As I returned back from America to Ireland, I was struck by the reality that I only have five months left here. Five months left of coaching, five months left of class, five months left playing with the Panthers, five months left with all of the Scholars, and five months left exploring this beautiful country. I only have five months left in Ireland and I intent to embrace every moment I have here. I actually had this first weekend back in Ireland free, so I decided what better way to spend my time, and help overcome my nagging jet lag, then go on an adventure and reunite with some Victory Scholar friends.
Meghan and Jas, two other Victory Scholars, made the long journey up from Waterford and met my teammate Steph, from the Portlaoise Panthers, and me in Dublin. We then took another bus to Belfast, and then a train to Jordanstown, where we met our friends at Ulster. We spent the afternoon catching up and exchanging stories about our holidays. That night we made our way to Belfast to watch the Belfast Giants hockey game. I was excited that the Ulster Scholars already intended on going to the game because there are two Colgate alums that play for the Giants, and I love supporting Colgate whenever I can. My friend, who actually graduated with me this past year, got the rest of our group complementary tickets to the game, so we were all able to go and watch the game together. The game was packed and there was such a fun environment in the arena. The Giants ended up winning 4-1 and my friend proudly represented Colgate when he scored the first goal of the game!
All of the Scholars have been fortunate enough to spend a decent amount of time in Belfast because that is where the SCL headquarters are based, but we never got to explore further north, so five of us took this opportunity to do the Game of Thrones tour. Although I have never seen one episode of Game of Thrones, I was blown away with the beautiful sites and rich history in the area. On our tour we saw Carnlough Village, Cushendun Caves, Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Larrybane, and the Dark Hedges. My personal favorite was Giant’s Causeway because it is so unique and I was blown away with the fact that it was naturally created from either volcanic eruption, or the popular myth that the giant Finn McCool created the site when he was enraged with another giant. I also really enjoyed the Rope Bridge because we actually got to walk across the bridge that hung above the water and several sharp rocks. Although I was slightly more scared than I had initially anticipated, I really enjoyed the walk across the bridge and the view around it. This weekend was so much fun, and it really started off the second half of my year right! I cannot wait for all of the other adventures that these next five months hold!