Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fresh off the Plane

A week ago, on September 16th, I began my journey of almost 4,000 miles from Nashville to Cork, Ireland. I flew from Nashville to Newark, where I experienced some technical difficulties. First, I just didn't know what to do so I followed the woman in front of me, but I ended up almost accidentally leaving the airport. Next, I forgot which bus the worker had told me to get on to get to my terminal, but there were only two so I just guessed...and I was wrong. Luckily, the worker ran out and yelled that I was getting on the wrong bus, so that was both nice and not-nice. So, you know, I'm not really in love with New Jersey. I had a 4-hour layover in the Newark airport, most of which I spent shamelessly staring at people because I didn't want to pay for wi-fi. By the way, they told us to have our passports and boarding passes out when we were boarding the plane to Dublin, but no one even looked at my passport. I guess it was all right because they check passports at other parts of the airport, but I still feel slightly cheated and a little concerned. Anyway, the 7ish-hour flight was just about as comfortable or uncomfortable as you'd expect. I don't really know what they gave me for dinner, but I ate it anyway (surprise). I also watched Titanic to show the Atlantic Ocean who was boss, but after that I just pretended to sleep. We landed in Dublin around 6:30 on Monday morning, which was a completely bizarre experience. Again, I don't really feel like anyone looked closely at my official documents, but the weirdest thing was basically losing most of the night. One of our program (or as they say here, programme) coordinators met us at the airport and took us back to the orientation hotel, where we showered and ate breakfast before venturing out into the city.

We only had a day and a half in Dublin and everyone was pretty worn out from traveling, so our exploration was basically limited to the areas around our hotel. We separated into smaller groups and wandered around, but the whole group met up for a viking duck tour of Dublin. No, we didn't get to keep the helmets.

I would like to know if anyone's ever tried to use this for protection.

 Shamrocks rock.

 Just some water and stuff.

Everything just looks...better.

Our Dublin adventure was short-lived, but everyone was also excited to get to Cork. The bus ride was about 3ish hours, but I'm just guessing because I slept through a lot of it.

Cows + approaching rain = Ireland.

We had a lot of orientation meetings for our first three mornings in Cork, which are not really worth describing. There are subtle (annoying) differences between the American academic system and the Irish system, so I'm sure that will require some adjustment once classes begin. Everything seems to be much more independent and less lecture-based, so we'll see how that goes. After orientation, we usually spent most of the afternoon in town shopping and just getting the lay of the land. Everyone in our group has an Irish cell phone now, so that makes coordinating things much easier.

On day 3, I decided to officially unpack. (Sorry, Mom.)

What beautiful organization. I mean, organisation. 

Today we spent a lot of the daytime walking around the University College Cork campus to figure out how to get to all of our classes. Classes officially start tomorrow, but the English department doesn't start until October 1st, so I only have two classes this week. I'm not too torn up about it.
Yeah, this is my school now.

I have class in this lovely building. Envy me.

A wild Hogwarts appears.

Washington Street, about 5 minutes from my flat.


  1. This is awesome! I'll be honest, your blog is the only travel blog of anyone I know that I've ever bothered to read. Ever.


  2. I just LOLed to the point of tears in Central Library at your airport/plane difficulties. Bravo. Ireland looks ridiculously great; expect me to show up at any moment.

    P.S. Probably nobody checked your passport because you have red hair.

    P.P.S. Of course the English Department starts a week later than everything else.

  3. Great blog Becky!! God bless the woman that saved you from the wrong bus. Thanks for posting! The pictures are great too. xoxo