The trip started off kind of like a previous adventure….our flight out of Indianapolis was delayed. We boarded the flight and then were told we had about a 30 minute delay before take off. We learned something new that if someone wants off the plane, they have to take them back to the gate. We had one gentlemen who wanted to do that. I’d like to think he had a really good reason, but who knows. Anyway, taking him back meant we were delayed even more. We finally took off and landed in Philadelphia just about the time we were to take off. So, running through another airport (just like I did in O’Hare when we went to China). Our flight landed in Terminal F and we had to get to Terminal A. It was a long haul including a shuttle ride. But, luckily they held the plane and we took off about 30 minutes later than scheduled. It made for quite a start, but it all worked out in the end.
We landed in Shannon, Ireland about 3:40am Indianapolis time, 8:40am Shannon time, so we’re off and ready to go for the first day. I did manage a little sleep on the flight, so hopefully that was enough to get me through the day.
We met our tour guide Brian at the airport. Brian teaches music during the winter months. I think he’s going to be a great tour guide. From Shannon, we headed to the Cliffs of Moher. Oh my….they were absolutely breathtaking. I believe Brian said they were 668 feet tall from the sea. Not sure the pictures will do them justice, but they were just breathtaking. The weather here today is not what we had expected. They are having bright sunshine and the high will reach the mid-80s.
We had lunch in the little cafe inside the visitor center which worked out pretty well. It was nice to get a cold coke since I had been sweating so much from walking along the cliffs. We spent about 2 hours at the Cliffs, but headed off next to Galway.
At Galway we met a teacher at Holy Trinity Girls National School named Niabh and she gave us a little bit of info. on the Irish Educational System. We had a lovely conversation comparing the two systems. They have no central offices or district set-up like we do. Each school is “sponsored” by the community or the church. All their funding comes from the Department of Education. Every child is guaranteed one free year of preschool before starting primary school. They have 2 hours a week on religion education. In most schools, that is connected to the patron or sponsor, but in what they call Education Together schools, they focus on all types of religions. They only do standardized testing every other year. After our conversation, I popped down to their library just to see what it looked liked. School was out for the year, so it was so nice of Niabh to be willing to talk with us.
From there we headed to Killarney. It is about a 3 hour bus ride from Galway, so most of us enjoyed the scenery as well as took a little nap. We are still pretty tired from the overnight flight over.
We ate a nice dinner in the hotel and are enjoying some beverages in the bar. Unfortunately there is no a/c in the hotel, so we’re all melting. I guess normally it is no big deal….but with their temps today it has been a little hot.
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