London and Dublin

Hi everyone!

Two weekends ago I visited London! Even though I was exhausted from spring break, I was ready to visit England and gain a better understanding of the country’s relationship with Ireland.

We got in late Thursday night, and just decided to swing over to a nearby pub for a burger and a pint. The pub was packed with people enjoying beers after work. The atmosphere was similar to the many pubs one finds in Ireland, and so I felt a warm sense of familiarity as opposed to the uncertainty I usually felt upon arriving to other countries.

The next morning we woke up early, got our Oyster cards which gave us access to all public transportation including the metro and buses in London. The public transportation was amazing, allowing us to zip around all areas of London quickly. We visited West Minster Abbey, then Buckingham Palace. We just so happened to arrive at the Palace when they were doing the daily ceremony of the changing of the guard. It was fun to watch the tradition and stare at the gilded building. Next we made our way over to the Churchill War Rooms. That was my favorite spot. It was fascinating learning about British involvement in World War II, gain insight into Churchill’s fascinating character and leadership, as well as actually spend time in the rooms in which important war strategies were made while avoiding the bombings that occurred in the streets above.

We were lucky to have impeccable weather, so we picked up some food and drinks from a grocery store and had a picnic in the amazing Hyde Park. As we exited the grocery store however, there were many protests occurring over Brexit, which was interesting as well as overwhelming to scurry through.

We then ventured over to Notting Hill, the charming neighborhood that was featured in the famous film with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. It was adorable and colorful. We ended the night grabbing Indian food around Piccadilly Circus,  which reminded me a lot of Times Square.


The next day, we traveled over to the Tower of London where we learned about all of the beheadings that took place there, as well as saw the magnificent crown jewels. After crossing the Tower Bridge, we visited the Borough Markets. Any food you can imagine with varying delicious cuisines bordered the area.

To end the weekend, we watched sunset at the top of the Shard.

Overall, I adored London. It reminded me so much of New York City, while Dublin gives me a Boston feel.

I look forward to spending my next few weekends in Dublin!

Spring break: 2 weeks, 5 countries

Hi again!

UCD gives students a two week spring break in March, and my friends and I took full advantage. We booked a wild travel spree in which we hit Prague, Budapest, back to Dublin, then Rome and Barcelona.

Let me start with Prague. The architecture was absolutely stunning. Between the Prague castle, the churches, and the cute, light colored houses that filled the city, I can see why people enjoy living there/ and why it is such a popular study abroad destination. The city is lively and full of happy people. The essence of Prague can be seen in the John Lennon wall, a beautifully graffitied wall with quotes from John Lennon and other messages and names overlapping one another.

Next we we took a short cheap flight to Budapest. There we saw a market,  beautiful architecture, and yes, the infamous Baths. The baths were very fun, essentially a giant hot tub which was nice on a sunny cold day. My favorite thing we did was the House of Terror museum, and museum that goes through the history of Budapest and their role in World War II and then communism in the cold war. It was chilling and fascinating,I highly recommend.

Next, I flew back to Dublin for St Patricks day. This was probably one of my favorite things I will have done abroad because I saw so many people from my hometown, studying abroad in other countries, just walking the streets of Dublin. Live music poured out of every pub, and the parade went through the streets for the entire day. I was proud to show off Dublin to all my friends from High School, and give them a taste of the charming atmosphere and kind hearted people.

Ok, now bear with me. I then flew into Rome, where I had an amazing time seeing all the typical touristy things such as the Vatican, Colosseum, and Trevi Fountain, all with a gelato or pizza in my hand, The food was unbelievable, and the sights were breathtaking. St. Peter’s Basilica as well as the Vatican were overwhelmingly beautiful.

I ended my trip in Barcelona, where I spent the days sleeping in until 12:00 pm and staying up until 5 am. The culture and vibe of Barcelona was much different than the other countries in that people were just happy, stress free, and kind. I even got to the beach. My favorite part was climbing the bunkers at sunset and getting a view of the entire city.

I am exhausted, however these past two weeks have been unforgettable. I am so grateful for this opportunity to see the world.

I look forward to sharing my next adventure with you all.


Kelli Murray




Just got back from Paris! I absolutely adored it. Not only was the weather absolutely gorgeous, but the city and culture was also unbelievable.

I was surprised at the amount of cafes and “boulangeries”, which are bakeries that sell baguettes and other fresh breads for only a euro. Unlike Amsterdam, many people did not speak English. I ended up using a lot more French than I had expected.

