Saturday, December 01, 2007

Fearadh na fáilte in Éirinn - Hearty welcome in Ireland.

Almost three months ago, I arrived in Cork airport, after two journeys by planes. I was lost, with lots of big luggage… I took the bus and arrived at Parnell bus Station, right in Cork city centre. Then, I took the map the bus conductor gave me and tried to find my accommodation. Fortunately it was only five minutes from the station. I finally arrived at Copley Court , in Copley Street. The landlady showed me my flat, n° 32, on the fifth floor. I have my private bathroom and bedroom and I share the kitchen with two other girls: an American (Gab) and a French (Gwenaëlle) girls. As I live on the fifth floor, I benefit from a beautiful view of Cork.

I live in the city centre, near a beautiful church called St Matthew, and near St Patrick Street: THE street to do shopping… After that I went to the International Education Office where Miss Clare Murphy invited me to the Welcome meeting. There I met lots of Erasmus (mainly from America, Germany, Spain and France) and the woman gave us lots of information about what is interesting to do in Cork and at UCC. The first week I attended to an Irish party, an evening quiz, cinema,… I also met Erasmus students there and the week after, as we had no lectures yet, we went to the pub, to parties organized in several apartments,…

Then, the first week of October, the lectures really began at UCC. University College Cork is a really beautiful university which hosts 2000 Erasmus students out of its 12000 “usual” students. I do not have many lectures, but quite a lot of work to do afterwards. I've chosen 4 courses: Introduction to Irish History, Introduction to Anglo-Irish Literature, Advanced Spanish and Translation French/English and English/French. In Ireland, lectures last 50 minutes instead of an hour. I got lectures on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; so the rest of the time I can enjoy the student life in Cork.

Something also really nice at UCC is the organization of clubs and societies such as badminton, tennis, surf, soccer, hurling or drama, film, comedy societies… You got a lot of choices and all those things are free!! I also go the Mardyke Arena where my friends and I practice sports or gym.

During my four-day weekend, I like to go and visit Ireland (when I do not have to write essays). My friend Mary (from Louvain-la-Neuve) has got a car, so we use to go on a trip together. We visited Kinsale with the Erasmus group and Blarney Castle with others. Our first big trip was in mid-October. The first day we visited Killarney , Tralee, the Ring of Kerry with Ross Castle, Kerry Lakes which are well-known for their beauty, Portmagee which is a small village near the Skelig Islands, Valentia Island and its cliffs, the Dingle Peninsula (also famous for its dingle way), Ventry and its beautiful white-strand beach.

Our second big trip was in mid-November around Galway. The first day, we visited Limerick and its castle, Bunratty Castle and its beautiful medieval village, Cliffs of Moher and the castle and The Burren, which is the rockiest region of Ireland . We slept in Galway, and the next day we took our way to Connemara where we visited the Castle near Oughterard (where Mary and I took beautiful pictures) , we also saw the beautiful landscapes of the region Connemara, famous for its many lakes and the Kyllemore Abbey which is still a boarding school . On Sunday, we visited Galway by foot of course. We saw the National University of Ireland, Galway (UCC is better :D) and St Nicolas’ Cathedral. It was a wonderful trip :)

I think I will have to leave you because December is almost there and the essays and tests are coming! I hoped you enjoyed my experience in Cork, as I’m still enjoying it now. But I do not worry, because I will soon be back to Cork to say hello to my friends staying here for a whole year.

PS: Do not hesitate to click on words to see beautiful pictures!!!

PPS: I already wish u a Merry X-Mas


XavierOberneck said...

hey dearest godchild ;) Nice to read this text! Thank your for your explanation about your life in Cork. I miss you so much! But I'm happy to see that you enjoy yourself there.

As soon as you get back to Belgium, we'll have to organise something!

Loads of sweet kisses from me.


Choffray Aurora said...

Now you know evertyhing about my Irish life :)