Wanna go back for Moher! – Excursion: Ireland

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(WARNING: Long Blog Post ahead.)

Ireland.

Yes, I know I wasn’t tasked with writing a blog on Ireland, but since I went I figured I would make some comparisons to Spain and such.

In case you couldn’t tell based on the red hair, freckles, and a last name like McAllister – my family is originally from Ireland. As kids growing up, hearing the few stories my grandfather could remember that his mom had told him, alongside my own mom’s interest in researching our family tree, my sister and I dreamed of going to Ireland! She happens to have been there for the last month studying abroad, and since I had a 5 day weekend from my classes here in Madrid I decided to go visit!

It was a DREAM COME TRUE. Not only was I living out one of my longest lasting dreams, but I got to do it with my sister. ❤

Plus, after living in Spain, a country where Spanish is the primary language and rice reigns over the potato, for a month – it was nice to be greeted by native English speakers and a life with food similar to that of home. I love Spain don’t get me wrong, and I came here in part to learn Spanish, but every once in a while…. a break is needed.

Anyways, I will start with the comparison!

When most people think if Ireland they think of the Potato Famine, Leprechauns, and Guinness. Trust me, there’s a lot more to Ireland than that!

FOOD

Banana Chocolate Crepes with Ice cream! Apparently Crepes are very popular in Ireland. Only in the past few year has the island begun to have an increased presence of restaurants featuring food from abroad!

I don’t like Guinness, but BOYYY do I love Beef and Guinness Stew. The combination of Potatoes, Veggies, and Beef on a cold and rainy summer day really hits the spot!

MUSIC

Some of it is very similar to our, while others are VERY different. I enjoyed the wide array of music I saw throughout my travels in Ireland. It is very different compared to the music in Spain. Spanish music has more… passion maybe? It has more instruments and faster rhythms. It makes your blood pump faster. Irish music, in the traditional sense, is very much natural and calming. I always feel ready for a grand adventure.

Click here to hear some of the Gaelic music from the Aran Islands —>

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2VR22IzY7DOOGswTkFueDZiMkk/view?usp=sharing

Click here to hear some bag pipes in the streets of Galway! This kid must have only been 11 or 12. Amazing! —> https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2VR22IzY7DOVHhYOUV6N3drcFk/view?usp=sharing

Click here to hear their favorite artist – Ed Sheeran —> https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2VR22IzY7DOMVMzYk5OTER1MTg/view?usp=sharing

WEATHER

Between Florida and Ireland well the only things that are different about the weather are the fact that it’s cold in Ireland instead of hot and that it’s much windier! They seem to get the same amount of rain if not MORE! However, compared to Spain it is the complete OPPOSITE! Since I’ve arrived in Spain 99% of day have been HOT HOT HOT and dry. Very little rain here.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B20RKpmMepz4RWZvV29JSVhIMEk/view?usp=sharing 

(CLIFFS OF MOHER: One of the few photos where my hair turned out ok… the wind and rain do not really allow for good hair days! )

LANDSCAPE

Ireland: Green, Mountainous pastures full of rocks, sheep, and cows                                                       *** Ends in a lot of Cliffs as well.

Spain: Brown, mountainous pastures full of horses, cows, and crops

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(Cliffs of Moher – beautiful place. 10/10 Recommend you traveling there.)

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(Aran Islands- home to one of the Gaelic talk communities and a lot or Irish historical sites, such as Dun Anghasa- a fort.)

LANGUAGE / ACCENT AND PRONUNCIATION

Ireland: Most people speak English with a tough of Gaelic. They do not pronounce the “th” (theta) sound and in some cases their “r”‘s are more subtle as well.

Spain: Spanish is the primarily language! They enunciate EVERY vowel. And have long drawn out “RRRRRRRR’s”.

Click here to hear the Gaelic on the train –> https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2VR22IzY7DORDZ0ODBKdDlxVnc/view?usp=sharing

To wrap up this SUPER long blog, I have to just say that while both of these countries are very different, they’ve each proven to be exciting, invigorating, educational, and wonderful. I love knowing that each of them will leave an impact on me for the rest of my life.

I will forever remember the beautiful sand beaches of Northern Spain, the haunting spirituality of Toledo, the wind following through the green grass of Ireland, and the clouds moving to unveil the beauty of the Cliffs of Moher. I will remember admiring the beautiful cathedrals, and the rocky stone walls that lined the shores of the Aran Islands. These things, and so much more,  are some of the things I will always remember.

I miss home – the family, friends, and boyfriend that I left in the states a little over a month ago. But I have not regretted one minute of this experience. And I hope that some of the things I have shared will inspire you to travel too!

Hasta Luego,

Kathryn

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