Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hey guys Izzy here! Sorry for not posting earlier, I've been really lazy with all this rain. This Saturday Sabrina took me around Dublin with two other girls. We decided to go to the Kilmainham jail first so after a fun bus trip we arrived. The jail is one of the most important historical buildings in Ireland because of all the political history that went on there. It was the place where the 14 leaders of the 1916 rebellion were executed. Their executions turned public tide in support of the revolution and changed Irish history forever. At least that what I got from the guide's speech! Here's some pictures!

After the jail we went off to the Guinness factory. Boy was it a happening place!  SO MANY TOURISTS! But that was okay because we decided that just for that day we were going to be tourists too. I had to pull Sabrina away from looking at the horse drawn carriages outside of the factory on the cobble street. She was way too excited!

The factory was neat and I loved to see how they made everything. My favorite part was the huge wall of water that came from the mountains. Apparently they are really protective of the water and it makes the Guinness better as a result. After a really long exploration of the process we went to the top viewing tower to try some. Sabrina really hated it! She said it tasted worse than medicine and I have to agree. Well, maybe I'd like it more if I grew up with the stuff. Either way it was a really fun adventure and I can't wait for the next one. Talk to you later!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Wicklow trip!

Hey guys Izzy here! Yesterday I went on a fun trip around Wicklow and so I wanted to share it with you all. Sabrina and I set off with the International Student Society on a booked tour bus. Let me tell you that was the tackiest bus I've ever seen! It was neon green with two leprechauns on it. Guess what it was called? The "Pattywagon"! Sabrina had to stop me from laughing out loud from the silliness of it.

Our first stop was a beautiful estate called Powerscourt. The gardens are really famous around Ireland and are amazing to see in person. I really loved the different statues and trees. There was so much to see on the grounds and many different sub-gardens. Sadly the estate suffered a big fire earlier so the inside was mostly renovated brick and didn't look anything like it had in its' prime. So here's the pics!

After the estate the bus driver took us to see this really big lake. It apparently is in a glacier valley. Though we only stopped for a bit it was a ton of fun and we even saw a rainbow!
Next we got to see a historic monastery(well the ruins of one). It dates back to the 900's! The tower is the tallest in Ireland and really unique though it had to be rebuilt in the 1800's. It was surreal to be in such a historic place. Sabrina really enjoyed it and so did I!
After the monastery we had a quick stop at an Irish wool mill. They make clothes with traditional and automatic mills. The products were really beautiful but way too expensive. You can make so much with wool! Aren't my sheep brothers and sisters amazing??

Last we visited the third most haunted place in Ireland, the Wicklow Gaol (jail). It has been around since 1702 and has a really sad history. We walked through and learned all about the sad history. I can see why it is so haunted. It was terrifying and Sabrina and I both were nervous. Hopefully the ghosts stay there!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hey guys Izzy here! I just wanted to write to you about my most recent adventures in Howth Ireland. Yesterday Sabrina, Emily, Alessa, Kathrin, and I decided to go see Howth just outside of Dublin. It's a beautiful coastal area with plenty of trails to hike and lots of neat buildings.

We took two double decker buses to get there. It was so fun getting to ride on the top deck of the bus and we got to see so much. The best part of the trip there though was walking through  Dublin's city center and all the shops. There are lots of cute local shops in Dublin and they are so interesting to look at. I made Sabrina promise to take me back later as I want some souvenirs!

I was so happy when we arrived at Howth. It smelled a lot like fish and so we first took a tour of the dock and the dockside shops. There were a lot of fishermen getting ready to head back out and we were able to see the boats lined up on the pier.

My favorite part about Howth was the hiking. It was such a treat to get to go up and down the trails seeing the ocean right beside us. Sabrina said it reminded her a little of the Smokey mountain trails because it was so rocky. I don't know what the Smokey's are like but I really loved the Howth trails. The only downside was that when we were starting to get tired and and it started POURING rain! We were soaked and cold. I had to hide in the bag but Sabrina got really wet. She looked my big brother Vash (the cat) after a bath!

