Western Ireland – The Rockstar Tour

As I have mentioned briefly in recent posts, in November I traveled to Ireland in order to preview a possible study abroad trip for the college.  I knew beforehand that unless something went really wrong, that the students would like Ireland and it would be a candidate for a trip in May of 2014.  What I didn’t expect, as a Latin American archaeologist, was to really fall in love with Ireland.  It was definitely the people.  No if, ands, or buts about it.  I was completely enraptured by their love of their country, their culture, and just people in general.  They want to draw you in and share the culture and country they love.

Irish people are warm, inviting, expressive, and colorful.  I picked up my favorite new saying on that trip – “We do what we want, because we’re Irish!”  I have paraphrased this from an Irish gentleman my friend and I met standing by a fire at the base of the Hill of Tara.  Two things are interesting about this.  First, there were several men loitering around a fire with a scruffy looking dog for no apparent reason.  When we asked what they were doing, that was the answer we were given.  The second is that I am in no way Irish by ethnicity, but have adopted the phrase none the less.  🙂

Fam Trip of USA University Study Abroad Academics 2012

So, for the next few weeks I would like to share some of the things I did and learned while traveling around Western Ireland.  I went there to preview potential activities and accommodations for a possible study abroad trip during summer of 2014 (Ecuador is this summer).  I was part of a group of educators that visited Ireland.  I have taken to calling it the Education Rockstar Tour.  Why?  Well because we were treated wonderfully by everyone involved in planning the trip.

We began our trip with a short stop in Dublin.  Mine was even shorter than the rest of the group since my trip over the Atlantic got waylaid by a 6 hour stop at Heathrow Airport in London.  Boo!  I missed a few things in Dublin, but will remedy that when I return with students.  What I did see of Dublin was interesting.

Bundoran 3  Bundoran 2
Bundoran 4

The majority of the trip I was in Western Ireland, based out of the town of Bundoran in Co. Donegal, 3 hours northwest of Dublin.  Bundoran and Co. Donegal are staggeringly beautiful.   In Irish (what the Irish people call the Gaelic language) Bundoran is known as Bun Dobhráin, meaning “the foot of the little water.”  It is a seaside town with lots of interesting outdoor activities such as surfing, horseback riding, and golf.  Bundoran has a thriving tourism season that begins in June.

Bundoran Bay Bundoran Bay 2

Bundoran bay 5 Bundoran Bay 6

Bundoran Bay 7 Bundoran Bay 8

The Western Ireland Tourism Bureau describes it as “independent, untamed, and exciting.” It is.  Co. Donegal is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on three sides with lovely beaches and beautiful cliffs.

I would like to pause for a brief message – Many people in Bundoran worked very hard to make sure we were able to create a trip that students would love to experience.  Niamh from the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland, John at the Aparthotel, Collie at Donegal Adventure Center, and Paddy at La Sabbia.

Hope you all enjoy the Education Rockstar Tour chronicles as much as Peru.

For those of you who can’t wait another second and are interested in learning more right now:

Discover Bundoran

Institute of Study Abroad Ireland

Atlantic Apartotel

Donegal Adventure Center

La Sabbia

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ann
    Jan 14, 2013 @ 15:55:46

    Nicely written

    Reply

  2. Dr. Cynthia Bellacero
    Jan 14, 2013 @ 16:48:08

    Thanks Ma o_o

    Reply

  3. Trackback: Brú na bóinne « The Random Musings of a Gypsy Archaeologist…
  4. Trackback: Bundoran at Last! | The Random Musings of a Gypsy Archaeologist...

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Chair of Social Science, Humanities,
& Foreign Languages

Liberal Arts & University Transfer
Craven Community College

800 College Court
New Bern, NC 28562
Email: bellaceroc@cravencc.edu
Phone: 252.638.7328
Fax: 252.638.3231

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