I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry a little bit on my bus to Dublin today but really this internship has been everything but sad! I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work along side fantastic people, archaeologists, and mentors. These few months have been absolutely inspiring and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
So to all of the friends I’ve made at Ferrycarrig, thank you for an amazing summer and good luck guys. Y’all are awesome!!
To round off the trip I explored Dublin for five days and this trip was definitely one for the books! Thank you to IAFS and to Learn International for this amazing opportunity!
-Gaile Juknevicius, UMKC
This week was a lot of the same old, same old. I moved into cutting four which was our test trench to find the returning wall of the eastern building. The team consisted of Danni, David, and me; they had already cut down through the sod and uncovered a layer of rubble but had yet to find anything.
Opening a new cutting consists of recording, including digital, written, and drawn. Due to archaeology’s destructive process it is important for others to know exactly what you uncovered. Therefore, this week as we were troweling down cutting four we were taking written notes on all the different layers of soil and drew up plans of what the cutting looked like during different stages. We also took levels using the dumpy in order to compare the rubble layer that we exposed to the rubble in cutting three to see if they were at the same level. We eventually exposed what we thought was a robber’s trench from the quarry of stone in the previous centuries.
Despite the slow week, Danni found some interesting red clay pottery shards. We will have to wait until next week for any answer as to what kind it is. Typically, on a site like this you can find saintonge, a fine French pottery used for wine and oils; Leinster cooking ware, a coarse local ware; and English ware such as Ham Green.
During the weekend were a bunch of local festivals, including the Kilmore Seafood Festival which we ended up going to on Saturday. The small town was filled with locals and visitors alike. The chipper was splitting at its seams because who doesn’t want some fish and chips with a refreshing glass of cider on a hot summer evening. While its wonderful being able to dig every day and be in my element it’s also important to experience local culture and have a bit of fun!
-Gaile Juknevicius, UMKC
This week is our second to last week on site for the season so it has been a lot of hustle and bustle to get everything finished. Danni, David, and I continued working on cutting four. With the sun baking our backs we were relieved that we had two lectures this week.
The first one was on zoo-archaeology with Fiona Belgane, where we were taught the basics of species analysis on archaeological sites. Using comparative anatomy specialists can tell what part of what kind of animal was found, particularly focusing on jointed areas such as the elbows and knees.
The second lecture this week focused on medieval pottery and was presented on Friday by Clare McCutchen. The introduction of ceramic pottery allowed for new ways of cooking and eating in Ireland. Cork and Waterford were prominent port cities so they had a significant amount of imported pottery. In twelfth-century Cork 80% of their pottery was imported while in Dublin only 10% was shipped in. We also went more into detail on how to differentiate the types of pottery found on a site like this.
It wasn’t just an exciting week for the site, but also the Heritage Park. The falconry finally opened on Wednesday and all the students got a personal tour by Jim, our falconer. It was absolutely amazing to see and hold such majestic birds! This little lady’s name is Poppy and she is so far my favorite.
-Gaile Juknevicius, UMKC
No this isn’t a recap about Wimbledon or the World Cup. This is the UK vs. the US in culture, life, food, and everything in-between. So far I have been in London for over a month and have made note of many similarities and differences. The first thing I noticed as anyone traveling here would, would have to be the sky. London is located a fair amount higher than the US geographically, meaning the sun rises at 4am and sets at around 9:30pm. This means I get less sleep and have very long days.
Another odd difference I found was when I was eating, or rather not eating. When you’re done with a meal abroad I recommend always asking for the check. Unlike America, in London eating is considered a time to chat, catch up with friends and isn’t solely focused on food. Some places you will need to ask for the check, but I also found that many places require you to order at the bar. Always be sure to flag down your waiter or you may be sitting waiting for awhile. Also many places are seat yourself, so be wary of that when entering a restaurant.
Similar to the US, the UK loves drinking. Actually I have noticed that drinking is a huge part of many cultures. However, after working in the pub crawl business I have noticed that people in England love to go out… almost every night. When first starting my job I didn’t expect to have to go out every night, luckily I don’t, but I have no idea how people here afford to go out and buy drinks or physically can force their bodies to do that. Listen, I love drinking as much as the next person, but here it is a huge part of their culture and what makes London so wonderful. In fact, many companies end their work day around 5 and people can be seen out at a pub the minute they’re done with work. The UK also has a relaxed sense of time. I expected them to be very punctual and maybe its just for the company I work for. I am able to come into work at 10am, to me that seems late, and most days I would be the first one in the office.
Overall, I have noticed the UK is really polite, fancy, and they like the US are always laughing.
-Joe Andersen, NAU
Traveling throughout London is pretty simple now that I have the hang of it. It consists of buses, tubes, trains, and the colonially long trek that usually leaves my legs exhausted. If you’re in London for a day or 2 months, I recommend getting an Oyster Card. This card is your travel companion. It can be used for a day of travel (I recommend £15 pounds for a day if you’re expecting to go around a lot) or it can be used for months at a time which is what I have.
