Nicole DeSantis

My trip to the Emerald Isle

Day 12

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Today was our last day in Ireland. It seems like it was just a blink of an eye before this trip was over. I have learned a lot about not only the Irish Media, but a great deal about myself and the people around me.
Instead of going on about how beautiful the Cliffs of Moher are… stay tuned at the end of this post for an image to capture the idea instead.
Later we went to a Medieval dinner and listened to the reactors preform and Micky and I ate our entire meal with just out hands. On the way home, Joe sang and we clapped for him. Joe and Tyg really brought a different aspect to the trip. I will miss them.
Tonight we went for a little walk just around the hotel in Limerick. I wish it could have been a place we could have explored more. Now we will get up at 4:30 a.m. and head to the airport. Though I will continue to London, everyone else will be leaving and I will be really sad to see them go. I’ve made some great friends and memories here.

Written by Nicole DeSantis

May 20, 2010 at 11:06 am

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Day 11

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Today was our last day in Killarney. It was a day that was mainly free, but with a meeting one meeting at four o’clock with Declan Mallone, a print editor.
We got up early for breakfast and then arranged to go horseback riding.  I am extremely happy that we went. I had a great time, rode a nice horse and was able to delve into the forest. On the path, the ride was mostly quiet and it was refreshing to reflect on nature and the different landscapes of Ireland. The horse’s owner was very passionate about his horses and has been working with these horses and on a farm his entire life. I enjoyed that his horse riding business was attached to his house and his property. It seems like a great way to make extra money and still do what he enjoys most.
Later we spoke with Declan from the Kerryman. Though I enjoyed his lecture, I was the most impressed by his interview he gave Micky afterwards. We got to speak with him about Ireland and their drinking policies and history. He had a lot to say and was a great contribution to her project. It was easy to speak with him because he had a lot to say, not only as a journalist but also as an Irish citizen.
Tomorrow we are off to the Cliffs of Moore and our last night in Ireland!

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May 19, 2010 at 9:52 am

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Day 10

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Today was a long day on the bus with many pit stops along the way. Today was the first day we really got to experience Ireland’s weather in full force! It was rainy and cold for almost the entire day. During our ride through the Ring of Kerry most of the views were big white sheets of fog. Luckily we have had pretty decent weather but wouldn’t you know it, the most scenic part of our trip interrupted by weather. Regardless, it was still a good trip. Between my mini naps I would wake up to see a castle that has fallen nearly apart from the 1800’s. How cool!
The other great thing about today was our sheep herding experience. Beautiful, adorable dogs herding sheep of all types around a field right in front of us. They were trained so well (unlike the dog I live with)! The shepherd has been herding all of his life and it was crazy to see how he interacted with the dogs and the sheep themselves. He was very knowledgeable.
We went to dinner at Danny Mann’s World Famous Singing Dinner. They sang Irish music and they played a lot of great songs. There was also a little girl that did Irish step dance. Her feet moved faster then I could ever image! Tomorrow is our free day and I’m hoping to go horseback riding.

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May 18, 2010 at 9:12 am

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Day 9

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After a delicious Irish breakfast, we set off for RedFM radio. It was interesting to hear the promotions, adverts, strict laws about what you can and can not see. I was also glad to see that the station was mostly female, and the working environment seemed tough but also fun and creative.
Next we went to the Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone. We explored the dungeon, climbed the spiral stairs to the Stone and laid down to kiss it. Now, it was not what I expected. For some reason, in my ignorance, I thought it would be more of a boulder.  A lucky rock, if you will. But actually it was a particular rock stuck in the side of the castle on the very top, in which you had to lay on your back and lean down to kiss. This was frightening! with your eyes open, while kissing the stone, you could also imagine the free fall that would result from slipping through the cracks. None the less, I am glad I put my germaphobia aside and decided and to pucker up for and Irish tradition.
Tonight we will go into Cobh, look for dinner and look longingly at the ocean’s horizon. Tomorrow we leave this unique town in search for the Ring of Kerry!

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May 17, 2010 at 1:13 pm

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Day 8

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I was surprised I was packed and ready to go on this morning. It was much easier then I thought. I am really glad I bought my backpack because I can manage everything much easier and keeps me from over packing and weighing myself down.

We started driving into the mountains and it turned out being a beautiful drive. Shaking, fast, and hard to hold on, but beautiful scenery of hill sides covered in flowers, trees and big boulders. Not to mention many, many sheep! It got be really excited to see the sheep dog herding demonstration.

We stopped at Saint Kevin’s Monastery on the way to Cobh and strolled around and ate lunch. I was impressed by the church’s architecture. You could see the old stones on the bottom as a foundation were still there when they placed a new stone structure on top. They held the stones together with mortar.

The next two hours to Cobh I slept and slept and slept. When we got into town, we saw an awesome scenic view. We joked no one had their camera ready but when we pulled over, it was actually because that was right where our hotel was! We are up from the ocean, you can see out very far.

We did a Titanic walking tour that took us down the hill to the ocean and back up the other side. It was beautiful weather and very interesting to hear about Cobh and their involvement in the ships history. Michael, the tour guide, was very knowledgeable and has actually published books on the subject, placed placards around his tour walk and created and wrote this tour.

Tonight we have a group dinner and tomorrow off to kiss the Blarney stone!

Written by Nicole DeSantis

May 16, 2010 at 5:02 am

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Day 7

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After a week jam packed with interesting lectures and site-seeing, I was extremely happy to have today as a completely free day to enjoy Dublin on my own terms. I began by catching up on a little sleep. Feeling the breeze come in the window and the sun letting me know it was almost eleven o’clock. I got ready and accompanied Andy while he interviewed Steve Conway who wrote “Shiprocked: Life on the Waves with Radio Caroline.” I jumped at the opportunity to shoot him and got a few different locations and shot I am really happy with.

Steve was kind enough to drive us to the beach, something I really wanted to get to do and see but didn’t really have the means. In retrospect, I would have not made it on foot because at the end of the Key, there was no public access. Instead we got an awesome ride out to the other side of the bay where there was sand and rocks and you could look in and see Dublin. It was such a nice day! Beautiful weather and a great experience that we stumbled upon.

Today sadly is our last day in Dublin but I’m excited to see what’s next!

Written by Nicole DeSantis

May 15, 2010 at 9:53 am

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Day Six

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I enjoyed our train ride to Belfast . The countryside was beautiful and I was able to shoot a lot of photos from the windows. It wasn’t evident to me when we actually entered Northern Ireland until we stepped off the train and onto the bus. From then on I felt an erie difference between Dublin and Belfast. We drove down streets with barbed wire and murals in remembrance of the Troubles. It really actually creeped me out. Once getting deeper into Center City I was a little relieved but still felt the presence of many years of struggle.

While there we met Gerry Patterson at the Belfast Telegraph. He was extremely nice, young, and outgoing. His lecture was right up my ally talking about the integration of the news to the internet. I was surprised to find out that unlike Southern Ireland and its lack of broadband and need for fast internet, Belfast was basically all broadband. He said everyone has an iPhone, a laptop, the new technology but they often hide them away until they are behind closed doors. Interesting!

After we returned on the last train into Dublin, we cleaned up and when to the Temple Bar which is an area of pubs and night life. It was a lot of fun and nice to relax after a someone strange day in what felt like a different universe. Dublin felt comfortable and more like home.

Written by Nicole DeSantis

May 15, 2010 at 9:01 am

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