This past weekend I went on a trip to Cork and Cobh. Driving past the rolling hills and green fields covered with sheep, I realized this was my last time seeing the Irish countryside. We explored the Blarney Castle and kissed the Blarney stone, which was probably swarming in germs. It comes from the story of the goddess Clíodhna telling the builder of the Blarney Castle to kiss the first stone he sees, and in return he won his lawsuit with great eloquence. Exploring the abundant gardens and beautiful scenery, I realized I couldn’t have been more blessed living in Ireland for the past four months. Blarney Castle had everything from a cave called the Druid’s lair to an area called the poison gardens. There was a beautiful mix of fall colors everywhere as we ran through the gardens and explored. The next day, we traveled to Cobh and explored the port and museum. Seeing replicas and stories of people’s struggles while trying to leave Ireland, brought everything about Irish history to life. The amount of people who have gone through this port is unimaginable. It was the departure point for 2.5 million out of the 6 million Irish people that emigrated between 1848 and 1950. It was also the sight where the 200 bodies and 700 survivors from the RMS Lusitana were brought after the Germans sank the ship. Seeing everything this port went through was a bit daunting. Before coming to Ireland, there was an entire country with a history that I knew nothing of. Now, four months later, I feel like a local, I am able to talk Irish politics with people at the pubs and speak very basic Irish. It was all a little bittersweet s we were driving home from Cobh. we passed the Irish countryside, with it’s green fields and abundant livestock, for the last time and I for one, am certainly going to miss it.
– Clara Cutbill