CARNETS DESCARTES

The top day tours from Dublin and out of Dublin.

The top day tours from Dublin and out of Dublin.

Even though Dublin is a city where you always have something to visit and to discover, I wanted to take the opportunity to sightsee. This is why, I travelled with some others Erasmus students.

Our first trip was in October during the “Revision week”. In ITB, we had a revision week from Saturday 24th October to Monday 2nd November. It refers to a period preceding the mid-term examinations and it is an entire week free of classes and of assessments. It allows us to have more time before the exams to study and to prepare them. We first went to Cork by coach, it took 2 hours and a half. This city is located in the South-West Region, in the province of Munster. It is the second largest city in Dublin. It made me think about Dublin since the city is also built on a River (In Cork, the River Lee) which splits into two channels; the city center is divided by these channels. One of the most memorable Cork tourist attractions from my point of view was Cork City Gaol. Then after two days in Cork, we went by coach to Galway. Actually, I did already go to the city but I did not have the opportunity to visit it. In fact, ITB organised a “mystery trip” there in September. In other words, it was a short ​journey, ​with a ​group of other ​people from ITB in a ​bus, to ​visit ​places that are ​kept ​secret from you until you get there. However, it was too short. The trip in Galway was incredible and lasted 2 days. The first day, we visited the Cliffs of Moher. Some of you may have heard about those Cliffs since Harry Potter movie locations for the Half Blood Prince include the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. The Cliffs are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction and I really do understand since it is really impressive. They rise 120 metres above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head.  The next day, we went to Connemara. It is well-known as one of the most beautiful, unspoilt places it is possible to find and also as the real emerald of Ireland, and now I can perfectly understand why. It is a huge natural terrain and unspoilt environment and it is an ideal time to take a break as the countryside is totally renewed.

             Our second trip was not in Ireland, however I wanted to share with you my experience. After our final exams, in January, we went to Scotland since we had an “inter-semester break for students”. From Dublin, the flight was really cheap, it cost only 10 pounds, in other words, around 13 euros and it lasted 1 hour. We stayed 2 nights in Inverness and I stayed 3 nights in Edinburg. Inverness is in the north of Scotland and is a really nice city. It includes a short drive to the world famous Loch Ness and its monster.  We really enjoyed it since the weather was perfect and it was snowing. The lake is so huge and impressive and the museum about the monster was funny (even though, from my point of view, the monster does not exist). Edinburg is the capital city of Scotland. We took time to visit the Castle and the National Gallery of Scotland.

                 Finally, there are many places not far from Dublin to visit. I went to Howth and to Wicklow, in Glendalough. Howth is really close, in fact, you can go there by bus, it takes around 30 minutes. It is a small fishing village and Howth Head gives fine views of Dublin Bay. Concerning Glendalough, it is a valley in the province of Leinster. The difference with Howth is that you cannot go there by bus, you have to rent a car or go there with a coach or by train. It is an hour south of Dublin and it is a fascinating monastic settlement located in a spectacular natural setting. This is the perfect place for walking at all levels. From my point of view, it is one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. In fact, there are two lakes (Lower Lake and Upper Lake) and in a sunny day, it is incredible.

              To conclude, I really love Ireland and its landscapes and I perfectly understand why “Lonely Planet”, the influential travel guide ranks Ireland fifth on its list of countries to visit.