Infatuated with Ireland: highlights from my first 10 days

Allie Lawrence
June 17, 2017

I have been in Ireland for exactly 10 days and every moment has been unbelievable. My sense of direction seems to improve everyday, the weather has been unseasonably warm, and the views from my room are breathtaking.

Within my first two days in Ireland I tried my first Guinness, which wasn’t terrible, but I have realized that I am not a huge beer person… I'm hoping it grows on me.

On day four, I learned how to play Gaelic football (which I would describe as a mix between soccer, rugby, and basketball) and Gaelic hurling (like a hybrid of field hockey, baseball, and lacrosse). I had a blast experiencing the Gaelic games and I am hoping I will be able to see a match of either football or hurling at Croke Park while I am here.

Hannah and Allie hurl!

On day five, a great group of gals and I traveled on the DART train to Howth—a beautiful Irish costal town. We stopped at the highly recommended Octopussy for lunch, but rain prevented us from getting a table outside for our large group, so we went next door and enjoyed warm meals at Octopussy’s sister restaurant—The Oar House.

After a lunch of delicious fish and chips we hiked around the Howth cliff walk. We were damp for some of the trek because of light rain, but the views made everything worth it.

Dream house on the coast of Howth:

How(th) is this place so beautiful?

Cliff walk at your own risk...

So breathtakingly green!

Baily Lighthouse in the distance:

A walk around the grounds of the Howth Castle was our last stop before riding back to Dublin on the DART.

My tenth day in Ireland happened to be Bloomsday, which is a literary festival in Dublin that celebrates James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses. The Bloomsday Festival is named after the main character, Leopold Bloom, and many people visit the places that Bloom visited during his fictional journey through Dublin. My newfound friends and I had a blast exploring Dublin like Leopold Bloom. Our day was not exactly like Bloom’s June 16, 1904 day, but we did see intricate costumes, hear Ulysses readings, sniff lemon soap at Sweny's Pharmacy, and eat burgundy and cheese sandwiches at Davy Byrne’s Pub.

Hats off to James Joyce!

At the end of our Bloomsday adventure we met a swan named Josie at St. Stephen’s Park (who will pose for pictures).

My first ten days have been packed with fun experiences, new connections, and exciting challenges. Most notably, my first week of class at the Gaiety School of Acting was even more amazing than I dreamed, in part because of my wonderful, inspiring instructor, Donal Courtney. I cannot wait for what the next five weeks will bring!

For those following my previous blog post, my search for Hilary Swank continues. I refuse to give up hope. Stay tuned!

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Allie Lawrence

<p>Hi There! My name is Elisabeth &quot;Allie&quot; Lawrence and I am a Theatre and English double major with an emphasis in creative writing at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. At UPS, one of my favorite activities is being a coproducer for the sketch comedy troupe on campus, Ubiquitous They. I am beyond excited to be able to experience Dublin, Ireland for the first time and grow as an actor in the final summer before my senior year.</p>

2017 Summer 1, 2017 Summer 2
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University of Puget Sound
Theatre Arts
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