1/21/2019 6 Comments
Dublin, Howth, Malahide, Oh My!
City-dwelling + Cliff-side Hiking + Castle Visit
Greetings! I’ve made my way across the waters + have now begun my adventure in Ireland. I spent my first few days in Dublin getting acquainted with the city that I’ll be living in, then I made my way out to explore a bit outside the concrete confines.
Fortunately, I see many of Dublin's top highlights in my everyday walk to school including Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, The Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College, Grafton Street, and St. Stephen's Green. However, I did spend one afternoon during my first week as a tourist exploring some of the other locations more in depth. These places included many museums such as the EPIC Irish emigration museum, Dublin City Gallery, the Little Museum of Dublin, National Gallery, and Natural History Museum, as well as Oscar Wilde's birthplace and statue, the Ha'Penny Bridge, and the Dublin Zoo.
My first day trip out was to Howth for a cliff-side hike. The little town was quite cute + quaint by the coast full of docked boats + tempting fresh seafood restaurants. We went on the shorter of two hikes which was incredibly reminiscent of my time along The West Highland Way in Scotland. The trail was rocky with a bit of mush from previous rain, the grass was a vibrant green with the occasional pop of bright yellow blooms, and the views! oh my! The ocean extended infinitely beyond the horizon into a fuzzy haze of blue — I could see the entire world from atop the hill. The calm, dreamy waves brushed up against the steep + jagged rock side creating a beautiful, bubbly sea foam that was rich in an icy blue-green hue. The only words I could seem to utter were along the lines of “oh, wow! thank you, thank you Jesus!” It is in times + locations such as these that I am absolutely speechless as the magnificence, weight, glory, wisdom, creativity of my God!
When we made our way back down the hillside, we scoped out our options for fresh fish grub. We got some recommendations from the locals and fish + chips seemed to be the popular go-to — I’m always down for seafood! After we ate + walked a bit around the market in town we boarded the DART once again to head back to Dublin.
Normally, I would be attending my internship two days a week, but since I did not begin there my first week in Dublin, I took advantage of my free day to visit another new destination. Three of my friends joined me in journeying up to Malahide for the day. We are all fairly unfamiliar with public transportation, and especially in a new city (country!) we’ve never been, so we were basically running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to find the right location, station, platform, etc. for us to board the right mode of transport. Thankfully, everyone in Ireland is incredibly helpful + gracious so they pointed us in the right direction.
When we departed the DART, we ventured over to begin a tour of the Malahide Castle. It had been inhabited by members of the Talbot family for over 800 years + included all of the original paintings + furniture from throughout those times! We then exited the exquisite home to explore the 268 acres of woodland, gardens, greenhouses + even got to walk through a fairy trail + enter into the Republic of Ireland’s only butterfly house.
After the tour of the Talbot’s former property, we headed out to the local village + marina. It was quite similar to Howth in its local feel with little tourists or popular businesses.
I will admit, my first few days abroad took some getting used to. I felt all alone + afraid. But continually God reminded me how He is ALWAYS with me — He never leaves me nor forsakes me + I am in His care (Deuteronomy 31:8, 1 Kings 8:57, Psalm 73:23-24, 139:10). With Him — and only through Him — I have confidence + can take courage to continue on the journey He has laid out before me (Joshua 1:9, 1 Chronicles 28:20)! These verses have been exceptionally encouraging + relevant for me.
“If I Settle On The Far Side Of The Sea, Even There Your Hand Will Guide Me”
Meemaw & Pappaw Watson
1/21/2019 10:37:12 am
How grateful and happy we are that your time in the beautiful Emerald Isle is already proving to be a lifetime gift and desired dream come true! The scenes that you captured, the Bible verses which you noted, your narrative written, your wanderlust disposition and your confidence in God's care with His guidance and protection of you are the continual reminders of what a mighty God He is and how much He loves to grant the desires to His children (Psa. 37:4) when they take delight in Him! We give Him praise and daily trust that His face will continue to shine on you with peace (Num. 6:26) as you discover your new life in Ireland during your study abroad experience.
1/21/2019 02:09:59 pm
Oooo...aahhh! I love these pictures, reading about what you've been up to, and so thankful for how God has met your needs. I love all the Bible verses (of course!), but that Psalm 139: 9b-10a...WOW!...so fitting for this time in your life. I pray that you will continue to feel His love, presence, provision, and protection while you're "across the pond". Enjoy every minute, and choose to focus on the "positive", and don't dwell on the "negative". This is your big opportunity to make the most of your Study Abroad experience in Ireland (and beyond!), and I know you will carpe diem. We're so proud of you, and we love you very much!
1/21/2019 03:56:38 pm
1/23/2019 03:07:54 pm
I just love all of your amazing adventures. I’m so glad that you’re enjoying this experience in Ireland. God has blessed you with the gift of writing and photography. The scriptures you listed are so good. I love you!
1/27/2019 11:39:45 pm
I've heard and read that Ireland is a beautiful country. The pictures attest to that! Very happy that you are happy with your decision to study abroad there in Ireland despite the distance. This will be a great experience for you. I'm glad that you have the time and means to get out and see the country. Having the locals welcome and assist you is always a good thing and a bonus. Stay safe and enjoy your semester.
6/15/2019 07:08:14 pm
We love the pictures from the castle and of the butterflies. You were so brave to go in this adventure. You have so much more courage than I did at your age.
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