June 2, 2007
Galway, Ireland -
(Notre Dame, Ind.) ... The 2007 regular season may be over for the Notre Dame women's lacrosse team, but the Irish will stay together as a team for 12 more days as they make a postseason trip to Ireland and England between May 30 and June 10th.
Sophomore goalkeeper Mary Veith (Silver Spring, Md.) checks in with an update on the team's first two days in Ireland:
Days One and Two
Well, I wouldn't really call it a day, more like an all nighter really. After a long overnight flight we arrived in Shannon around 6 a.m. Ireland time and after having breakfast we began a full day of activities.
We started at the Bunratty Castle where we walked through the medieval castle from the dungeon all the way up to the towers. The dungeon was pretty scary, an 18-foot drop into the dark where apparently they used to throw people. The estate also included a replica
Irish town with shops, a pub, a post office, a church, and also barns and
gardens scattered with farm animals such a goats and pigs.
After spending the morning at the castle we continued on to the Cliffs Moher, massive rock cliffs that overlook the ocean. The contrast of colors from the teal blue water to the dark cliffs, green hills, and blue sky creates a beauty so astounding it feels almost sacred. We were blessed with a gorgeous day and a light breeze carried with it a smell mixed with the scents of the sea, stone, and grass along with cries from the sea gulls and the sound of traditional Irish music played by some of the natives on a pipe at one place and a harp at the other.
The cliffs were a place that felt familiar only as something you may have heard in some ancient myth or fairy tale as a child, now they were suddenly unimaginably real. This place was where we got our first taste of the true beauty of this special country; a place so removed from developed society and fast-paced living that the restlessness of the mind and the stresses of the day seem to come to an abrupt stop, or at least a pause, as you find yourself staring at what seems like the world as God intended it to be.
By the time we checked into our hotel in Galway the entire team was exhausted, yet none too exhausted to get out and enjoy a bit more Irish culture. All enjoyed themselves immensely, at least until it was time for another early start to another long day. We had breakfast at the hotel and then set out for Inishmore (Inis Mòr in the Irish language which is still commonly used there), the largest of the three Aran Islands.
The team rented bikes and toured the island which main attraction is a cliffside fort, built around 2000 B.C. that overlooks the water. It was similar to the Cliffs of Moher, but even more astoundingly impressive. Most tried crawling to the edge and, lying on their stomachs with their heads out over the drop down to the ominous waters, felt a
rush of fear, as well as exhilaration. We ended the day with the long, yet
scenic, bike ride back to the ferry. Then it was back to Galway and dinner at a local pub.