January 10, 2011
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One of my favorite things to do is to travel to places that I have never been before and explore. It was almost summer and I was thinking of where to visit. I asked my college roommate a great place to visit, because she traveled extensively around the world. She immediately suggested Ireland because she spent a summer in Ireland and she told me it was the best summer she ever spent overseas. She praised Ireland a lot calling it “Little Heaven” because of its beautiful landscape and its people whom she described as “Down to earth kind of people”. As she told me her experience in Ireland, I thought about going there for myself to experience the fun. Besides, it was always my dream to visit Europe. She said I should take a sightseeing tour around Dublin, take a trip to Killkenny, visit the Phoenix Park, get the Zozimus experience and go to Cork City Gaol. The places sounded exciting so I decided to go and experience them. I talked to my parents and told them about my trip to Ireland and they felt sort of undecided but later my mom called me while I was at a friend’s house and said they were okay with me going. They told me to be careful and bring them back some pictures.
I left my house at two o’clock in the morning because my flight was going to leave in an hour. I packed my clothes and a camera. My parents came along with me to the airport. I had so much energy in me and felt so enthusiastic. My parents drop me off at the airport leaving me along with other tourist going to Ireland. I was glad I was not the only one going there. I spotted across me two teenage girls about my age that had huge bags on their backs. They were probably exchange students I thought. Right beside them stood a mom and her daughter talking about where they should go when they get there. The daughter said that they should decide when they get there because they were having a hard time deciding. The plane was about to leave so I stepped to the line to pay my ticket. I had four hundred dollars that my dad gave me for the trip. I paid to the lady on the front office. She was an Irish woman with thick red hair. She was in her late thirties and her English was kind of shaky. She gave me a friendly smile and told me to have a great trip. I thanked her and boarded the plane.
After two hours of being stuck in a plane, we finally arrived in Ireland. I got off and smelled the fresh air of a different country. Finally, it was great to be in Europe: way up on the North Ireland was Sweden and Denmark, on the South was England, right below England was Germany and France, Spain and Portugal on the West of France and the amazing thing was the close proximity between these countries. I immediately felt like I should visit them all but I promised my parents that I was only going to Ireland. I am used to the smell of Detroit so this new place was going to take time to get use to it for the couple of days I am here. The moment I got off, I spotted a gentlemen in a suit and walked toward him. I introduced myself and he introduced himself as Jacob. I asked him if he could show me where the bus station was and have a sightseeing tour. He said he would show me so I went with him. He was from Canada so he spoke English. We went on his car which was pretty neat. It was two thousand ten Camry and was very fast. We were at the bus station in less than ten minutes or maybe that’s how it seemed. Just like we do back home, we had to wait for the bus. The bus came after two minutes and I thanked Jacob for his help and rewarded him with some money. The bus was a double Decker so I thought about sitting on top so I could see the city clearly. While paying my ticket, the driver spoke to me in his language and I felt perplexed. I ignored him and sat next to a man dressed in traditional clothing. The man spoke to me in English and told me that the driver was trying to ask me if I was a tourist. I thought he was saying something bad about me, I said to the guy who’s name was Samuel. I was quite for a while and tried to watch the view. There was no roof on the bus so the wind was blowing on my hair. The bus was comfortable and enjoyable way to see magnificent attractions Ireland has to offer. The bus was going really slow so we could not miss any moment. We passed by the civic museum which preserves materials and explains Ireland’s past by giving you a brief knowledge. The museum was very big and well built and had a statue of an important guy named Nelson. It was more like an apartment and not more of a museum. You could tell that it was built a very long time ago because it looked kind of old. A few blocks from the museum, was the National Library. It was like a mansion because it was huge. Through the window, I could see it was packed with people mostly tourist from the US. The architecture of the building was amazing. It fascinated me how the building was shaped and how gigantic it was. We arrived at Grafton which was the most popular and best shopping street. I decided to get off and get a little glimpse of Grafton. I wanted to do a little shopping and get something for my parents. I got off and the streets were crowded with people. I kept bumping into people and almost got thrown to the floor but I caught myself. I was walking and I noticed a bunch of guys playing a song standing by the wall. I walked over to them and listened to the song they were playing in their language. I did not understand but their voices were beautiful. I sat by them to listen a little bit more. They played a couple more songs and I kept listening. Finally, I rewarded them with ten dollars and went on for my shopping. I got in one of the stores and something caught my eye. It was a beautiful statue that I thought would be good for my parents as a gift. I was famished, so I went to take a bite to eat in Bewleys Oriental Café. It was famous restaurant with American, Italian, and French foods. I sat at a table with a guy who seemed to dress different from everybody else. He was French and was here for a couple of days. I spoke a little French from back in the days when I took French class so it was useful. We talked about our experiences so far and he told me a funny story of when he went to a market. He said he wanted a fish but the lady in the market gave him a chicken. He was surprisingly allergic to the chicken so he started to sneeze like crazy. The woman thought he was sick and chased him off the market because she didn’t want to get germs spread on the food. He left without his fish and I felt bad for him but I thought it was funny. I ordered a French cuisine and a coke. The man ordered lasagna which he said was his favorite food.

