An Irish Adventure

Over Thanksgiving break, I was lucky enough to go on an educational adventure of a lifetime. I traveled to Ireland for eight days with K-State’s Agriculture Communications program.

For more specific location details, follow the Instagram photo to Instagram.

I did take many more photos, over 500 if we’re being specific; however, it takes a lot of time to go through 500 photos. I’m sure another post will cover the best of the best images!

Day 1 (Saturday)
We arrived in Shannon early in the morning and made our way to Killarney. On the way to Killarney, we journeyed to the Cliffs of Moher and to the Burren.


Day 2 (Sunday)
On our first day in Killarney we went on a sightseeing excursion to the Ring of Kerry. The ring of Kerry provided us with mountains, lakes, ocean and beach views. We stopped at Kerry Woolen Mills to learn, first hand from the owners how wool is spun and produced. Our lunch was a classic fish and chips with an apple pie tartlet at The Blind Piper Pub in Caherdaniel. This tour also provided us with the opportunity to learn about beef production on Ireland’s west coast.
Day 3 (Monday)
We ventured from Killarney to Cork, where we met with a local dairy farmer, Tim O’Leary and his sons. O’Leary is a leader with the Irish Farmer’s Association. Following our visit to O’leary’s farm, we stopped at Blarney Castle. Following a slightly frightening journey to the top of the castle, I kissed the Blarney stone, where the gift of eloquence was supposed to befall me. Still trying to find out if it happened or not. Do my words make more sense? On this jam-packed day, we also had the opportunity to meet with journalism instructors at the Cork Insititute of Technology. After our dinner that evening, O’Leary met us at our hotel to address questions and concerns we had about Irish agriculture.


Day 4 (Tuesday)
Out time in Cork was short-lived; however, the journey from Cork to Galway provided us with the opportunity to experience a more substantial and confined beef operation. Shortly after stopping at Billy Nicholson’s beef operation we met with a sheep farmer, where we saw a sheep dog at work and learned more about European Union subsidies that assist Irish farmers. That evening my lovely roommate, Mallory, who hosts a Facebook Live cooking show every Tuesday afternoon, learned how to make Moroccan pizza at 11p.m. in order to keep her 5p.m. time slot in the United States!


Day 5 (Wednesday)
On our way to Connemara, also known as the wild area of Ireland, we stopped at a crystal showroom and learned how crystal is made. Before that, we braved the cold to learn about the Connemara Pony Breed and met with the Canavan Family, who specializes in breeding this specific pony. We then made our way to Kylemore Abbey via a scenic route that was not meant for buses. Kylemore Abbey experienced at least three different families before Benedictine Nuns took over the estate. Here I felt as though I was taking part in Downton Abbey!


Day 6 (Thursday)
Before departing Galaway to Dublin, we stopped at a beautiful cathedral.followed by followed by another religious stop to Clonmacnoise, a medieval monastery. Once we arrived in Dublin, we briefly toured their city park, where the United States ambassador resides, as well as Ireland’s president. Following our brief tour, we met with the Dublin Institute of Technology’s School of Journalism, where we learned more about how university in Ireland works. Students in their second year work to maintain a children’s news website CLiC News.


Day 7 (Friday)
Our first stop on this full day in Dublin was to Trinity College Library, which is always in a movie! You may recognize it from Harry Potter. While waiting entrance, camera and filming equipment were set up outside. Following Trinity College Library we met with Board Bia, the Irish food board who promotes sales of Irish food both in Ireland and abroad. They also head the Origin Green campaign, focused on environmental sustainability in Irish agriculture. After meeting with Board Bia we met with the Irish Farmers Jornal, which is a once weekly agricultural publication which includes everything from American politics, equipment information, livestock suggestions and even an area for the lonely hearts of Ireland’s farm community. Later we visited the school of Agriculture and Food Science at the University College Dublin, where we learned more about agricultural education, as well as their study abroad partnership with KSU. This evening two of us went out and hit a club, which was situated in one of Dublin’s iconic Georgian houses.


Day 8 (Saturday)
A visit to Christ Church Cathedral and Guinness Storehouse were the highlights of our last full day in Ireland. Lunch was served at the Brazen Head Pun, Ireland’s oldest pub. We had the afternoon to ourselves, which included a visit to the National Museum of Ireland for me, to see some Bogg Bodies. Boggs are similar to marshy areas, where there is a complete lack of oxygen, which allows bodies or butter in the boggs to stay well preserved. The evening was free as well, which allowed me to eat dinner and pub hop with a Key Club cohort from high school. My friend Katherine spent the fall semester studying at Trinity College away from Notre Dame. It was the perfect way to end the trip!


Day 9 (Sunday)
After a long week, we had a long day of traveling to look forward to. After departing our hotel in Dublin around 8a.m., we arrived back in Manhattan around 2a.m. on Monday morning, a full 24 hours of travel!


Looking forward to sharing more photos…good camera photos!

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