Our ten day exploration of Ireland’s west coast before concluding in Dublin provided us with an opportunity to really experience Ireland’s rich history and culture. From the wonderful drive through luscious landscapes where we validated that there are indeed 40 shades of Green in Ireland, to visits to storybook towns and stone castles, every day showed us a little more about this wonderful country. With the expert help of our fierce leader Fiona, and the help of many of the local experts who provided us with additional knowledge on the farming practices, genealogy and local folklore, this trip impress upon us the resilience, creativity and passion that the Irish have for all things Irish. They seemed to have found the perfect balance between honoring history and traditions and welcoming new and innovative ideas.
--Andrea Ballinger, University of Illinois Alumni Association Host