Hello Beautiful ARMY!
This week in the BTS community we are planning a vacation. Where would we take the members on vacation? What would we do while we're there? What sort of things will we see and what activities would we participate in? You'll be discovering the answers to those questions all week long.
Seeing as I am in charge of the sassy Min Yoongi, I will be traveling with him to the one place outside of Korea that I most want to visit. We've got our bags packed, our passports and visas in order and most importantly we have our neck pillows in hand as we board the plane for the long flight out of Seoul.
After fifteen and a half hours in the air we arrive in Ireland via the Belfast International Airport in Northern Ireland. Just stepping out of the airport is like stepping into a fairytale. The air is different, the trees, the smells, everything is new and crisp and vivid.
By the time we settle into the hotel it's late in the evening. We head across the street for a late dinner before turning in. Tomorrow is the start of our 2 week Irish adventure.
For our first day in Belfast we headed out into the city to explore and get acquainted with the pace of life here. After lunch we make our way to the Titanic museum which stands at the original dock where the the titanic was built in 1912. Not only do we get to check out the largest Titanic museum and exhibit in the world, but the last remaining White Star (company that owned the Titanic) ship the RMS Nomadic is here for us to board and explore.
Seeing as I work on a steam ship from the same period in history, this was a must-see on my list of things to do while in Ireland. Yoongi was interested, but not nearly as excited as I was to visit this place. I'm sure my constant ramblings of factoids about the Titanic and ships from her heyday became annoying, especially when I compared the Titanic to the ship I work on, but Yoongi's a good sport and only complained about needing a nap twice.
We checked out of the hotel early to catch a bus out of Belfast, north to County Antrim where the Giant's Causeway lies at the northern most tip of Northern Ireland.
The Giant's Causeway is a marvel of the ancient world, consisting of 40,000 interlocking hexagonal basalt columns and is the natural result of volcanic activity roughly 50-60 million years ago. Irish mythology attributes the causeway's creation to a battle between giants.
Both Yoongi and I were completely amazed by this place. Some of the columns are 39ft high and others fall off into the ocean. We spent the entire day here, walking the giant steps, exploring the caverns, playing in the ocean and taking pictures.
We took a train out of Northern Ireland down the western coast, into County Galway. We stopped at several locations in the countryside, ate most of our meals on the train, as well as slept on board. The views were spectacular! We saw quaint cottages, castles, churches and ruins along the way. And sheep. Many sheep.
When we arrived at the train station in Galway, Yoongi had the fright of his life when he realized he'd left his neck pillow on the train. The mad dash through the station, out to the platform as we chased the train down nearly killed the both of us. The good news is retrieved his pillow, the bad news is we had no energy whatsoever so we headed sluggishly to our B&B and called it a night.
I haven't ran that fast in years.... he's lucky I like him.
DAY 6 & 7
We stayed at a cute bed and breakfast in Connemara, County Galway for the next two days. Do you see the view from our room? Waking up to that each morning was amazing.
Our accommodations were a short walk from Kylemore Castle. We spent most of our time in County Galway at this magnificent site. We spent hours walking the gardens, exploring the castle and the gothic cathedral of Kylemore Abbey which shares the grounds.
Yoongi took at least a thousand pictures here. We packed a picnic lunch and ate under the shade of a grouping of trees near the Lough.
Th couple that owns the B&B were very nice, cooking us dinner and breakfast on both days of our stay. There were other travelers there as well, including an American veteran who had been stationed in Seoul in the early 90's. His Korean was conversational and Yoongi and him enjoyed conversations in front of the fire place at night.
DAY 8 & 9
From Connemara we took a ferry to the Aran Islands off the western coast. These are three small islands in the Galway Bay; Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer. This is the part of the trip I was looking forward to most as my family lineage can be traced back to these islands as well as tales of the Irish pirate queen Grainne O'Malley.
We rented a small cottage on the smallest of the islands, Innisheer and spent two whole days exploring the beautiful coast, learning the rich history from the locals and taking in the spectacular views. Yoongi snapped some amazing photos throughout and took a few naps too.
We made a special trip south to County Dingle just so I could see this special highway just for sheep. We heard about it while staying on Inisheer and I begged Yoongi to take me. Seeing as he owed me for rescuing his beloved pillow from the train, he agreed.
This whole trip I was delighted to see all the sheep roaming about. I thought a sheep highway sounded pretty cool but Yoongi thought it was ridiculous. That is until he saw it. He was so amazed he joked about writing a song about it, saying these sheep were his muse.
We took a bus from County Dingle to County Clare at the central southern end of the country in order to catch a small plane that would take us to Dublin.
We spent the remainder of our trip in Dublin, taking in the nightlife, pub-hopping, exploring the castles and cathedrals, even taking in a soccer match at Aviva stadium.
On our last day in Ireland, we headed to the library at Trinity College. This is the most incredible library I could ever imagine. Filled with books, old and new, we spent a quiet and leisurely day wandering the halls, perusing the bookshelves and evening partaking in a little nap. Yoongi made sure to snap Namjoon trying to incite envy from his brainy dongsang.
That night at the hotel was bittersweet. We missed home and Yoongi's busy schedule was beckoning him, but we weren't ready for this incredible vacation to end. For our last meal in Ireland, we found a nice restaurant within walking distance from the hotel. Over dinner we discussed our favorite parts of the trip and looked back over all the pictures Yoongi had taken.
By morning we were packed and headed to the airport. After nearly 16 hours in flight, we landed at Incheon International Airport where Yoongi's manager picked us up and drove us to the BTS dorm. After brief greetings and catching up we went to one of the boys' favorite restaurants to tell them all about our incredible Irish vacation.
Alrighty ARMYS, I hope you enjoyed my dream vacation scenario with Min Yoongi. Have a wonderful week. Yoongi and I will return next Monday with more fun!
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