Limerick Gained A Reputation For Piety, But We Knew It Was Only The Rain

Emily Bernstein
February 1, 2017

Note: This post is a little late. It focuses solely on this past weekend and not really on this week at all (because, really, who wants to read all about my classes again?).

This weekend was a whirlwind of waking up just after the rain stopped and then living in perpetual rainfall, traveling to and from Limerick, and lots of laughs with friends.

Most of us got a late start on Saturday morning (except Guy, who got up at 7am to go on a bus trip to the Ring of Kerry that looked so beautiful that I’m a little sad I missed it, but it was at 7am!). After we all managed to get our act together, we (Kaitlin, Kim, and I) decided to go into Limerick City to do some much needed clothes shopping (I really just needed more socks), and to explore King John’s Castle.

A few other girls (Lilly, Kendall, and Emily) joined us on our little adventure, so we got on the bus and headed into town. I know I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again, but Limerick is just so pretty.

It was cold and cloudy when we arrived, so we all hurried into a store to look around (and I got my socks). The most important part of the day is that I got tacos – yes, that’s right, tacos. While not up to California street taco standards, these tacos were definitely delicious and certainly made me homesick for good old fashioned Mexican food.

My tacos!

While walking towards the castle (so that we could all pretend to be princesses, obviously), it started to pour rain. The six of us decided we would wait out the rain by exploring St. Mary’s Cathedral, a beautiful church just outside the city centre.

From where the congregation would sit: the altar.
This altar is the biggest and heaviest in all of Ireland.

A gentleman working at the church showed us around, telling us about the altar, the history of the church, and who was buried where. He was so passionate about teaching us about the church, but he moved very quickly! I tried to snap a few photos to show everyone, but honestly, the pictures don’t show all the color and intricate stone carving work in some of the little crevices of the church. By the time we finished the tour, the rain had cleared up so we took our time taking photos and walking along the little cobblestone streets of Limerick.

Outside the church.
Front view of St. Mary’s Church

From there, we headed to King John’s Castle. They were going to close in an hour, so we hurried through the museum part of the tour so we could be sure to make it to the part of the castle that was actually the castle. I’m sure we missed good stories of the castle being sieged and who lived there and why it stands where it does, but we wanted to climb to a high tower to see the view and take pictures. If anyone is exceedingly curious, I’d be more than happy to go back again to get you the details.

Kim and I being soldiers. Me making faces is something that I’ve always done, and will always do. Some things never change.
Kim demonstrating for all of us how to properly pour water in an old church that was reconstructed in the castle’s courtyard.
The view of the main castle from the courtyard.

The stairs we climbed to get to the top were steep and slippery from our wet shoes tracking over them. I’m not a huge fan of steep stairwells to begin with, but add in wet stone and no railings? I wasn’t a very happy camper.

But, well, the view was worth it.

Looking into the city from the castle, with the sunset in the distance.
Looking off away from the main city.

I can only imagine the patchwork of green and farms that the view would have held hundreds of years ago when people lived in the castle and called it home. Still, it’s pretty darn beautiful. Just after the rain, too, the sky seemed to shine a little brighter on the city and the green land we could see in the distance.

From left to right: Kaitlin, me, and Kim. And yes, this was a real candid of us being beautiful princesses.
All girls are princesses.

We got a quick dinner after that and then headed home to rest and get ready for the evening. Kaitlin, Kim, Guy, Ian, Lilly, and I headed back to Limerick to go to an actual Irish pub (and not one that is on campus), and while we didn’t meet another chatty Irishman, we did have loads of fun together. Even at night, Limerick is quite beautiful. The streets were wet and the streetlamps made them shine – it was the epitome of a European night that you read about/see in movies.

Sunday, we all literally did nothing. It rained (of course), and I hung out in my apartment for the whole day, did some reading for classes this week, and everyone just caught up on some much needed sleep for the week.

This post title is brought to you by Frank McCourt, the author of Angela’s Ashes. I thought it was apt considering I was mainly discussing Limerick and a lot of it had to do with the rain. If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it; it’s very sad but very wonderful.

I’ll spare you the nerding out over my schoolwork again, and instead just say that I’m excited to continue classes!

Until next time!

PS: did I mention Limerick is beautiful?

PPS: Hi Dad!

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