Woo! Kyra, a girl I met on my Iceland tour, and I made it to Edinburgh, Scotland! I have been dreaming of visiting here for quite some time, so actually being here is a little surreal. Our day started off interesting on the bus to the Reykjavik airport. The bus ended up getting to our hotel 30 minutes early, making us rush down to catch it, then the people we sat next to were coughing up a storm without trying to cover their mouths. Kyra and I were literally sitting in the aisle because we were trying to get as far away as possible from them.
Day 4 brought on exploring the South Coast of Iceland, and it was just as beautiful as you would expect. We drove about 2 hours before we made any stops, but the entire route was full of scenery, from waterfalls to volcanic ash and Viking houses. The first stop we made was at a museum called Skógasafn, which is dedicated to preserving Viking artifacts. They have over 15,000 artifacts between the different buildings, and there are even Turf houses on the property that are set up to show you how the Vikings actually lived. The entire museum was awesome to see and I loved walking through the homes, learning about the culture. We spent about an hour there, but you could easily stay longer. The museum also has a cafe that serves really good soups; when we visited they had a lamb stew, minestrone, and a mushroom soup. For a bowl, it costs 1900 krona, which is about $20, but they all come with free refills. I had the lamb stew and the mushroom soup; both were delicious!
Days 2 and 3 have been wonderful in Iceland. My second day here started with getting from the hostel I was staying at to the hotel where I would meet my tour group. I got to the hotel after spending $30 on a cab that traveled 2 miles and asked the front desk to store my luggage. Once it was safe and sound, I walked around Reykjavik to see everything near the hotel. I loved the area… There were so many restaurants and museums, and it was right near the Old Harbor which is a really nice area. I found a place to have a nice breakfast, then headed back to the hotel where I ran into another girl who was on the tour.
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.