S: Ireland/Scotland 2011 May1-May 14
FC: Ireland/Scotland May 1st - May 14th 2011
1: Pre-Conceptions: I am look forward to my trip to Ireland and Scotland. I know very little of both countries and what I do know I learned from watching TV. Some things I do know is that Guinness is made in Ireland, they speak English but with funny accents, and a traditional symbol they use is the clover. I am very excited to learn about the radiology program they have and what kinds of machines they use, I also want to know if they have the same guidelines as we do when dealing with radiation and I would just like to see the atmosphere of the radiology department.
2: Day 1 Sunday, May 1st 2011 Today the adventure begins. We departed Omaha-Eppley Airfield around 11:35 am on a very small plane. Our next stop was Newark International Airport in which we arrived at about 3:20 pm, we had just enough time at the Newark airport to get a quick bite to eat (@ Ruby's Diner) and load up for our next long flight. We departed for Dublin, Ireland at 7:10 p.m.. The flight was an overnight flight and they fed us one main meal and a snack. The airplane was equipped with games, movies and music on each seat, which made the long ride across the Atlantic seem shorter and made it much more enjoyable..
4: DAY 2 Monday, May 2nd 2011 Finally we made it across the Atlantic Ocean and now in Ireland. Once we got off of the plane our next mission was to clear customs. This is when we got our first taste of how the people of Irelend loved tourist! We were greeted through customs with a worker calling us "stupid American bastards"!! This came as huge surprise to us, but we were not going to let that ruin or trip. We then met our Coach Driver who drove us to Glendalough. He took us on a very scenic route with tons of hills, turns and narrow roads, but the view was magnificent. I was very anxious to arrive at Glendalough after hearing so much about it during our pre lectures I knew it was going to be a beautiful place. Glendalough meaning "Valley of the Two Lakes" was founded by St. Kevin. The ruins of Glendalough still includes several early churches, a round tower, and many other sites associated with the life of St Kevin in which we toured. ,
6: Day 3 Tuesday May 3rd 2011 Today was our first full day in Dublinmeaning two rivers joined in Gaelic . I was very excited to let the adventures begin. We got to go the Trinity College and see the Book of Kells. I have to admit I was not too excited for this because I really did not know to much about the book of Kells! But after doing a little research within the College I was amazed by his manuscripted Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of he New Testament. The book was created by Celtic monks around the year 800 or even earlier. After touring Trinity College we went on a brief guided tour of Dublin. The guided tour was very helpful, but was just a minute portion of Dublin. Some of my favorite things seen on the tour was the story of the chimneys, colored doors, King Edward's home, the smallest pub- Dawson's Pub, and the fact that if you hit a deer in the city of Dublin you will get a $500 fine. After our tour of Dublin we went on a tour of Guinness which was one of my favorite things we did on our trip. At the end of the tour they let me pour my own pint of Guinness and I became a "Certified Guinness pourer".
9: Day 4 Wednesday May 4th 2011 Today was the big day! We got to visit a hospital,, this is what our whole group was so excited for! Not only did we get to visit the hospital today but we also got to go out for dinner as a group to Oliver St. John Gogarty's Irish Tavern and Restaurant. I did learn a lot about the hospital, but they were not prepared for a Radiology Student so everything I learned that day did not pertain to me, but to the Nursing students. I still enjoyed the visit but was looking forward to the next hospital tour to get some information about radiology. Some interesting stuff I did learn was that 8 patients share 1 room, the average wait time for a CT scan is 1 week and an MRI scan wait time is around 2 weeks. After we got back from the hospital we had a small amount of free time which we took advantage of and went to the Wax Museum! I have never been to a Wax Museum and I was very interested in going. It was neat to see how creative they could be with wax and also get a history lesson as well! We did not have much time there but we were able to see a lot in a short amount time! After the Wax Museum we had just enough time to get ready and go to the dinner and dance. It was a very fancy traditional dinner and tasted VERY good! After dinner we all went downstairs and enjoyed the live music along with a pint.
10: Day 5 May 5th 2011 Free day! This day we got to do whatever we wanted to do.. We chose to go shopping on Grafton Street. Grafton Street is filled with a lot of stores from high end places down to souvenir shops. I had a lot of shopping I wanted to do and we all thought this was a perfect place to get it all done in one shot. For lunch that day we ate at a famous Irish Pub called The Alamo they served Lamb burgers which I definitely wanted to try! For supper we had Azkaban which was in a fast food restaurant like our McDonalds but worse. I do not recommend it and we thought we were going to have to visit a non toured hospital after.
12: Day 6 Friiday May 6h 2011 Today we woke up, ate breakfast and loaded the coach to start our day. Our group activity today was to go visit the Battle of the Boyne.. This was the site where the war between rivals; English, Scottish and Irish fought. The battle field was not what I was expecting but was pleasantly surprised with the guided tour. It was very interesting and I learned a great deal about the history of the battle. During the tour we saw many neolithic tombs. We then had lunch and took a short detour to stop and see the site of the 3 crosses. There was many old and interesting graves stones at this site. That night we stayed in Omagh. We got there with plenty of time for me and some friends to go on a walk of Omagh and do a little site seeing along with having a dutch lunch. We went to the local grocery store and bought sandwich supplies and chips for a cheap meal.