My next place to visit was Killkenny which was known as the medieval capital of Ireland. The best part of it was the stable where the horses were kept. I decided to go there to have fun and learn how to ride a horse. I met a young man named Jason who showed me around the place. It was very plain and there was a house far off standing at nowhere. He took me to the stable and I told him that I wanted to learn how to ride a horse and I would like his help. He got me a brown horse and helped me get on. The first time I got on was the scariest experience of my life. The ground looked very far away and I felt very dizzy. We started moving very slow but soon I got used to it and we started to move very fast. Jason got his black horse that he had since he was very young and rode along with me. He taught me how to jump off a pole and it was really fun experience.

My next adventure was to go to Phoenix Park. I heard there was a marathon going on in the park, so I decided to join. The run was ten kilometer and it was for a cause. I changed into a sweat pants and tee shirt and joined the million people racing. I stood next to an old lady who was also racing and to my left was a ten year old boy. He looked at me and smiled and said good luck in English. “Are you a visitor?” he said, “Yes, I am a tourist,” I said. He asked where I was from and I told him that I was from America. His face immediately lightens up with excitement and he slowly uttered “The Land of Opportunity”. I could read the curiosity written all over his face. And this was an interesting this I found about Irish people: They love America and always asked tones of questions about America whenever they meet an American. A guy standing in the corner started counting from five. I got myself ready and tied my shoes. When it got to zero, the guy ringed a bell and the race started. The little boy who stood by me passed me in a flash. I decided to go really slow because I didn’t want to waste my energy. I started to jog and not waste my stamina. I caught up with the little boy and he was panting and was trying to catch his breath. “Are you ok?” I said, I was lucky he understood me. He spoke a little English. Everyone who was racing was very healthy and fit. It was the last round and this was where I needed all my energy. I took water from the people standing in the crowd. I started to run really fast and noticed everyone was also running really fast. I was getting exhausted but I had to keep going. The wise words of my grandmother, “Never give up” repeatedly kept playing over and over in my head and those words gave me the motivation to finish the race. The race got intense with the last minute and surprisingly, I won first place with the old lady in second place. I was so elated that I started to hug everyone around me. I congratulated the old lady and couldn’t explain how I was feeling .I won the race even though I had no experience in racing, thanks in part to my grandmother’s advice. I got a gold medal and the old lady got a silver medal. The medal said I was number one and I did feel like number one. I left Phoenix Park with my medal of achievement on my neck and headed to get the Zozimus experience.

I got to the theater where my experience was going to take place. The place was like a movie theatre and it had chairs. I sat in the middle of the row, not too close to the front and not too far back. I sat next to a couple dressed in special clothing that looked very fancy. The lights were turned off and the show started and I was already getting chills. A ghost looking thing appeared from my side. I started to scream but soon there were a lot of them and they seemed to be surrounding me. I was horrified and ran around the place but they kept popping from everywhere. The couples beside me were also terrified. The creatures removed their mask and they looked like people. One of the men walked over to me and asked if I was scared. I thought that was a rhetorical question because I was literally going to wet my pants.

My last and not least adventure was to go to Cork City Goall. It was where prisoners were captured. Wondering through the place, it was very horrible. The condition was bad. The place was fascinating and they had a sound tour were you could hear the history of the life of the people. The jail was vey cracked and old. That experience was the most touching because it showed how people in prison lived. I had so much in this experience and I would do it again if I had a chance. My favorite part of this experience was being able to have fun in everything I do.

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