When in Ireland, I was on a tour with EF College Break and had so much fun. One of best things of being on a tour is learning about the history of the country, and hearing some stories and legends as well. On the ride to Glendalough, our tour leader Shane was telling us some of the backstory of St Kevin, the man who founded the Monastic Settlement in Glendalough. These stories stuck with me, and I even took notes so I could share them with you! Take note that these are by no means 100% factual. These are stories I was told while on a tour, and I just thought they were fun, interesting, and worth sharing.
Known as “The Emerald Isle,” Ireland lives up to its name no matter what part you travel to, and it is a country that fuels my wanderlust like no other. Falling in love with the country was the easy part; I fell in love while dancing and singing in the local pubs, I fell in love while standing on a cliff looking at nothing but the Atlantic Ocean and I fell in love with the people everywhere I went. I left part of my heart in Ireland, and I am so happy I did because it was well worth it.
Here are 20 pictures that will make you want to jump on a plane headed for Ireland and never look back again!
Today i explored one of the biggest attractions in all of China, The Great Wall! The wall is 5,500 miles long which means that there are multiple areas to choose from to explore. I originally wanted to go to the Mutianyu section which gives you an opportunity to toboggan back down after hiking up, but our hostel offered a tour of another section that is off limits to tourists. The other thing I learned that swayed me towards the hostel tour is a lot of the more touristy areas of the wall don’t have the original stones, they have been reconstructed using cement, making it not as authentic. The area the hostel took us to is all original, the only section that has been redone is an area that they put wood planks across the original stone where it has deteriorated.
Today was a very busy day of sightseeing in Beijing! Three people I met at the hostel and I started our day off by going to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square, which is located right in front of the Forbidden City, is only about a 20 minute walk from the hostel, but when we got closer to it, the roads were all blocked and nobody could get through. Patricia and I tried to communicate in Chinese with one of the officers standing by, and apparently the area is closed due to Congressional meetings for the next 5 days, but the Forbidden City is still open. To get there we had to take 3 different subway lines, just because of the blocks that were put up, and once we got to the entrance the line was really long to get through security.
China is really an amazing country, but it is such a hard country to adjust to, especially coming from the states where we have the luxury of using toilets that you can sit on. I knew coming here that squat toilets were the norm, but I guess I didn’t think I would actually ever use one. I was definitely wrong with that assumption.
It all started by going to the Temple of Heaven. The temple is inside a huge park, and you either pay 10 yuan just to walk around the park or 28 yuan to walk the park and go inside the temple.