14: Day 7 Saturday May 7th 2011 We loaded the coach to go to Londonderry for a visit of the hospital as well as a tour of the town. I was very anxious to visit the hospital thinking I would get to see more of the radiology department! But when I got there they said that the radiology department worked on an on call basis on the weekends so I would not be able to see or get any information about their department I tried asking a few questions about radiology but they were more on the nursing side and did not know much about radiology. For the rest of the time in Londonderry we took a guided tour with a tour guide named Tommy. Londonderry was a very scenic town with lots of history. Some of my favorite things I learned about this town was Dairy means place of Oak tree, the wall around the town was built in 1613 to protect the town and is about 1 mile long, and it took around 4 years to build the wall, and the cannon was named Megan.
17: Day 8 Sunday, May 8th 2011 Today we traveled a short distance to the Folk Park. This was a self guided tour to show us the story of emigration back in the 18th and 19th centuries. We got to see a lot of Old replicas of Irish houses and the house many families lived in when they settled in America. We were also able to interact with people acting out as if they lived during that time. There was a lot of interesting facts about the old houses that they shared. We were shown how they made bread and we also got to try a sample of it. We were also shown how blacksmithing was done back then. We also got to see a replica of the ship that they traveled on to America. After our self guided tour we all sat and listen to a lecture on genealogy by Dr. Patty Fitzgerald. We learned a lot about migration of the Irish people. Some of the interesting things he told us were that in the 1820's as many as four people slept in one bed when making the journey to America. Everyone got a one way ticket meaning they were not coming back, rats meant you were lucky, and that you were served one meal a day on the ship. Once we got back to Belfast we went on a short guided tour of Belfast where we got to see the actual site where the Titanic was built which I thought was very interesting because of the fascination with the Titanic back home.
18: Day 9 Monday, May 9th 2011 Today we had time to sleep in before we loaded up on the ferry to travel to Scotland. I have never been on a ferry before so I was very excited. They said it was a fast ferry that was only going to take us 2 hours. The ferry was equipped with many fun things to do such as slot machines, movies, and fast food restaurants. I really enjoyed the ferry ride and it made me kind of want to go on a cruise sometime!! I was very excited to get to Scotland because I had been looking forward to seeing Scotland since I first decided to go on the trip. When we got off the ferry we met our new coach driver and did a little site seeing while we were driving to our hotel. It was very difficult to understand the coach driver because he had a very heavy Scottish accent. Once we were finally settled in our hotel we had time to go for a short walk on our own and dinner before it was time to get back and get ready for the next day of site seeing.
20: Day 10 Tuesday, May 10th 2011 This morning we got a tour of beautiful Edinburgh. I absolutely loved Edinburgh and could not get enough of the tours. We got to see a lot of fascinating things on our tour along with having wonderful tour guides. I think it is very interesting that Edinburgh is divided by what they call the "Old town" and the "New town". Parts of the "Old town" including the Castles, the Royal Mile, St Giles Cathedral. The "New town" consist of Princess street which was shopping centers,, St. Andrews Square, the Bute House which was the residence of the First Minister of Scotland. I liked how on the tour they gave us medical facts because they knew that is what we were interested in. After our guided tour we had a small amount of time to explore on our own then meet up to go to the the Ceilidh, a traditional Scottish dinner with many people in Kilts, Scottish Dancers and bagpipes along with the famous haggis and potatoes.
23: Day 11 Wednesday Day 11th 2011 Free Day! Today is another free day and there was a lot we wanted to get done in Edinburgh so we need to take advantage of our time. We decided to go to the Royal Yacht of Britannia which is one of the Worlds most famous ships. This Royal Yacht has served the Queen and the Country for around 44 years. It has carried the queen and her Royal Family on 968 official voyages from the South Seas all the way to Antarctica. The Britannia went on her last Voyage in January of 1997 which was her longest voyage. I was really amazed by this ship. It had a huge laundry facility, a surgery center, a huge dining center and a kitchen that is still in use today! We were also informed that they have many dinners on the Britannia with famous people attending, most recently being President Bill Clinton. After our Britannia tour we decided to go to the famous Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh which was very relaxing. I saw some beautiful flowers and was even able to feed a squirrel peanuts right out of my hands.
24: Day 12 Thursday May 12th 2011 Today was another free day. By this time we were very tired and had a lot of organizing and packing to do so we decided to take it easy today and just do some short site seeing and some shopping and called it a early day. We went back to the hotel to get organized and do our final packing before our long trip tomorrow. After we got done packing we all went out as a group to have one last meal and a pint , but by this time I was ready to eat a home cooked American meal.
26: Day 13 Friday May 13th 2011 Today is a bitter sweet day, I am sad to leave our journeys but ready to be back in America. Little did we know that when we finally arrived back in the states we had to spend an extra day in Newark due to a complication at the airport. But this gave us a chance to go to Carlos Bakery home of the Cake Boss. Day 14 Saturday May 14th 2011 This is the day we will actually make it home and boy was I ready by this time!! I was so excited to see my mom and dad at the airport waiting for me!
28: Post Conception: Wow.. I learned a lot from this trip. There is much more to Ireland than I knew or was shown on TV. I brought back a lot of knowledge and memories that I learned on the trip. I know we did not learn everything of Ireland and I plan on going back to learn more. I wish the hospital visits would of pertained more to me so I would of got a better idea of how the radiology department ran.