Well that was a lot of beer…

First off, let me apologize for the absence of a post last week and the delay in my post this week.  It’s slightly annoying when you actually have to study during a study abroad, but a few tests in one week tends to do that to you.  I’m also posting this from a friend’s computer because mine has conveniently decided to die.  Lovely.  Unfortunately, I don’t have access to my pictures to upload them to the internet at the moment, but I’ll make sure and put the links in a new post as soon as possible :).

Two weekends ago I went to Oktoberfest.  Holy moly was it insane.  The beer halls were huge!  There was a total of about 15 beer halls and each one could hold over 8,000 people.  They were all packed.  People walked around in their dirndls and lederhosen just enjoying the day and being friendly with everyone… it was great!  I caved and bought a dirndl (betcha wish I had pictures now :P) which I think just added to the experience.  Plus, two other friends of mine here have borrowed it when they went to Oktoberfest.

Now, you may have heard a rumor that Oktoberfest has a ton of beer.  That would be completely accurate.  When you order a beer at Oktoberfest it comes in one size…. HUGE.  1 liter to be exact, but those mugs were ginormous!  A lot of us ended up with small bruises on our hands from where the mugs had been resting all day.  Woe is us…

This past weekend I went to Ireland, which is also notorious for its beer.  Also true, but not in the capacity of Oktoberfest.  Let me preface Ireland by stating that I absolutely LOVE that country and if the opportunity ever arises for me to visit again or spend a longer amount of time there I will take it.  The people were friendly, the food was delicious, the pubs had great atmosphere, and good music was always playing.

Unlike a lot of other countries I have gone to, Ireland didn’t give me the impression of being very touristy.  We went and saw the sights, but the Irish culture is what made it distinct.  That being said, some of the tourist sites were absolutely awesome.  The Guinness factory was great!  I learned all about how beer is made, how to officially taste it, how advertising was used, plus all kinds of other things.  Another really cool thing we saw was a rare book collection that was on display.  I saw pieces of Paul’s original letters to different cities and parts of the original gospels!  We also went and saw the Book of Kells which is an incredibly old and ornate version of the four gospels.  Dublin was teeming with history, but in a way that was unique and warm.

After spending a couple of days, we headed to the West coast of Ireland.  We had been advised to go to Galway, and I sure was happy we did!  Galway was definitely off the beaten path for most tourists, so it felt more authentic.  A friend who is from Ireland met up with us in Galway and took us to the next town over (Salthill) to a microbrewery where the most epic game of Jenga took place.  It was seriously an engineering wonder that thing stood up as long as it did.

The next day we were sadly all getting ready to depart.  Rather than traveling with the same large group of guys, I met up with two other girls who are studying abroad in other countries.  But, before one of the girls and I left, we stopped and got donuts from a guy who was making them fresh on the side of the road.  I have never teared up from food being so delicious until then.  To quote my friend Kelsey Tarzia, “I have teared up from happiness a few times in my life…. and this is one of them.”  Seriously the best things ever.  So, we went back and told him that he made the best donuts in the world.  His response:  “Well judging by your accents you gals might be experts!”  And yes, I did just write an entire paragraph about donuts… I see no problems with that.

Ireland… seriously amazing.  This is a place that I have to go back to at some point.  Easily my favorite country and it’s definitely going to be hard to beat!  Hopefully my computer will be fixed soon and I’ll be able to put up pictures with next weeks post.  So, instead of pictures I’ll post a link to a fun song here.  Au revoir!

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About clairealligood

Food, travel, and friends. That's all I need.
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