It wasn’t the whole month of May, only a last couple of weeks and the first part of June, but we experienced the Irish Summer in its full and undimmed glory! There was sunshine, blue skies, shorts, sleeping with open windows, open-toed shoes and visits to beach (and also sunburnt cheeks on my part), all enjoyed in the divine temperatures of around 20°C. You might ask yourself why I spend so many characters writing about the weather – well, if you ever come to this gorgeous green island, you’ll find out it’s their favourite topic J
It even started wonderfully, with the surprise visit from my dad. We covered almost half the island with our traipsing around, starting with afternoons walking around the Carton House estate and Dublin, and then going on long drives to beautiful destinations. We spent an entire day driving along tiny country roads to get to the middle of Wicklow Mountains and see Glendalough. There’s so much to see and do there I don’t even know where to start! Two stunning lakes and a waterfall to start it off and plenty of hiking trails to choose from – you can decide for yourself if you want to hike for an hour or the whole day. I really recommend spending as much time there as possible, if you’re a lover of nature that is. To finish this already amazing day we went to Greystones, had a walk at the beach and ate some scrumptious vegetarian lasagne at The Happy Pear (if you’re vegetarian/vegan/general food buff I can’t recommend this place enough!).
One day was spent visiting the lovely town of Waterford again, and the last two were packed with sightseeing. We did Galway and the Cliffs of Moher in one day, which was a bit too much. They are both worth spending more time on. Galway in particular, if you ask me, is such a joyful and colourful town, full of busking musicians, amazing food and lovely walks on its narrow cobbled streets or by the river. For the Cliffs of Moher I’d suggest you take longer than just one hour, park in the nearby villages so you avoid the high cost of parking right beside it (or book tickets online, it’s cheaper) and have a proper hike so you’ll actually feel rewarded with the views. Also, be careful when driving on those narrow Irish country roads!
Then came the time to say our goodbyes, he was nice enough to drop me off in Limerick so I could spend the weekend with my friend Slany, whom I hadn’t seen in two years. We had a blast walking around the city and by the river just talking and laughing about memories old and new. It was the weekend of the River festival there, which is a very good time to visit! There was loads of people and activities everywhere, but most importantly – it was sunny and warm. We were sitting outside by the river, at a beer garden and it was pure bliss.
Compared to that dynamic first week the rest of May could seem quite uneventful to an outside observer. I had my hands full at the International Office, helping organise a farewell dinner for our Indian students and filming webcasts with the International Coordinators from different academic departments. My colleague Alena organised a Coffee Morning on our floor so we all pitched in and baked some delicious sweet treats. Alena of course won all the medals for preparing 7 different desserts!
I was also busy with marvelling at and observing the enormous activist momentum around the Irish Repeal the 8th Amendment referendum (about making abortion legal) and writing articles about it for Slovenian media. Congratulations and fair play to the Irish for the big voting turnout and massively deciding for compassion and giving people the bodily autonomy they deserve!
What I most enjoyed though were quiet and not-so-quiet afternoons spent in the sun with friends. Just talking, lazing about and drinking summery drinks (read between the lines: cider) or playing games, cards, listening to music and learning new dance moves. It was definitely a glorious time which stretched also into the golden green month of June. For further adventures and the inevitable feeling of sadness because it’s all coming to and, stay tuned and read my final blog next month!