and champagne served on the cruise. The boat had a top level that was open to the night sky and the city could be easily seen as we went along the river, while the bottom level was glassed in so we could enjoy our last delicious French meal before we started our return to the states.
We traveled back to London the next day on the Eurostar train, took a separate train to the Gatwick airport, and then took a flight back to Dublin for our last night abroad. We stayed at the Clayton hotel and the group gathered by the lobby bar to talk about and toast such an amazing trip. The final instructions were given for our flight home and our glasses were raised one last time before we headed off to bed, eager to wake back up again and head to the place we call home.
As the final page is turned on this story of #AGintheEU, we will forever hold onto the friendships and memories made there, as well as look forward to the future stories each of us will write as we take our separate paths in life. This trip has been phenomenal to say the least, and we encourage all students to study abroad as it is truly a life changing experience. It was a blessing to have the opportunity to go on this trip, and a special thanks to the teachers and faculty members who made this possible. Thank you for following along with us and supporting us along the way. As they say in Ireland, “It was a Craic of a time!”
Blog by: Collin Kramer and Jill Thompson