The bus system is incredibly simple, but at first it will seem intimidating. I actually didn’t ride the double decker buses for a week until I knew I was comfortable. Something that helped me ease my nerves about traveling in a large city is the “Citymapper” app. All you need to do is enter your destination and it will give you multiple routes you can take.
If you’re looking for faster transport than a bus or are trying to get a lot of sights in for one day I recommend using the tube, or London’s underground tram system. This is incredibly useful and as simple as a puzzle. I live at Sloan Station and commute to work at Covent Garden, so all I do is connect Sloan station to Covent garden and see which stops I need to switch trains or when I need to get off. If you’re ever confused (and believe me I was) there are many signs all throughout London with “underground” where you can connect to the tube, and once underground there are helpful signs all over to get you where you need to be. Just remember to stick to the left side when it gets busy, and trust me it gets wild down below London.
If you’re looking to travel farther than the tube allows, you can hop on the rail system and take a day at the beach or in a neighboring city. Train tickets range anywhere from 20 pounds and up depending on where you want to go.
If you find yourself with spare time and need something to do, I recommend traveling outside of the city with a tour group. Often times it is hard to see special places if you’re not an expert in the area. I went to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and the city of Bath all in one day with Golden tours. For £123 I was able to spend 11 hours driving around Great Britain with some amazing people. It was definitely worth the price and they even provide lunch! The guide was so fun and knowledgeable and I left with many friends from all over the world.
-Joe Andersen, NAU
It was hard to say goodbye to such a wonderful group of students as our two-week excavation course came to an end. Last week we did a lot of drawings of the walls that we unearthed and learned how to accurately plan them for the site register. We also ended up going back to Hook Lighthouse on Friday as our last get together. The water was beautiful I just wish I brought my bathing suit! Outside of the site was also full of adventures this week as our host family cat, Smokey, had kittens and brought them inside. They had just opened their eyes and I have never felt more love in my heart for anything. It was truly beautiful!
This week I had the pleasure of working alongside a good friend of mine doing 3-D scanning of the proposed site of the town of Carrig. The lost town had once housed over 150 buildings but unfortunately was separated from the castle when the N11 was built. Luckily, we were able to get permission to go to the field where it might have once stood. What is left of it has since overgrown and become a farmer’s pasture. My friend Ryan, who I met last year in Trim, and I used a Lidar scanner in order to better understand the topography of the area. Fortunately we had some friends to keep us company in the hot summer heat!
Later this month a geophysicist is coming out to further examine the area and I am super excited to see where that leads!
-Gaile Juknevicius, UMKC
Taking in a city for a vacation can be a heavy task. Especially in London, with so much to see. I was tasked with showing my long time friend around the city and we saw some of London’s best sights all within 11 hours.
My friend Lily and her friend Avalon added London on to their European adventure and we had one day to take in as much as the city as possible. What started off as brunch on a Saturday morning turned into a long, 11-hour day. I was able to show Lily and Avalon my favorite spots while also seeing new sights myself.
We had plans set up at a café but they didn’t open till 11am, (like many restaurants in London) so we walked around a bit and found a small Italian brunch place where we sat and sipped cappuccinos and caught up on the last few years. We then went with the flow and hoped on the underground tube and rode it into London Bridge station. I told them “if you’re going to see anything we might as well take time to see the bridge.” This was also my first time up close to the bridge as well. I offered up museums, which are free and an easy thing to do, but instead we just walked along the river.
Our next adventure was in Covent Garden, home to where I work, so I was happy to show them what my everyday life was like. We stopped by my work, went through a few shops and I even showed them a hidden gem I found right near Covent Garden, Neal’s Yard. Neal’s Yard consists of colorful buildings, cafes, and spas. The building is filled with flowers and every color under the sun! We then turned the corner and stopped for classic cake and tea.
We were treated like true queens as we sat in the center of Covent Garden, where we tried three cakes and three teas topped off with a local opera singer as background noise. After a refreshing cup of tea, we made our way through the Whitehall gardens, which is filled with flowers and statues. If you’re ever in need of a break from the city I highly recommend any park nearby. The trees block out the noise and it is seamlessly a different place. Near the Whitehall Gardens is what a London postcard is known for: The London Eye, Big Ben (which is currently under 4 years’ worth of constriction), and Parliament Square.
As the day went on we stopped and stocked up on waters to stay hydrated, but we were also in need of a drink and dinner. We headed back into Covent Garden and found a hidden bar/ buffet area where we grabbed appetizers and mojitos. We decided to go back to Covent Garden because we all were craving Chinese or Japanese and thought it would be fun to hit up Chinatown which is about 5 minutes from Covent Garden. We stopped by a customizable Asian restaurant. With leftovers in hand we decided it was time to part ways before the sun went down at 9:30. But first, we had to get a scoop (or two) of gelato.
