Archive for September 2015

connemara national park

Days 2-3: Connemara National Park
Since we were in the country of rolling greenery, we pulled on our sneakers and hit the hills. Then it drizzled on and off the entire day, clearly just so we could get the authentic Ireland summer experience. But this was a good day because it made me feel fit. Also, we discovered that you can camp in national parks across Ireland for free, as long as you are at least 400 meters from any roads. No showers though.

For more photos/tips from Ireland, click here.

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hitting the road: ireland (brú na bóinne)

I've dreamed of visiting Morocco for some time now, and so I carved out and reserved 10 days of my *very last* (wahhhh) summer vacation especially for that purpose. Only to discover that it was somehow or another not plausible (how it was or was not now escapes me) and so we rerouted to Ireland. Which, if you're looking for an easily-accessible holiday from the mainland, is not a bad backup plan.

So, on our merry little student budgets, we set out dishing out for a car and insurance (which cost about as much as the car). Then we collected camping gear (no stove though = steady diet of bread, cheese, and fruit), practiced our humble tent-pitching routine, and set off on our merry way.

Day 1: Newgrange & Knowth
You travel with me, you better like rocks. I have an interest in prehistoric architecture* that drops off the radar for most of the year but resurges with a vengeance every time a holiday rolls around. I just can't get over the very many different realities that could have existed, and the very frustrating but addictive curiosity of which, if any, is the real one. Plus, what did their language sound like? Did any of them every imagine anything like my life? Nobody knows.

Anywho, these funky little tunnel mounds were engineered some 5,000 years ago by some prehistoric geniuses who probably didn't even have the unlimited supply of pens and trace paper that modern-day architects have to perfect their plans on. The big one lights up only for exactly six minutes on the winter solstice, meaning that they could also only have laid the groundwork during those six minutes each year. Patience was clearly more of a thing before the internet.


*My favorite is still Göbekli Tepe, thought to be the very first building built by mankind when we got sick of all that hunting and gathering and decided to build more permanent walls so we could better preserve our drawings of men with giant schlongs, or something.

For more photos/tips from Ireland, click here.

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mainz again

Most of this year has been a mad rush to get a never-ending stream of uni assignments in on time, but the last few weeks of summer I was free as a bird. Which meant: exploring! Starting with rediscovering my favorite places, like Mainz.

Mainz continues to hold a special place in my heart: it was my landing pad in Germany, where I went through all the initial difficulties of adapting to a culture that can be very guarded and difficult to decipher for silly Americans like me and kicked off my studies of the puzzle of a language that is German (even more difficult to crack than the people). This also made it, of course, a year of reflection and convoluted emotional cobwebs.

Now when I go back, it's just to visit old friends, favorite cafés, have a few beers on the water, and enjoy the sunny Rhein weather (so sorely lacking in Berlin). And take pictures, because everything looks gorgeous in that sunshine.

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