This park was the first one I visited in Dublin, and it was a great way to start off my trip! According to the Phoenix Park website, this park is 1752 acres and was established in the 17th century. The park is massive, and there are a lot of different attractions spread throughout, including the Dublin Zoo. A fun fact about the Dublin Zoo is that the lion used in the logos for MGM movies had been born at the zoo. His name was Roary. Ha! See what I did there? Totally joking, his name was Cairbre.
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.
While I can’t say with 100% certainty that any one part of Ireland was my favorite, Glendalough is definitely high on the list of my favorite experiences. This destination is about an hour drive from Dublin, and is famous for being home of a Monoastic Settlement that was founded in the 6th century. Another major attraction to Glendalough is the two lakes that can be found there, after all, the meaning behind Glendalough is “Valley of two lakes”.
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.