Katharine Brandow: A Weekend in Sligo

23 Sep

This past weekend I got the chance to take a journey across the country of Ireland. Three hours northwest of Dublin lies a city named Sligo. Even though it is ranked as the second largest city in the west of Ireland, Sligo has a population whose size is well rivaled by the number of sheep living there. While there, one is very much immersed in nature and the countryside. Sligo is home to rolling hills, mountaintops with numerous megalithic cemeteries, seaside villages, and farms as far as the eye can see. The geography and structure of Sligo is what makes it perfect for the type of weekend that we enjoyed there. We had the opportunity to stay in the Gyreum Ecolodge for two nights, hike up mountains over 1,000 feet above sea level, surf the waves off the coast, listen to old Irish stories told by a druid, and visit a donkey sanctuary. Throughout the weekend we also learned some of the history of Ireland, including the idea for “Star Wars” came from a battle that took place not far from where we were staying. Additionally, we were taught some Irish words, and all about thousand year old tombs and religious sanctuaries. All of these activities that I participated in gave me a greater understanding about Ireland’s true identity. This excursion took me away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin and gave me a chance to relax and enjoy a simpler way of life. While our weekend was packed with all of these activities, the opportunity to take in Ireland at some of its best did not escape me. While walking around both the summits of the incredible peaks we climbed and even just the town of Sligo itself, the fact that I was actually living and studying in Ireland really hit me. I was experiencing something that most people will never get the chance to, and in those moments I was so thankful for everything that this life has given me so far. Being here in Ireland, and taking this past weekend in Sligo, my eyes have been opened to all that the world has to offer me.

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