Olympics and Dublin!

In England by Eller Student

These last few weeks have probably been my favorite in London. I think July 2012 will go down as the greatest month of my life:ever. I turned 20 on the 18th and celebrated with all my flat mates. They made me feel so special on my special day! I made new friends, went new places, saw beautiful things, and even learned a little along the way. My friend Austin even came to visit us, so that was nice seeing a friend abroad!
My flight from Dublin just landed in 2 hours ago, hence why my blog post is a little late! Dublin was so beautiful and was such a nice break from the busy London city for a few days. We were there three nights and stayed in the busy Temple Bar district at a great hostel that I recommend to anyone traveling to Dublin (Abigail’s). While in Ireland we traveled to the Cliffs of Moher which is a natural masterpiece. It’s lush green landscapes juxtaposed against the Atlantic ocean made for lots of photoshoots. I was a little eerie of getting close to the edge, seeing as it is a 700 foot fall to the rocky, sharp, ocean below. Not only did we get to see the Cliffs of Moher, but we drove through the countryside stopping at a few quaint villages and other landscapes our tour guide wanted us to see. This included the village President Obama visited after discovering his ancestors lived there. All-in-all the 13 hour trip was well worth it, and I got to see where my whole dad’s side of the family is from. My dad’s parents immigrated to the US from Ireland in the 1940’s so I’ve always wanted to visit the country they are from. I got to see the Shannon river (my last name) and I even met my dad’s cousin Monica who has always lived there. I had never met her before, so it was exciting to meet family in another country!
Another exciting event that happened this week was the Olympics! A group of four of us managed to get tickets to the USA Men’s Volleyball match against Serbia. We had decent seats and were dressed full out in America gear. We figured everyone who was rooting for America would do the same, but apparently not because we were defintiely the most spirited. It started with us asking people to take pictures of us posing in front of the stadium, but by the time we were leaving foreigners were asking to take pictures of us. Especially Poland, Polish fans waiting for the next match loved us and asked to take pictures with us! The match was very fun to watch and the US won (Yay!!!!). I hope the men are able to clench the gold medal. Also: Matt Anderson one of our best players is amazing, 6’8″, and super hot so if anyone knows him, you can totally set us up.
I have less than a week left in London and I am super sad about it. I do not want to leave and go back to my boring Tucson life. London has been the best experience of my life and I have learned so much living on my own in a metropolitan city. I recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone considering studying abroad in the summer.