On our way back we stopped off in Chelsea which is where I live. Gelato is always the best way to finish off a long day so we grabbed a few scoops and I walked them back to the station before giving them big hugs and all the luck on their return home.
-Joe Andersen, NAU
I’ve only been in Dublin for four weeks, but in those four weeks I’ve already learned a lot about how to get around and enjoy my time here in this wonderful city. Through trial and error, I’ve learned some tips and tricks that I think are worthy of passing along to others looking to live in Dublin. In honor of my four weeks in Ireland, here are four tips you might find useful for your time in Dublin.
There is nothing worse than desperately having to go to the bathroom and not having access to a toilet. In America, you can go into just about any convenience store, grocery store, fast food restaurant, or clothing store and find a bathroom. In America, there are bathrooms everywhere! Here in Dublin (and really all throughout Ireland), public bathrooms are MUCH more difficult to find. Without going into too much detail, I’ve found through multiple close calls that here in Dublin, you only have a couple options when it comes to finding a toilet.
Option 1: Find a McDonalds – McDonalds has toilets that are open for public use. Before you are in desperate need of a toilet, do some research to find out where McDonalds is in relation to where you will be.
Option 2: Pubs – When you are in desperate need of a toilet and you don’t know where a McDonalds is, you can usually go into any open pub and find a bathroom there. Keep in mind that unless it’s the late afternoon or evening, most pubs won’t be open. If that’s the case, see options 3 and 4.
Option 3: Coffee shops/ cafés– Let’s say it’s the morning and you really have to go. You don’t see a McDonalds anywhere and all of the pubs are closed. If this is the case, you can go into a Starbucks or another coffee shop/ café and they will likely have a bathroom. Be prepared to purchase something from the shop before you are able to use the bathroom.
Option 4: If you have to go, you have to go– If all else fails, find a corner, a tree, or a dumpster and just go (hopefully you won’t have to resort to this option).
The Dublin Bus is definitely the cheapest and most convenient way to get around the Dublin area. With that being said, bus fare adds up quickly, but if you are a student, you can get a student Leap Card and save a lot of money on transportation.
Use your Leap Card to save money on bus fare and pay for your bus without having to count out change
You can also use the student Leap Card to save money at various restaurants and companies throughout Ireland
The process to get my student Leap Card was fast and simple (with the exception of trying to find Trinity College). There are several Leap Card offices around Dublin, but most of them will only issue you a student card if you show proof that you attend university within Ireland or already have an international student ID card. However, if you’re like me and don’t attend school in Ireland or have an international student card, you can go to the Leap Card office in the Student Union Building at Trinity College and get your student Leap Card there (assuming you have your student ID card from your home university). Once there, you fill out a quick information sheet with your name, address, and school information. Then you show them your ID card from your home university, pay 10 euros cash, and “voila”! They take your picture and issue you your card. You can run over to the convenience store directly next to the Leap Card office and load money on your card. With this Leap Card, you scan it on the bus to pay for bus fare, and the monitor on the bus will let you know how much money you have left on your card. This is a much more convenient and cost effective way to pay for bus fare, and I recommend it to any student travelling to Ireland.
During your first couple of weeks in Ireland, you will likely be relying on your phone for directions, transportation information, and for taking pictures. You will use your phone A LOT, and as a result, your phone will die very quickly.
My second day here, I went out to the city and used up the battery on my phone while trying to find directions on how to get back to my host family’s house. Before I could actually find out how to get back to my house, the battery died. I couldn’t call anyone, I couldn’t use the taxi app to hail a taxi, and I wasn’t 100% sure which bus I needed to take back to my house. I was also running late for dinner and couldn’t get in contact with my host family. Long story short, after much asking around, I finally found my bus and made it back. However, it was a pretty frightening experience. Since then, I have been taking my adapter and phone charger almost everywhere, and unless you have a portable phone charger, I recommend doing the same. It totally sucks when you need your phone and it won’t turn on!
Some Dublin Buses have USB outlets, but you can also find outlets in most cafés. You will need an adapter to use them though!
One of the best parts (in my opinion) of being in Dublin is that there are so many interesting people from all over the world who come to work and live here. Being in Dublin provides such an incredible opportunity to make friends and form connections with interesting people from all over the place! Just being in Dublin is an exciting experience, but friends can make that experience even better!
As someone who can be quite introverted at times, it is often really intimidating for me to get out and meet new people. However, I’ve found that there are many ways to make friends without having to go out of my way to initiate conversations everywhere I go.
The more time I spend here, the more I learn about and adapt to living in Ireland. These 4 tips I have learned through trial and error, and I am sure that by the time my internship is concluded, I will have so many more tips to add to this list. Living abroad is such an exciting experience, and I can’t recommend it enough. There have been ups and there have been downs, but the whole experience thus far has been an incredible learning experience for me. I am eager to see what other tips I learn here before my internship is concluded!