It seems like I always begin each post apologizing for my lengthy sojourn! So I’m gonna skip that part this time, and dive right into it.
Once again, a million things have happened since my entry of six months ago. When last we spoke, I was in the middle of my Journo Masters, training for the Great Limerick Run and preparing for a month-long summer holiday. And now, I’m living all the way down in the Rebel territory of County Cork, working in the Irish Examiner, and desperately trying to make time for the gym!! Quite a leap if I do say so myself, so I’ll begin at the beginning:
The Journo Maters went well, though I didn’t finish my thesis this year as expected due to a few bumps along the road.
Firstly, some of my forms were lost by the college meaning that I didn’t have approval for my topic. It’s a long and annoying story, so I won’t go into it, but it means that while I could still have finished the thesis, it wouldn’t have been the one I set out to do.
Secondly, I started a placement in Cork with the Irish Examiner during the summer, and I simply didn’t have enough spare time to complete the thesis with the level of commitment it required. So in the end, I deferred the thesis part of my Masters to next summer, and I’ll be graduating in Jan ’15. I don’t really mind though, because now I have a whole year to pay the balance of my fees as opposed to a few months. So I think things are actually working out for the better.
My placement in the Examiner is going well, I’m pleased to report, and I’m really starting to fall in love with Cork! I’m getting a good variety of work published and everyone working in the offices are really nice. They’re just about to move the whole show down to Blackpool though, which may throw a spanner in the works seeing as I’ll have to walk/cycle a good bit extra to get there now, but sure we’ll see how it goes.
Every weekend I’m trying to get out and see a bit more of the City and attractions in and around it. I’ve been up the bells of Shandon, out to kiss the Blarney stone (see the castle below), and even an odd and musty trip to the Butter Museum (don’t ask).
And now to backtrack a little – I finished the Great Limerick Run a few months ago and I’m so delighted to have done it. My medal is hanging up on my wall right now, in fact, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. A truly great, if intensely tiring experience. After that, it was off to see the world!
Here’s a brief snapshot where we went and what we saw:
First stop: Italia! Flew into Rome, basked in the sun down by the Trevi Fountain (below), went to see the man himself in the Vatican, got given out to for having bare shoulders in St Peters Basilica, took a train to Naples, marveled at the strength of Mt Vesuvius, trekked around the ruins of Pompeii.
Second stop: Turkey. Flew into the Asian side of Istanbul. Covered up my hair for the mosques, soaked in the softness of the carpets on my bare feet, scoffed down Turkish Delights, moved around palaces that hurt your eyes to look upon, ran away from Taksim Square and the police (below), ran towards Taksim Square with the protesters, took buses over to Asia to the Black Sea, jetted up the Bospherous and rented bikes on Prices Island.
Third stop: Greece. Strolled down the avenues of Athens, took in the sights from the Pantheon, drank wine on top of the mountain by the Acropolis.
Fourth stop: Spain. Flew into Barcelona for the Feast Day of St John, joined in the lighting of the flames off La Rambla, climbed to the top of Mont Serrat (below), risked our necks on the cable car, went the wrong way up a mountain to the theme park we heard was on top, spent the night on a beach looking at fireworks at talking to new friends from Australia and America. Bought Duff Beer, hated it. Marveled at the designs of Antoni Gaudi.
Fifth stop: Morocco. DIED in the heat, went to see monkeys, ran away from the monkeys, touched a snake by accident, got harassed for money by almost everyone, got given out to for taking a photo of the palace guard, went to a water park int he middle of the desert, got sick from swallowing the water in the water park, went to the Ouzoud Falls anyway (below), bought a lovely dress, got a tattoo, had an allergic reaction to the tattoo, sweat away three times my own weight in water.
Sixth stop: England. Good old London town! Recuperated, regrouped, had food, got ready to go home. No point seeing the sights, been there seven or eight times before. Stayed in a crap hostel, stole some wifi.
By no means is that everything either. But If I was to write it all down here, this post would be twenty times as long. At least. And ain’t nobody got time for that.
Maybe I’ll start a travel blog or something. I’ll let ya know. In the mean time, I’ll try keep this up-to-date more often. I promise 🙂