This past weekend I went with one of my friends and another friend’s friend who was visiting her from Germany down to Wexford, which is about two and a half hours via Bus Éireann south down the coast from Dublin. It’s near Rosslare, out of which one of the ferry lines from Ireland to Wales operates. This trip down to Wexford marks the first time I’ve gone out of the reach of Dublin Bus service with the exception of my Pink Training trip to Belfast.
We took the 8:30 from Busáras, which I live about an hour (walking) away from, and since I got the Sunday (service starts at 10:30 [no, not kidding]) and Saturday (service starts at 7:20) bus schedule mixed up, I got up at 6:30 to leave the flat at 7:00 to walk into town. Everything was really dead in Rathmines (the suburb I live in), a little less so once I got into city centre and the tourists began to peep their heads out, wandering around understandably confused as to why not so much as a cafe was open yet. It was nice, though. I walk very quickly and not having to awkwardly overtake people every two minutes was relieving.
Anyway, we met at the station and got the bus. We slept for most of the ride, on and off, and got into Wexford town around 11:00ish. Our main goal was to go see the Irish National Heritage Park, which is 5.3km out of town, so we headed there first. It took us a little under an hour to walk there, including a brief stretch of walking down the highway, and we went straight to the welcome centre once we arrived.
As students, it was a €7 admission fee, which included a paper guide. My companions were offered it in German, but they’re both proficient in English so they declined. The park staff were very nice and helpful, offering us advice and screening the introductory movie for us. We had the option of going along with a costumed guide, included in the cost, but we decided to walk around on our own steam.
We then set off out across the park, 35 acres upon which are located 16 sites featuring fully reconstructed ancient Irish houses, forts, tombs, places of worship and other items of day to day living. Most of the sites we were able to go inside and look around, and some of them had cool little media inclusions, such as in site 2, where a motion-activated video of a man appeared in front of a fire and seemed to notice us. [I have a video of this, but it's too big to upload, alas.] We saw of lot of interesting things, walking around the different types of housing and incredible developments that the ancient people made to improve their lives. Although the weather hampered our inclination to stay outside for too long, I think that the park is probably very enjoyable in the summer and spring. They also have a playground and a lot of interactive things scattered throughout the exhibits which would keep kids entertained (although they did a pretty good job on us, as well) so if your family comes and has small children, this might be one way to occupy them.
We then walked back to Wexford town and poked around the harbour. Wexford town is cute, kind of small and compact in the centre. I was reminded of some parts of the south side of Dublin city centre, up around the area between Grafton and George’s St.
There wasn’t a whole lot to do in the town aside from shopping, however, and after we looked over to Selskar Abbey and discovered that we couldn’t actually get into it, we ended up going home on the 17:00 bus, back into Dublin by 19:30. We were all totally exhausted, and I know for my part that I went home and slept like the dead.
Long story short: if you’re going to be in the area, the INHP is definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re a history buff. If you want to go somewhere for the scenery and tourism, however, Wexford town may not be such a safe bet, at least in the winter months. They do have a list of possible things to do on their website, but some of them are very specific, and others are weather-permitting. Still others are a ways out of town and would require transport other than your feet.
Still, I know that I need to get out into the country more. My father and step mother are visiting in April and I hope to go with them down to Cork. I’d also like to see some of the west coast, but we shall see. The end of term is coming up WAY too fast for my liking.
One of the greatest things about living in Beijing is having constant access to some of the world’s most impressive and historically significant cultural sites.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hannah Vose is a University of Rochester junior, majoring in English with an interest in literary translation studies. When not burying her nose in whichever book has most recently been plucked from atop the dangerously tall pile on her desk, she can be found obsessively learning new languages, squinting through her (very stylish, thank you!) bifocals at someone else's writing in her job as a Writing Fellow, drinking stupid amounts of tea, squinting through her bifocals at her own writing in her job as a scathing self-critic, or dreaming of living somewhere which gets even less sun than Rochester. Born in England but having lived most of her life in Endicott, New York, she has traveled back to the Land of Her People twice and visited Dublin once on the way over. She considered applying to Trinity College as an international student, but was deterred by tuition costs (yikes!) so she's absolutely 100% thrilled to be living in Dublin and taking classes at Trinity for an entire year (and only about 34% of that is because she might get to take a class on Patrick McCabe -- will it happen? Stay tuned!)</span></p>