So, it’s been a while since my last post. Apologies to my fan base. Just kidding.
With the Irish weather being so temperamental and such, it seemed to have got the better of me the past week. You might be thinking, well it’s really not that cold. You’re right – it never really goes below 3 or 4 degrees C but don’t be fooled. I probably layer up here more than I ever did back in Iowa. The wind is unreal. Rain here is abnormally horizontal and combined with the wind, has claimed the lives of both my umbrellas. But you know, other than the weather, life here is pretty great!
For all the parents that read my posts and basically for anybody who has doubts of how much work really gets done here, well, Arthi and I had our first architecture project review this week! Our project brief was to design a pavilion in Cobh (a tourist town in the Cork harbor) that engages with tourists getting off the cruise ships that dock there or tourists arriving by train for the day. I’d say it was a pretty successful first review; my project was one of two projects selected to further develop from my group and from them, one will be selected to actually construct.
Even in Ireland, the architecture program is still synonymous with sleep deprivation and long nights i.e. we barely slept those last two nights leading up to review. But we did what we do best – work hard, play hard. Because the night of review, Arthi and I went for our first black tie ball. The best part? Amidst all the craziness of review, we both scoured our way through Cork’s shops to come out with 5 Euro dresses and shoes! Broke college kids, score.
Fast forward to the weekend. Blue skies, spectacular views for miles, and a bit of craic on the coast. (“craic” = fun). Finally better, I was desperate to do a bit of “hiking” (it’s in quotations because an Irish friend of mine thought it was a far stretch to call it a hike!). We took a bus to a little coastal village called Ballycotton known for its cliff walk along the Irish coastline. It really is a lovely walk, about 6 miles in total, with the cliffs and vast ocean on one side and lush rolling hills on the other – quite off the beaten tourist trails. There were many detours along the way from rock pools to caves to beaches to explore. We couldn’t help dip our feet in the water and have a little sunning session, despite the cold.
Like I mentioned before, sure it was only maybe 5 degrees that day, but I felt colder than I ever have in Iowa. Me being me, I had also lost both my pairs of gloves so I was not the happiest. *Cue my little Irish fairytale moment* I went up to a man working on a construction site to ask where I could buy gloves in the village and he called his friend (his very young and good looking friend, might I add) who told me he had a pair of ladies gloves in his van that I could borrow. Bless him. The Irish really are the sweetest bunch.
Continuing our very outdoorsy weekend, we hit up Kerry on Sunday. Having traveled quite a bit around the world, I’ve been fortunate to see a few spectacular sights. However, there’s nothing quite like the Irish coastline. The drive takes you through small Irish villages, rolling hills brushed in about fifty shades of green situated against the snow – capped mountain ranges that transform into coastal roads that line the rugged Irish coastline, and finally, opens out into the vast blue ocean with the Skellig Islands on the horizon. Every turn is postcard worthy, though, none of my photos will do the scenery justice. I tried.