Galway, St. Patrick’s Day and Glasgow Celtics

Briana O’Neill
Classmates Connecting Cultures
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Spring 2012

The last couple of weeks… Tuesday 28 February I had dinner and then went to see a film with my hall, which since then we have decided to make a weekly occurrence every Tuesday, as the movies are cheaper then. Wednesday, the 29th I went with my ISA group to see a play called “Love Matters” at the CultreInn on the Falls Road. The next two nights I stayed home and worked on my schoolwork that I needed to catch up on. Sunday 4 March I climbed ‘Black Mountain’ with Elise and a few of my cousins. It wasn’t too much of a hike, just very cold and windy, and once you got to the top, you had a gorgeous 360-degree view of the whole city of Belfast!

Belfast city center on St. Patrick’s Day

Monday the 5th, I spent with my Irish family, celebrating the birthday of my aunt who just passed away last June.  It was sad but also very nice to be a part of, as I wouldn’t normally be around for these sorts of things since I am so far away in America. That week was basically just spent at school and hanging out with Elise in Elm’s Village (our accommodation). One day, Elise and I did spend the entire day shopping in lovely Victoria Square shopping center in the city center getting new European-looking outfits!

Saturday the 10th was my closest cousin John’s birthday, so we left Belfast early in the morning and drove down to Galway for the night. The drive there was along the West of Ireland and was so beautiful!! We went out to celebrate his birthday at a place called Taaffe’s and stayed in the Western Hotel, which was great! The next morning before leaving for home, we drove around and saw the town some and walked along the Atlantic Ocean for a while.

Road trip to Galway!
Our hotel in Galway- The Western
Atlantic coast in Galway

Interesting fact…that day was supposed to be when Daylight Saving Time began, but I learned that Ireland doesn’t have that, so now I am only 5 hours ahead of home versus the 6 we were before!

Last week, Monday I had class then I made fajitas for my cousin.  It was nice to have Mexican food again!  Tuesday, I did laundry all day and then went to the movies again with my floor to see John Carter (which I would not recommend). Wednesday I worked on my paper due at the end of the month for school and then went for a little bit with my floor to the St Patrick’s Day Party in the Treehouse Restaurant in Elm’s. Thursday, I had class all day (which was my last day for one week until next Thursday the 22nd).  Friday, since class was canceled for St Patrick’s Day weekend, I took the bus to the further part of the city to go to the zoo, but unfortunately it was raining too hard and we were unable to actually go in.  So instead we went bowling and then went to one of my floor mate’s family home and had a good meal cooked for us!

Saturday was St. Patrick’s Day!!  Elise and I went down to the city center to meet up with our friends and watch the parade. Afterward, we walked around the city center, which was packed full of people in green celebrating, and went to a tent that was set up by a place called Kelly’s Cellar and listened to traditional Irish music and watched the very intense, Ireland vs. England rugby game- that Ireland unfortunately lost. :(

Elise and I on St. Patrick’s Day before the music and festivities began

Sunday the 18th was Mother’s (or Mum’s as they say here) Day in Ireland, different from ours in America, which is interesting. That day, I went with Elise and my cousin John to a Celtic Match; we had to leave by 5:45 in the morning and didn’t get home until 2:00am Monday morning. We took a 2-hour ferry trip over to Scotland and then another 2-hour bus ride to Glasgow where the match was. Even though Celtic lost, it was a very good day and I met some of the most fun people ever, Celtic fans are pretty devoted and crazy, and Scotland was absolutely beautiful, I can’t wait to go again at the end of April!!

Beautiful Scotland from a train window
Hampden Stadium in Glasgow
Inside the stadium before the match!
Celtic fans making the Irish flag in the stands
Elise and I with the young Celtic supporters
On the boat, all dressed in our Celtic gear

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