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This weekend we headed off to our first trip as the Holy Cross group to Dingle, in the West Kerry region of Ireland. I had no idea what to expect, but boy was I shocked. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I mean truly unreal. I had to keep trying to let all the sights set in. While the pictures are beautiful, they do no justice to the actual in person view. It was one of the best weekends of my life for so many reasons and I am just thanking my lucky stars that I am here in Ireland experiencing this all.
The journey there was difficult. We had stayed out late on Thursday night because we had guests visiting and we wanted to show them a good Galway time, but that made for a harsh reality the next morning as I had to awake, pack, and get all the way downtown to meet the first bus. We took the first bus for 2 hours, transferred to a second bus for 2 hours (in true Irish kindness they found a bus for ALL of us since the original bus didn’t have enough seats for all 16 people), then ended with about a 1.5 hour bus that took us to Dingle. The view on the way through all the towns were so cute, but honestly most of us tried to catch some shut eye. The journey was exhausting.
Our Irish cultural adviser, Geraldine, and her husband Patrick (Parr-ig) took us to a nice sit down dinner of traditional fish and chips (aka fries) and crab bisque, complete with a pear tart. Not only was the meal AMAZING, but we didn’t have to cook so everyone was giddy. We were stuffed on our way back to the lodge, so my friends and I decided to stay in that night instead of exploring.
This was the view as you stepped directly out from our lodge. It was amazing. We cuddled up in bed that night with such a peaceful calm from our surroundings.
The next morning we headed out to take a tour of Dingle that included tons of history and some of the most striking views in the world (I am convinced). Dingle is special because it has distinct mountain ranges that have the greenest grasses that sprawls across the entire area, but it also has some of the most beautiful ocean in the world—the blue of the ocean was amazing!
Molly and Molly!
We toured old houses, burial forts, and strongholds that were thousands of years old. The beehives were especially cool.
It involved lots of crouching and ducking to go inside and check everything out!
So many photos are taken when we are on tours– funny faces become second nature. Molly inside the beehive!
The Galway girls…. and my roommates for the trip. Julie, myself, Molly and Molly.
The solo shot had to happen eventually! The water was just gorgeous!!
We kept saying we felt like we were in the place of God… where the green meets the water– it was so surreal!
Our wonderful Geraldine and Patrick… the cutest couple ever. We swoon over them. So sweet!
Next we headed to the beach, something I never thought I would do in Ireland. I mean–look at that view!! It was the farthest most point in West of Europe so we had to go down and test the waters just to say we have been there!
Conor heading out to check out the water… I would describe it as Cape Cod. It wasn’t as cold as we thought it would be, but certainly not warm.
Dipping the toes.
Me, Julie, Maggie, and Molly. Then we got soaked and I had to walk around all day with the bottom of my pants soaked. Totally worth it!
Look at that view! Next we walked to an old building that still exists. The crazy part was we met a couple who is from the town Julie lives in. What a small world!!
Another cool aspect was that everywhere we went there were graveyards and I cannot tell you how many O’Donnell headstones there are. I had to look at every one. Even though I have no idea if we are actually related, it is surreal to feel like you are in the place where your ancestors started, lived, grew, experienced, and loved. They created a life in this country and I was surprisingly struck by how cool it felt to at least be a little closer to that. Above I am laughing for no apparent reason and I am sure that laughing in a graveyard is absolutely inappropriate and karma will come to get me soon.
We also visited a museum that taught us about the island – its people, traditions, culture, and food. We proceeded to take some more silly photos, which I promptly sent to my family and we headed back to the center of town to continue the second part of the day. Since I put you on overload… i’ll leave part 2 for tomorrow (you won’t want to miss it!! A little hint-we met tons of bachelor parties!)
I leave you with some of my favorite and hilarious photos from the day. I’m off to bed because the journey home wiped us out today! Enjoy and stay tuned!
A personal favorite. I am sure the fam appreciated the text with only this photo attached 😉