Posts Tagged With: Queens University

Next Stop: The Giant Causeway & Derry, Northern Ireland

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 ~ Day 2 ~

Stuck between two seasons.Winter is coming.

Stuck between two seasons.
Winter is coming.

After a restless and interesting night in Belfast, I woke up a but earlier then the others because I wanted to check out another place to visit in Belfast: Queens University. I go to Queens University back home in Canada, and it was extremely necessary that I went to visit my home away from home. I only had 20 minutes to visit the campus (due to early time we had to leave Belfast), but what I saw of it on the outside was very beautiful and somewhat similar to my university back home.

I specifically wore my Queens University hoodie that day to take some pictures of me in front of the school.
I’m cool like that.

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After my quick visit to Queens University of Belfast (better quick visit then no visit), I hopped on the bus and began a day of touring along the glorious North Coast of Northern Ireland. Our first stop was at the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge which is about 20 meters long and sits about 40 meters above the water. If you’re afraid of heights, you could be scary, but for others, it was a walk in the park. It was about £5 to cross the bridge, but if you don’t want to do the rope bridge, the path along the coast to get to the bridge was free and incredibly beautiful.

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We then went to the Giant’s Causeway, which was absolutely breathtaking. The Giant’s Causeway is a geological phenomenon that contains an area of approximately 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. The columns are a result of an ancient volcanic eruption. The Giant’s Causeway is located in County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland.

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By coincidence, I ran into Ian, a friend of mine from back home who is on exchange in Scotland. It was just so random and awesome to run into him at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. I haven’t seen Ian since my beautiful trip to Perth, Scotland.

738329_10152380993330032_2142764849_oAfter such a scenic and inspiring sight-seeing day, we made our way to historic Derry (also called LondonDerry if you were a Protestant living here). Again, there is still religious conflict and dangerous events happening in this part of Northern Ireland as well. We went on an evening tour of the city and were shown the political murals and told of the historical facts of Derry. We walked to the highest point in the city to overlook the amazing view. We were told of some interesting facts such as the Irish character from Glee, Damian McGinty, is from Derry, and 738209_10152380993565032_74157307_otold of some scary facts, like how the police caught a couple of guys in a car with a rocket launcher that was aimed for the police station that was mainly filled with Protestants. The Paddy’s Palace hostel in Derry was one of the best hostel’s I’ve stayed at. The hostel was decorated for the Christmas holidays, with positive staff, and even a furry and friendly cat to make you feel more at home. I would recommend anyone who wants to visit historic Derry to stay at the Paddy’s Palace here. They even have a great review on Hostelworld.

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The rest of the night in Derry consisted of a Pub crawl. My first Irish pub crawl, and let’s just say, it was a night to remember, or not…

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Check out my journey in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Check out Day 3 on my Paddy Wagon Tour!

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Categories: Belfast, Blog, Derry, Fall, Northern Ireland, Seasons, Survival Guide, Travel Sights, Travel Tips, United Kingdom, Winter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

St. Patrick’s Day in IRELAND!

522597_10152657414370032_258668603_nSt. Patrick’s Day in Ireland has always been a
must thing” to do on my bucket list, and for 2013, I was able to cross this experience off my bucket list with a Guinness in my hand, and an irish crowd cheering on a great day in Dublin!

Back home at my university, there is a tradition that we do on St. Patrick’s Day. This tradition begins with a pancake kegger that commences early in the morning, and consists of a glorious amount of green-coloured pancakes (sometimes shaped like four-leaf clovers if you’re lucky), and lots of green-coloured beer. This is our breakfast for St. Patrick’s Day.

Sounds grand doesn’t it?

This year, we brought this tradition to Dublin and we began operation “pancake kegger” at 10am on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day. What made the day even better was the fact that we had so many people from my university back home at this pancake kegger, including my best friend Savannah, who you may recall from my trip to Oktoberfest in Germany this past year. Last year, Savannah and I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day together in Canada, and this year we were able to spend the green-filled day in Ireland together. It’s now our yearly tradition!

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2012<——————->2013

LET THE PANCAKE KEGGER COMMENCE! Sorry, got a bit too excited there…

Ireland ran out of green food colouring, so none of our pancakes were green, but we decided to just add extra chocolate chips in them, and oh boy… were they delicious! Savannah made the best pancakes I have ever had! They also went down amazingly with beer and wine. This was a great start to the morning!

 882161_10152673579900032_1265473501_o902318_10152673580925032_1987098120_o893983_10152673579940032_1401738973_o904139_10152673581245032_1622047313_o891819_10152673581375032_10707097_oAfter a few shots here, and a couple of fake tattoo’s there, we all made our way to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade! As I walked through Trinity College to get to parade, all I could think about was “Wow, you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland… I’m so lucky to be here and alive”.

Once we got to the parade, all you can see is 50 shades of green throughout the enormous crowd. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many people jam-packed together in a street, let alone Dublin, in my life. Everyone had big smiles on their faces and eager to see the parade! I don’t really remember much of the parade – all I can remember is feeling the energy of the crowd and how amazing it was to be in this moment with my friends talking, drinking, singing, etc.

