After an awesome spring break and a crazy semester of non stop traveling I did not think I could go anywhere much better…I was wrong. My friends decided they really wanted to go to Spain and although I did not have it on my top list of places to go (now I don’t know what I was thinking) I was still excited to join them. We decided to go to Barcelona, because we had heard such great things about it, and took a magnificent (sarcasm) Ryan Air flight there for a four-day vacation. As soon as I stepped off the plane I noticed a temperature difference from Ireland, which I had considered warm, comparing it to the U.S. and the pictures of snow my Mom had e-mailed me. Despite the perfect 70 degree weather, the palm trees and scenery quickly made me realize that Barcelona was going to be one of my favorite cities thus far. After a short walk from the train station in city center we arrived at our hostel which although was very cheap, was beautiful and more like a hotel then a hostel.
I was in awe how cheap everything in Barcelona was, especially the cab rides, which in Ireland were triple the price for the same distance. While in Barcelona we visited the Gaudi Cathedral and Park Guell which were unbelievable in their architecture.
We ate at some really great restaurants, enjoying native favorites such as paella and tapas. The nightlife was unreal, with most people enjoying a nice siesta during the early evening and heading out for fun around 3 a.m., it was pretty awesome. Although I could have stayed there forever, we had to head back to Ireland for a week of school work with multiple papers due. Although I was not exactly happy to leave beautiful Barcelona I was excited for my interesting trip the following weekend.
Being from a town in New Jersey called Hackettstown, when I found out that there was a town called Hacketstown in County Carlow, Ireland, my friend Michelle, who is also from Hackettstown New Jersey, and I decided to visit. Luckily, our good friend at school lives 15 minutes from Hacketstown in Carlow and let us stay with him for the weekend.
We took a bus down to Carlow to my friend’s house, and took another short bus ride to Hacketstown. Although Hacketstown was a very small town with a population, a little under 1,500 people, the ride there was very scenic and the small pub we had lunch in was very quaint.
It took us a very short amount of time to explore the town but we had a lot of fun taking pictures in front of the “Welcome to Hacketstown” sign to send to our families and friends back home in NJ. Although I was there to see Hacketstown, the town of Carlow was really nice and it was really nice to stay in a house with a family and actually made me a little homesick. Despite my home sickness I was not worried because in the approaching week my Mom and her friend (as well as mine) Sandy were coming to visit!