So even though we all were soaked we had such a fun time in Howth. I can't wait until I get to see more of the countryside. In the meantime I'll be exploring campus and the city center.

See you next time!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Izzy's first few days in Dublin

Hey guys Izzy here! So good to be able to right to you again. Silly Sabrina didn't bring the right charger for the laptop and I had to wait FOREVER till we got a new one. Any who, back to myself. The plane ride over here was great! After saying my goodbye's to the family we took off on a little plane and came over to Dublin. At first I was scared then I saw the most beautiful view of Indianapolis and the clouds and somehow I wasn't afraid. The flight to Dublin was really long! We were so hungry until they remembered to feed us on the plane at 8 at night. WAY too late for me!

When we landed we got to wander around the airport to find the baggage claim. There were so many bags running all over on a GIANT carousel! I was so nervous Sabrina wouldn't catch hers when it came by and she dropped it back on the ramp. BUT a nice gentleman got the bag for us and we were so relieved.

Our taxi driver on the way over was really nice and told us some good places to go. Unfortunately the poor cab broke down on the way in and we had to wait for another. It wasn't scary but was really funny because the driver was borrowing the cab from a friend while his other one was being repaired. So very ironic!

The dorm here is pretty nice. Things are dated especially the heaters and carpets but the kitchen is HUGE. And instead of just one lousy microwave it has a stove and oven with two good size fridges. Sabrina loves the stove and has been using it a lot. Our roommates are nice and seem to be really polite to Sabrina and me though they are quite different from us. Blake is from Vancouver Canada and is studying Philosophy. Madeline is a masters student from Munich Germany studying civil engineering. They told me a lot about their lives back home and I learned a lot about their home countries.

Sabrina already told you about the Tesco adventure so not much to say there. I'll talk to you later.

Izzy out


First few days in Ireland!

Hey guys Sabrina here. Sorry for not updating in a while. I had a fun and safe trip to Dublin Saturday. The flight went very smoothly and my ears didn't hurt much at all. I was so grateful to be traveling with my fellow Purdue exchange student Emily and she really helped me have a good flight. I'm settled into my dorm here at UCD and am making some new friends and becoming better acquainted with the city and campus.

Things are rather expensive here in Dublin but I was able to get supplies at the local gas station for the first night. It takes a long time to walk to stores around here and the buses are exceptionally expensive. Thankfully on Monday a club had a charity thrift sale where we could buy kitchen supplies for cheap. However, we still needed groceries. So Monday I went with Emily, her roommate, her roommate's friend, and my roommate Blake to get groceries at Tesco. The guy at the thrift sale said it would take about ten minutes to walk there from campus. All lies! Even running downhill in a storm chased by bears it couldn't be reached in 10 minutes. It took at least 30 minutes to get there and we were power walking the whole way. It took us twice as long coming back with heavy bags full of groceries.

Alas, as we were settling in I realized that my adapter I brought from the states would not work for my laptop here. So at Tesco I bought one. To my dismay it didn't fit. Thus the delay in posts. I managed to acquire one today so I can post again (more on that next post)!

Goodby for now,


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A snowy day

Hey guys, Izzy here. Today was a great day! The temperature finally became a bearable 20 degrees or so in Lafayette today. So Sabrina and I went on a walk with my big brother Indy. I've been so nervous about going on a plane for the first time and getting everything ready that I needed a break. We had a super fun walk and Sabrina ran through all the snow drifts. I do believe Sabrina was a little crazy doing that but she did have snow pants on. We went on the snow covered slide at the playground and Sabrina slid so fast she flew off and landed rump first in the snow. Big brother Indy was so happy to go on a walk and show the neighborhood to me. We got lots of strange looks from the neighbors but it was a great day. If you haven't played outside in the snow yet you're missing out. I'm still a little nervous about the flight but at least I have some fun memories to take with me now. Hope your day was as fun as mine was.