Here’s what Savannah captured of the parade:
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SO MANY PEOPLE, SO MUCH GREEN! THE STREETS OF DUBLIN WAS CRAYCRAY.

After the 2 hour-long parade, we headed back to my friend’s place where we either continued to drink, eat or nap (as you do mid-way through St. Patrick’s day). Afterwards, we all got refreshed, and started to get ready to hit the city nightlife hard. Savannah, Jenn and I ended up touring the streets of Dublin for a bit and then ended up in this irish pub called “The Duke” with barely any tourists, and had the real authentic irish experience! It’s great that I have a friend whose a local in Dublin and knows where the best places to go!

In the end, silly drunk Ryan thought to further this irish experience he would try some irish whiskey… Ryan had been drinking since 10am and finishing the night off with whisky was a no-no. Silly Ryan. Oh well! Overall, Ryan and Savannah had an amazing time in Dublin and had a spectacle St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland. There’s something I can finally cross off my bucketlist! I recommend that anyone and everyone who has thought about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland…. DO IT! It was one of the best days of my life! If I were to come back for St. Patrick’s Day again, I would definitely go to a smaller city/town in Ireland, such as Cork or Galway, because there would be less tourists, and more irish locals that would be willing to show tourists a good time!

Until next time….

544643_10151504664912969_1674852668_n (2)Check out my bucketlist!
Coming To Dublin? Check out my post here.
Want to see where I’ve been in Ireland & get inspired by the beauty of this green country? Click here

Categories: Blog, Dublin, Holidays, Ireland, Seasons, Spring, Survival Guide, Travel Sights, Travel Tips, Winter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SPENDING CHRISTMAS IN EUROPE!

This post is more or less for my family and friends back home as a way to update them on when and where I will be during my holiday vacation!

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December 7th – Last Day of Classes!

December 8th til 19th – Traveling All of Ireland with my Australian friend Freya!

December 20th til 23rd – Traveling to Belgium, and visiting Bruges & Brussels with my Belgian friend Caroline and fellow Queens friend Savannah!

December 24th til 27th – Spending Christmas with Savannah & reunited with Freya in Berlin, Germany!

December 27th til 30th – Traveling to Austria, seeing Vienna and going skiing with my other fellow Queens friend Kirsten in her cousins winter cabin!

December 30th – Fly back to the UK

December 31st – Spending New Years Eve in Edinburgh!!

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Now that I have actually written all my travel plans down… I’m actually overwhelmed on how much I am traveling over the Christmas season! The realized why I wanted to travel so much… It’s so I’m constantly busy, and thus keeping my mind off the fact that I won’t be back home in Canada for Christmas with my family and friends. As I won’t be home for Christmas, I figured I’d treat myself with all the money I’m saving from flying back to Canada, and then back to the UK, that I would travel in Europe over the Christmas break, and this is what I will be doing.

Keep checking back to my blog for recent updates, as I will be blogging as I travel this holiday season! 🙂
Also, Have a listen to my personal Christmas music playlist here!

Cheers, Ryan.

Categories: Blog, Canada, Christmas, Edinburgh, England, Flights, Germany, Leeds, Scotland, United Kingdom, Winter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Home Away From Home: Perth, Scotland

One of the main reason why I came to visit the city of Perth was mainly due to the fact that I wanted to send a postcard of Perth, from Perth, Scotland to Perth, Ontario, Canada; where I usually live. I thought it would be humourous to do so.

Like my little town, the city Perth in Scotland is quite small, with not much to do or see. Apparently the city recently became somewhat of a tourist attraction once Perth become Scotland’s seventh city after winning a UK competition marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It wasn’t actually a “city” until this year, even though the Scottish people named the town “the city of Perth” in spite of its previous status omission.

The city is small and contains many interesting little shops, but instead of shopping, my friend Ian and I spent our day hiking and nature walking up Kinnoull Hill. We went with a tour guide for the day who lead us up this adventurous summit. If you are ever in Glasgow, check out this guy’s tours; he was one of the best tour guides that I’ve ever had.

 

As the season changes to autumn, I was lucky to have spent the day in Scotland without rain. The weather was gorgeous, and the changing colours of nature were awe-inspiring. Fall is my absolute favourite time of the year, and to go on a nature walk that reminded me of being back home in Canada was exactly what I needed. The air was crisp and cool, the falling leaves and calming sounds of nature led me to be in a very euphoric mood.

The weirdness of this tree was fascinating to me.

 

The nature walk and hike up to the summit of Kinnoull Hill was relaxing and a workout at the same time. The view from the top was just phenomenal though. Why is it that the view from the tops of mountains/hills are always the best views in the world? I need to become a professional hiker/mountaineer, as opposed to amateur blogger and film-maker.

I was really happy I got to spend the day with my friend Ian who is another Queens University film and media student (such as myself), and had Gary as our awesome and humorous  tour guide; he makes my top fav 5 Scottish people I know.

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All in all, I had an amazing Saturday afternoon enjoying the autumn weather by hiking up a Scottish hill. Perth was my home away from home, and I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Check out the rest of my weekend in Scotland here

Check out my Autumn/Fall Music Playlist here

Categories: Autumn, Blog, Fall, Scotland, Seasons, Travel Sights, Travel Tips, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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