Island of the Harp

Dublin, Ireland

My tour of Ireland was short lived, only three days. The first night included bar hopping through the Temple Bar area. There I learned what pissed means to the Irish, not mad, but drunk. The second day was a walking tour through Dublin, which ended with lounging on the ninth floor of the the Guinness Storehouse, Guinness in hand, included in the tour.

Spain

Barcelona, Granada, Sevilla, Bilbao

Most of the abroad studies where spent in Barcelona. While in Spain, we also toured other cities, such as Bilbao for the Guggenheim Museum or San Sebastian for the Chillida-Leku sculptures. Other times, on our own, we traveled to Granada and Cordoba by train. Located in Southern Spain, the architecture of Granada has Roman fortification with Moorish influence. Arabic script and floral patterns are found embedded on parts of the Alhambra walls.

Italy

Rome, Florence and Genoa

The study-abroad semester ended in Italy, first Genoa, then Florence and finally Rome. The museums in Genoa contained many famous historic pieces of art. The streets of Florence were well decorated for the Christmas season, yet on any hilltop, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore stands out as the dominant structure over the city, night and day. While walking through the streets of Rome, it is difficult to see the horizon, but easy to see the next tasty display of gelato. The streets are pedestrian friendly, some too narrow for any car. Ruins and other beautiful monuments are scattered throughout the city, which motivates the tired explorer to continue walking.

London

England

London, England was mainly a stop over for a day and a half before my flight back to the States. Fortunately, the sky was blue for most of the day as I toured the city by map, on foot and metro. The most beautiful sites were along the Thames River. By night, I walked to the Buckingham Palace from the Metro, through a dark, poorly lit park. I wasn’t comfortable with the situation one bit, but as I walked in the dark, praying for God’s protection without a person in sight. All of a sudden, I heard voices close behind me, which was strange because they were not there just seconds ago. They couldn’t have caught up to me that quickly. I thought they were a couple at first, but then they seemed to be friends, man and woman. Seeming friendly, I decided to speak them, then walked with them to the front of the gate. I recall them telling me that they were on their way somewhere out of my direction, but at the end, we went the same way, to the front of Buckingham Palace and back to the train station. Another strange thing about it was how the girl I spoke to jumped backwards into the train right before the door closed. Sometimes I wonder if they were angels that appeared as strangers. Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.