Monday, September 29, 2014

Haleigh and Pancakes in Northern Ireland

Greetings from Derry! My name is Haleigh Evans, and I have been living abroad in Northern Ireland with my dragon, Pancakes, for about three weeks now. Even though our adventures abroad have only just begun, we are already having an amazing time! Northern Ireland is a beautiful country with a rich history and friendly people. Pancakes has not gotten to meet any Irish dragons yet, but the Irish humans we’ve met have been incredibly kind and helpful. Pancakes and I arrived two weeks before classes to participate in a thorough orientation. We toured the campus, walked the city walls, visited museums, and much more. The best part of orientation was definitely our visit to the Giant’s Causeway.

Pancakes takes in the view of the Causeway

Pancakes poses near the surf
The Giant’s Causeway is a breathtakingly beautiful site covered with basalt columns on the Antrim Coast. The international students at Magee ventured to the site together on our first weekend abroad. We walked along the grassy green cliffs and down the shore where the basalt columns are located. There are few sites on Earth that could rival the beauty of the Giant’s Causeway. Pancakes and I had a lovely time during our visit. After a few hours at the Causeway, our group journeyed to another spot on the Antrim Coast to walk across the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Pancakes opted to fly across instead of walking the bridge, which is suspended nearly 100 feet above the rocks below. I can’t say I blame him. Visiting the Giant’s Causeway and walking across the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge was the highlight of my orientation. I am lucky to be visiting such a scenic country.

Haleigh on the Giant's Causeway
Once orientation ended, I decided to visit Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, with a few other international students. We spent a day exploring the city, touring City Hall, and visiting the Titanic museum. The Titanic was built in Belfast and many of the workers aboard were denizens of the capital city. The museum offered a fascinating look at the building process of the Titanic as well as the infamous sinking. Pancakes was not that impressed with the museum; he much preferred our adventure afterwards- peeking around outside the studio where Game of Thrones is filmed. Unfortunately, there were no dragons on set that day for Pancakes to see.

The Titanic Museum in Belfast

My journey is only just beginning, but so far I’m having a blast. I cannot wait to see what grand adventures await me in my studies, my travel, and my life abroad.

Haleigh Evans and Pancakes the Dragon
University of Ulster at Magee
Derry, Northern Ireland