Monday, March 8, 2010

The West of Ireland
Last week we left on a class trip to go to Westport a small town on the west coast of Ireland. Our class took this trip to learn hands on about the Great Famine between 1845 and 1850. On the first day on the drive up, we went to the National Famine Museum and also the Strokestown House. They were both very cool, but the Strokestown house was fantastic. It was an anglo-irish estate house that had been owned by one family for over 400 years. The collection of historical artifacts was absolutely dumbfounding. For example, the library contained multiple first edition of dickens, some Tolstoy, and also a first edition candied by Voltaire. Also I was able to hold a first edition version of dickens Christmas stories which was pretty cool. Then we went back to the Hotel and had the most fabulous three course meal, a sausage appetizer, lamb rump,all topped off with a creme brulee. The next day we went out to croagh patrick mountain and looked at it; we were not able to climb up it. It is the third tallest mountain in Ireland and is a religious pilgrimage for many people each year, it is called the Holy mountain. Then the group proceeded to go in through an amazing mountain pass, toward Connemara national park. Which was fantastic and I was able to do a small hiking loop which was very pretty. The we returned to the hotel for a great meal again and a night out on the town in Westport. The last day we went to achill island to see many deserted famine cottages and a brilliant coast line. The last thing we did was go to a heritage farm. This was a small farm that has been preserved since the famine and is run by the owner of the house who group up on the small farm. It was very informative and quite impressive. The we went back for our last night at the hotel for a great meal and fun night out with our whole group including our professors. Then on Saturday the rest of the group took the bus home and kylen and i stayed in westport to climb up Croagh Patrick which was absolutely amazing. Overall, the trip was phenomenal and tons of fun.

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