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Genesee Community College in Ireland 2012 begins on June 4

This year, 8 students and 2 instructors will be taking off for two weeks in Ireland on June 4. After an overnight flight, the group will be greeted at the airport and begin discovering Ireland’s culture, history, mythology, and art–while having a fair amount of fun. Follow this blog, which will be written by the students themselves.

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Hill of Slane

This is a video taken from the top of the Hill of Slane. It was so beautiful. The view from anywhere in Ireland was just amazing! The clip shows the view as well as the old monastery that sits upon the hill! ūüôā

The field of The Battle of Boyne

The field of The Battle of Boyne

The Jacobite side of the battle fieldThe soldiers of the Battle of Boyne

Part 5

Early in the morning I got to experience bike riding on the windy narrow roads of Ireland… some parts were easy because a lot of it was down hill but once had to go back up the hill.. yeah that was a little more painful. Peters son Paeter who is a cyclist took it easy on us few that were brave enough to go out and face the challenge.

Hill of Tara was first stop of the day, I went into this knowing nothing about the legends of Tara and was able to learn a lot about the traditions that they believe took place there. We first went into an old church and got to watch a video that told us all about the legends.

(The church im referring to)

First thing we got to see after we got out of the lesson we were able to see the ‚Äúfertility stone‚ÄĚ this has been previously mentioned in post by Kyrin, for those who didnt see it the story goes that if you were to touch the stone you become more fertile.

(The tour guide or ‚ÄúCutie‚ÄĚ as some say leaning on the fertility stone)

Tara is known as the place where the high kings were chosen. The legend goes that if a man was to put his foot on the stone of destiny and it was to cry out he would be the next king of the land.  Tara was also used as a holy place and also had a place that was a very small passage tomb that contained ashes of those who lived long ago.

(Stone of Destiny that would cry out)

(The group around the stone of Destiny)

(Passage tomb)

`Next is Trim Castle:

 Trim was one of the best castles we had been to. It is huge and mostly in one piece. It was beautiful no matter what angle you looked at it and also had a lot of history behind it. The inside didn’t have any of the furniture from the time but it was still amazing to see and hear how the people here would have lived.

(These are pictures from around the castle, and the last one just having fun)

(The whole group in front of Trim)

The view from the top of the castle was also amazing, following are a few pics of the view:

When we got back from our adventures we got to experience really Irish music, Peter and Mairead had some of there family come over play the harp, violin, and uillean pipes, also there was two little girls who danced for us. It was a great night of laughter and music, with a little Irish dancing from our group in there also.

 

 

 

 

Thats all for now.

~Theresa~

Slane Castle Group photo

The Stone of Destiny on the Hill of Tara is where the high kings were crowned, but its history is far deeper than that.  Here we are gathered around that ancient stone.

A few group pictures

Here is the GCC Ireland group at Trim Castle–our first week.

O ro’ the rattlin’ bog down by Causey Farm

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Last week we visited¬†Causey Farm¬† and had an amazing time! We made authentic Irish Soda Bread, milked cows, went for a hayride, watched a sheep dog herd the sheep, learned traditional Irish Ceili dances, played the¬†Bodhran drum, and played with many different farm animals including sheep, horses, piglets, puppies and chicks. ¬†Causey Farm had so much to offer, but my favorite part of the visit was “bog jumping”.

Here is a video of us attempting the Irish Ceili Dance

What is bog jumping? All over Ireland there are natural forming bogs;¬† plants like Heather and Spagnum cover much of the landscape preserving and creating more bog.¬† A¬†bog¬†is a wetland that accumulates acidic peat of partially decomposed plant matter and turf. ¬† The accumulated peat can then be harvested with a slean(turf-spade)¬† and is baked in the sun and wind and used for fuel. Traditionally the dried briquettes of turf have been the primary fuel for heating homes and are still commonly used today. Once the turf is harvested from the bog, it leaves a pit suitable for bog jumping; this is where the fun comes in!¬† Bog jumping¬† is simply jumping in one of the pits left from the turf harvest.¬† The bog is deceiving because on the surface it looks like you can walk on it, but do not be fooled because you instantly start sinking (think quicksand).¬† For many years, the bog has been part of Irish history and culture – providing work, fuel and my favorite — the pastime of bog jumping.

Check out the video of Yoshi and I jumping into the bog!

Yoshi falling face first into the bog after attempting the bog monkey bars.

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