Friday, January 22, 2010

Love for the land of green.

"Bella is irish. Perhaps not by blood and heritage, but by choice and desire."---Bella's best friend, Emily.

Today I found myself thinking about and missing Ireland. I don't know why, but I can't get it off my mind.

Back in 2007, I was previledged to be able to not only go there, but to compete on an international stage amongst some of the best Irish dancers in the world. A goal and dream of mine since I started dancing. My dad and I, a team of dancers from my dance school, their parents, and my teacher all spent about 6 days in the Kilarney area.

And in the middle of it all just so happened to fall my 16th birthday. Couldn't be any more perfect.

You have to know that this was more than just a trip for me. More than just a competition. I have a passion for all things Irish. Those 6 days are now looked back upon as 6 of the best in my life.

Technically there is perhaps a wee wee wee sliver of me that is actually Irish (I sort of would like myself to be Irish/Korean/Jamaican...but that is another story...) but it is such a smallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll portion that it doesn't really count. I pretend I am Irish. And it has worked pretty well so far.

Ireland is a beautiful country with beautiful people. Everyone welcomes you in their utterly amazing accent. You drive down the road and BAM, there is a castle in a cow pasture to your left (which is also the side of the road you are driving on.). Another couple kilometers and there is a castle standing on a golf course or just outside a housing development. As an American with no castles hanging around it was...magical. Strangely enough the people there are totally used to their castles ruins...

And people always talk about how everything is green; well it is. I was there in February and still everything was unusually bright.

While I was there I not only got to compete with a team of 8 girls, but I also got to fit in a good deal of site seeing with my dad. We visited 2 castles (well, we "visited" a good many of road side ones, but we officially toured two)-Bunratty and Blarney (and yes I kissed the stone. I actually kissed it twice). Saw the Cliffs of Moher, filming location for the Princess Brides "Cliffs of Insanity." Hiked to a waterfall called Torc. Ate lots of traditional "pub grub." And did a whole lot of walking about and shopping.
Some pictures.

My dad and I got of the plane around 5:00 am, having had no sleep, rented our car and headed out into the early morning fog to find some breakfast. In the UK they give you broiled tomatoes for breakfast, which is always one of the best parts to any of my trips to England or Ireland. And I don't even like breakfast.

What not to do at the Cliffs of Moher...


Imagine poor Westley climbing these. Imagine him fighting Inigo at the top. Imagine...INSANITY!

Bunratty Castle in Shannon, wee hours of the mornin'.

Roadside castle...

Oh look, another one...
Oh look, one amist a golfing green...

I love trees. And Ireland has some fantastic trees.

Small look out tower outside of Blarney.

The legendary BLARNEY STONE. Or at least the opening that you hang out of to kiss it. It is hard to see the actual stone in the picture. They say that those who kiss it will receive the gift of eloquence...can't say I agree with such shenanigans, but it is always fun to have an 80 year old man dangling you by your ankles off the side of a castle so you can place your lips on a germ covered rock. The question is do you get more eloquence if you kiss it twice, or does it somehow negate? Hmmmm...

The legendary castle itself.

Kilarney National Forest in which Torc Water fall was located. I felt like I was in Fangorn or something out of Lord of the Rings.
Steps in the mountain, going up to Torc Waterfall, on my birthday. Not the greatest picture, but one of my life's greatest memories. We all went out to eat at a local pub on the night of my 16th birthday (by the way a pub isn't at all like a bar. totally different.) and my dad some how got the waitress to bring me candles in my dessert-Banoffee- and had the guy singing traditional Irish songs get the entire pub to sing me happy birthday. Definitely once in a life time.
The INEC (Irish National Events Center) where the competition was being held.
GlenEagle Hotel, connected to the INEC.
My dance teach, Dede, and I in the airport waiting to fly home.

...Now that I have posted all this, I only want to go back more.


Anonymous said...

你個blog影d相真係好靚!!! ....................................................

emily michael said...

I love you :)

out of the frame said...

I'm confused... your blog was white and green yesterday and now it's red again! anyway just to say have a look at my blog for an update on animal :)

Isabella Kiss said...

yeah. i was playing with the template/layout of my blog. i spent several hours trying to pick something new, and I ended up back at this same background :)


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