I don’t really know why I haven’t kept up with this thing too much, I really should have. Suffice to say things have been kinda crazy over here, with three straight weeks of visitors, midterms and two weeks living out of my backpack…
I’ve said this before and I will say it again, “backpacking around Europe” is highly glamorized and I HAVE NO IDEA WHY hahaha. No no, don’t get me wrong it was an awesome experience and really teaches you a lot about yourself (AND about the people you’re traveling with haha) but in the end wearing dirty socks (or socks you washed yourself in a sink with a bar of Dove), the same hoodie zip-up everyday for 16 days (through sweating on a bike in the Tuscan countryside to a beach in Galway), and having your feet so sore you’re sure you broke bones gets to be a little taxing.
What isn’t taxing are the beautiful sights (I’m pretty sure I took 47 of the same picture at the Cliffs of Moher) or the sense of luck that follows you about. Well, most of the time anyway haha sleeping in the train station in Milan is not as fascinating as it sounds and hostels with crazy toothless men and other ones that refuse to let you cut up your own onion are less than ideal. I would love to go into that hahaha but I digress.
This spring break trip has probably been some of the most fun and some of the most ridiculous moments I have had while abroad. Italians are very helpful but also just as fiery and easily offended as any American movie stereotype makes them out to be. Irish men are just as sweet and charming as you’d hope, and I’m not kidding, have the best pick-up lines of anyone, ever. More on that later bahaha.
Being in those two countries was also interesting because we went to places that we could have studied at alternatively. In Rome, both my travel buddies basically hands-down said that they would’ve have studied in Rome over Madrid looking back. Not that Rome wasn’t great (it was) but I wouldn’t study there. No way. First of all, I’d be afraid that the Colosseum and Roman Forum etc. would lose its significance to me (maybe it wouldn’t) but also because I don’t know, maybe this will sound really ridiculous but Italy wasn’t really much more than I expected it to be. With the exception of The David and the Trevi Fountain. Those were pretty cool. Okay okay, so were St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican City, but aldskjfalksdjfjdddddddd I’ll have to think about this more to explain it I suppose. Maybe I just really love Madrid?
From Rome we flew to Dublin. And guess who fell in love? With the city, come on. DUBLIN IS FANTASTIC. Bahhh. I really really really loved it. The city has SUCH a storytale feel and even with its urban-ness is still very pretty. I found the beautiful charm there that Patrick and Caroline spoke of in Rome, I think. It’s no longer a huge mystery to me why so many incredible writers came out of that city. The Dublin Writers’ Museum nearly made me pee my pants hahaha. Loved it. And apparently I’ve developed a thing for bridges on my travels, and always insist we cross them hahahaha ask Patrick and Caroline. Guess how many bridges there are across the Liffey? :)
The Temple Bar area is really cool too, somewhat touristy I suppose but I have a huge soft spot for it now that it’s where I tried my first Guinness haha. Guinness is incredible, and from what I’ve heard is very different over here from back home. Curious. Slash different from even in Madrid I think. Weird. We also went to the Guinness Storehouse which was legitimately really cool although I still don’t funny understand brewing science. Not concerned. The whole Guinness Book of World Records thing was also explained (embarrassing epiphany, I know) but it was funny all the same.
Then Galway. Caroline studied abroad there her sophomore year so it was really like having a personal and very knowledgeable tour guide. During the day we divided our time between feeding swans and tromping about the beach or staring off into the Atlantic or sampling TASTY brews from a nearby microbrewery and in the evenings we worked very hard to get off the Spanish time schedule to arrive at the pubs at a decent hour haha and then listened to really good live cover bands or watched Irish dancing and drank Galway Hooker (real name of a real and tasty beer hahaha) and marveling at the compliments of Irish men while accepting additional Jamesons and red lemonades.
Ohhhhh, Galway. Please go. Everyone. And take me with you. And back to Dublin. The people in Galway are so. nice. And generous. And very welcoming. Not to mention complimentary bahaha. Galway is great enough that I was only partially distracted by a certain Game 7 loss. Impressive, I know. Okay fine, I was pretty distracted, but STILL GALWAY IS GREAT. It’s right on the water so we really did hang out at the beach a lot haha and by feeding the swans I mean feed them about 40 pounds of bread and sometimes from our hands. Those fuckers are pretty damn big lemme tell you hahaha. Then one day when we were feeling particularly adventurous we even swam in the Atlantic hahaha. It wasn’t warm.
It was also really cool to think about being on the “other” side of the Atlantic, considering I’d seen it many a time before on the east coast of the States. Weird weird. We did a good job hunting for crabs and shells too. Hope the shells make it back without complete destruction haha. Also, get ready for an absolute barrage of landscape pictures haha. And I bought myself my first Claddagh ring! Exciting. And perty.
Anyway, my iPhoto has been on the fritz but I’m going to go attempt to upload some fotos, so there’s that. Love!
p.s. As much as I love Madrid and am having a hard time coming to terms with leaving it, it was really really interesting to get prolonged exposure to other cultures. Namely, friendlier cultures. Irish being even more so than Italians (Italians still don’t smile on the street.) So imagine my surprise when I get on the metro on my way home from the airport, EXHAUSTED after two weeks of travel and a group of freaking gypsies tries to gank my shit. I am not even kidding. Hahahahaha ohhhhhhh Madrid. I do love it. :)