Posted by: loveleigh | June 28, 2009

Week 1: Trip to Irish Heritage Park and Johnstown Castle

On Tuesday we took a trip to the Irish Heritage Park and Johnstown Castle. I really enjoyed this trip and even got a sense of the landscape and the setting of the Vikings in relation to the epic poem Beowulf. Walking around the heritage park I was able to get a good sense and timeline of the irish history. I really enjoyed the seeing the repilca of the Viking ship looking out into the water because I was really able to get a mental image of Beowulf and the Geats sailing to help the Danes in one of these ships. We have also seen a few “Big Houses” which are houses built a long time ago for the wealthy, like the Tighes mansion in Woodstock. Seeing these mansions and their architecture I can almost get a sense of what Heorot might have looked like.

I love living in waterford becaus i feel like i am getting the true Irish experience. It is small town but all the people here are very friendly and enjoy talking to us. The town itself is very irish with all the colorful houses. Also the castles and churches in this town are very old and have been built with traditional irish architecture. While talking to the people in the town I can see how the Irish culture is passionate about literature and fine arts. I have found that the Irish particurlary love poetry and music. It seems that they have a poem or song about every little town or historic event. In Dr. Keeley’s Irish Culture class he taught us some of these poems and songs. An Irish poem that I particurlary liked is:

I am of Ireland/ And of the holy land of Ireland/ Good Sir, I beg of thee,/ For sake of charity/ Come and dance with me/ In Ireland

So far my experience in Ireland has been amazing. I would have to say though my favorite part so far was friday night in Dublin. My friend Alley works with a guy back in Statesboro whose mother lives right outside of Dublin, so she got in touch with her and we met them out at a little pub called the Blue Light. When we got there we found out that this pub is actually Bono from U2’s favorite pub and that the guys from Journey, Whitesnake and Def Leopard were at that pub last week. Laura’s husband was playing in a band at the pub that night so we got to hang out with them. It was the most Irish experience we’ve had so far because we were in the mountains away from all the touristy pubs and got to meet and talk to some authentic Irish country people. They were so nice and interesting to talk to. I had so much fun that night! I have learned so much about Irish culture first hand and I have seen so many beautiful things. I can’t wait to see what the next weeks have in store.



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