So it begins…

After a seemingly never-ending journey I finally made it to Armagh with the rest of the group. Beginning with my flight’s descent into Dublin I have been utterly amazed by the sheer beauty and timeless quality of this island. After the flight I was dreading the 90-minute drive from Dublin to Armagh but the lush, green scenery made it a surprisingly delightful jaunt.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Armagh Youth Hostel, I had visions of buxom 30 year old teenagers being gruesomely slaughtered but the reality of the hostel is much more mundane. It resembles any college dorm you’ve ever seen. Luckily the rooms have locks and private bathrooms, which are all you really need.

The first day we walked around the town like zombies. The fact that Armagh is practically deserted on Sundays reinforced this post-apocalyptic notion. Afraid of completely throwing off my sleep schedule I abstained from blissful slumber until after we had our first group meal together.

We left the hostel around 7PM and made our way to Turner’s Hotel Pub. Having been promised Shepard’s Pie I was salivating at thought of my first post airplane meal. However, my dream has been put on hold as Turner’s did not offer Shepard’s pie (…Joan…). I had to make due with a steak sandwich and a bowl of delicious fries (or chips) that were served in warm garlic butter sauce. After dinner I promptly fell asleep.

The first day was not completely without adventure. I was the first person to use an ATM and I was the last as the machine promptly ate my card. After nearly falling headfirst into hysteria I got it together and decided to not let it ruin my trip.

Today was our first real day in Armagh and we spent it going to our first class, grocery shopping, and an afternoon walking tour of the city. I don’t’ know what it is about Northern Ireland but everything just seems more beautiful here. Being it the history or just the thrill of being someplace new but Armagh is almost picturesque.

So far Armagh has been a dream, everyone in our group is getting along famously and we can’t wait to explore more of the town.