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Study in Ireland: Finding a hidden gem

March 26, 2014 | By | No Comments

Franciele Firmina da Silva is one of our Brazilian and National College of Ireland ambassadors. She has always dreamed of roaming around Ireland, and now she can! Read more about her adventures around our little island.

Sitting in my living room months before coming to Ireland, I remember watching movies like Once, P.S I Love You, and Laws Of Attraction. I would listen to U2, and imagine what it would be like to live in Ireland! I have always fascinated by the green fields that extend as far as the eye can see. These images really got my imagination going – running through those fields, screaming at the top of my voice, knowing that nobody would hear me, that feeling of freedom and space. Now, I’m am here and living in Ireland and I finally had my chance to experience these feelings for real!

This dream brought me not to a field but to the top of a mountain! A lovely place in County Louth, the Cooley Mountains, with its highest point being on Slieve Foye. The top of the mountains offer a stunning view of the medieval town of Carlingford. By the way, Carlingford is definitely a town to visit for a weekend away – it hosts a variety of pubs and restaurants and features a rich history and a beautiful lough that separates the Cooley Mountains from the Mourne Mountains. It is also home of three castles, the 13th century King John’s Castle, the 15th century Mint and 16th century Taaffe’s Castle. Each has its own unique tale to tell.

But back to the mountains, for those like me who are not always in the hiking mood – access to the mountains can be reached by car or by foot with amazing views not only at the top but also on the way up. While on the mountain I met local people, fished in a fresh water stream and was told a mythical story of the “Long Woman” whose story alone is well worth the trip. There is also a magical hill on the Cooley Mountains where the water and your car rolls uphill! Yeah, uphill!!

While exploring the mountains here, I realised that I had made my dream come true, and that it was even better than I could have imagined. Being here in Ireland has made me feel closer to nature, and recharged my energy. This trip around a “hidden gem”, as my Irish friends says, gave me so much, and I cannot stress enough how much this island impresses me every day. I always try to take the time to explore it, to bring back my experiences and reaffirm to myself that coming to Ireland was one idea that I will never regret.

Do you want to study in Ireland? Check out the Education in Ireland website for all the info you need.



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