Coming to an end

I spent the last few days in a town call Den Haag, or The Hague. People say it's the true capital of the Netherlands because it is the base of all things government, and home to the great Peace Palace.

My favorite thing about this place is the city center is bumpin and crazy and had a million things for you to do, but jump on the tram for five minutes and you're on a beautiful beach that was dead as can be. I'm sure the beach is crazy in peak season but I arrived one day after "tourist season" and most things were shutting down. My favorite time of year.

I spent the first day navigating my way through the town, turns out you didn't have to walk the two miles from the train station to my hostel. There was a tram from the station to my hostels front step, but the walk was beautiful none the less. Side note all this walking with what feels like a four hundred pound bag has put me in great shape.

I think this was my favorite part of the Netherlands, the beaches, lighthouses and harbors made me feel right at home. I biked from one end of the beach to the other on the crappiest bike I've ever rode but it was free so I won't complain. Day two a storm came in and it poured all day long as I hid out in cafes drinking too much coffee, reading and drawing while and pretending to be a local. I must have fit in because people constantly keep trying to talk to me in Dutch..

Today I've made my way back to Amsterdam to spend the day doing some last minute exploring before I catch my flight back to America! Not quite sure if I'm ready to be home but I'm sure ready for some familiar faces (looking at you mom and pop ;) ) and a 24 hour nap my own bed.

Last day in paradise

I'm so unbelievably sad to leave Ireland. I've fallen head over heals for the rolling hills, people here call them mountains but let's be honest those are hills guys, every single person I've meet here has made such a lasting impact on my life and changed the way I see the world.

When I arrived in Ireland I wasn't sure what to expect, but I really did not think to have such a life changing expierence here. A huge thank you to everyone that made this country what it was to me. I'm leaving a part of my heart here and Ireland and I promise I'll be back for you.  

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When in Cork

Fact of the day, the town of Cork is actually built on stilts and there is a constant stream of water running under it. In the words of a local "that's why in Cork we are so proud, we walk on water everyday."

When I told people I was going to Cork everyone asked what's in Cork? Truth? I had no idea I just knew I should go. But Cork, props to you for proving them all wrong. Thanks for being home to the cutest homes I've ever seen, the nicest bartenders who give me private whiskey bar tours, and crappy museums that make me appreciate western art that much more, the English market and some of the most amazing bakeries I've ever gone too. 

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The cliffs of wonder and awe

I have waited years to see these cliffs, and let me tell ya they did not dissapoint. Even the two hour bus ride there was full of beautiful and wonderful sites. We crossed through a dozen small Irish towns each one jammed packed with their own history that put them where they are now. Irish history is the full of most interesting and depressing stories, but I've never been to a place where each member of their country is so proud of their heritage. Every Irishman I've met could talk to you for hours about their livelihood, and family roots.  And hats off the Irish for preserving their land so well. 

Theres these trees here in Ireland called ferry trees, beautiful ugly tree but apparently these trees are homes to the good spirits in the world. If you cause harm or threaten the trees they'll cast bad luck upon you. The Irish believe this so much so they've built roads around the trees as to not cut them down, farmers have moved fields, construction project halted.  

The irish folklore stories are amung some of the most interesting stories I've ever heard, part reason being the different religions that have came through the country. One particular is on of the many stories of the Clifs of Moher.  It is said when St Patrick came to Ireland and forced Christianity on the Irish and ended Celtic practices the Tuatha de Danann were outragged. They turned themselves into horses and took refuge in the caves for seven years. When the  horses finally emerged seven years later they were so afraid of the sunlight they galloped straight off the cliffs. The spot is now named Aill na Searrach, or cliffs of the foals. 

Regardless what's stories you believe in or not, the Irish landscape is indiscribable and one I will never forget.  

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Galway

Galway has stolen my heart. The cute colorful homes, the crappy boat houses claimed to be "restored" and all these perfect foreign accent that tie me over. I want to cancel all my life plans and stay here forever. The locals are genuinely the nicest people, the beer taste better than anywhere else and the air smells like salt water and a hint of fish. But in a good way. I spent the day wondering from tourist site to tourist site and getting lost and relying on the free wifi from the pubs to find my way to the next location. Tomorrow, CLIFS OF MOHER

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