On the first day, my friend and I walked the streets, stumbling upon Notre Dame Cathedral. It was stunning. Next we walked along the River Seine, the large, clear body of water that runs through the middle of the city. We then arrived at the Louvre, which took forever to get into as the lines circled the infamous glass pyramids outside. However, it was worth it after entering the giant museum, lined with amazing art that stretched for forever. The Mona Lisa was not as crowded as I thought it would be, however unlike the other works of art it was roped off, keeping everyone at a distance.

After the Louvre, I had the best lunch I had ever had in my life at a restaurant called Antiquaires.

I then went to the Museum D’Orsay, which featured mostly French artists. I enjoyed Monet’s work the most.

The shopping in Paris was also amazing, Chanel, Hermes, Tom Ford, Cartier, Missoni and so so many other designer brands lined the Rue de Cambon.

I did the other classic French touristey things, seeing the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysee, and a river tour. However, my favorite thing was the Musee de L’armee. It gives a large background on French wars and leaders, including World War I and II. Napolean’s Tomb also resides within this large area, which was cool to see.

One of my other favorite things that we did was grab two cheeses, a baguette, and a bottle of wine, and watch the sunset under the Eiffel tower. The brie was unlike anything I have ever had.

I hope to go back to Paris, however I am happy to be back in Dublin, which now feels like home 🙂

Amsterdam and Portugal


That is hello in Dutch. Sorry for the wait on an updated blog post, but I have had a crazy couple of weeks.

My time in Dublin has been well spent. I have seen so much of the city, and feel well acclimated. I have gone to the Guinness factory, the Dublin Castle,  and shopped and dined in the city center. My classes are very interesting, and I have met and befriended many of my Irish peers, as well as students from other countries. My first two weekends I stayed in Ireland. First I went to Howth, a small beach town about an hour from Dublin. We walked the beautiful cliffs, and saw some amazing views. Cork was also beautiful and green. The city was similar to Dublin, however we took a ten minute ride out to the Blarney castle, and kissed the Blarney stone. The stone hangs out so you must lean backwards to kiss it. It supposedly give you the gift of eloquence.

After two weeks in Ireland, I was itching to experience new cultures and see different countries, as I had never been outside the country. I met some high school friends who are studying in Madrid at the time in Amsterdam. Amsterdam was amazing,

We spent our first night eating some Dutch cuisine which included cheese croquettes and beef and potatoes. Afterwards, we headed out to do karaoke.

On Friday morning we woke up and hit the city. The city was also filled with cobblestone streets, much like Dublin, however bike paths zigged and zagged throughout the city. I almost got decked by a bike about 100 times because I was not used to the large population of bikers. Canals ran through the entire city, lined with tall thin houses that peer down onto you. After a walking tour, I learned that the reason for the canals was due to the fact that the city was built on a swamp like area. The first dutch people took the plans from the infrastructure of Venice to build the city. The reason for the narrow tall houses is because residents were taxed on the width of their houses, so people built their homes thin and tall.

My favorite part of the trip was the night canal tour and the tour of the Anne Frank house. The Anne Frank house was chilling, as we made our way up and through the steep stairs and had the opportunity to see where the Franks resided for two years.

Overall the trip was amazing. I cannot wait for my next journey, as I will be flying to France on Thursday. I will try to be more consistent with my posts!


Kelli Murray

My First Week!

Hi readers!

Like my bio says, my name is Katherine Murray, but I go by Kelli, and I will be studying in Dublin for this semester. These first few days have been quite a whirlwind! I arrived on Monday morning after a 5 hour flight. I crashed in my parents hotel room, and after sleeping for a few hours, we hit the city of Dublin. Dublin is so beautiful. Cobblestone streets, a pub and cafe at every corner, and friendly faces smiling and shouting “Cheers!” at the end of every interaction. I first got my sim card in the city, which allows me to text and call here in Ireland at a place called “3” (similar to a Verizon store). After that, my family and I grabbed a quick bite in a cafe. There are “costas” everywhere, which is similar to a Starbucks. I got my bedding and other room essentials at a place called “Pennys”. They had everything from clothing, to home and kitchen supplies. I would recommend bringing sheets and towels over instead of purchasing them here, because it was hard lugging all the supplies around the streets of Dublin.

That night my parents and I went to a cozy pub called Darkey Kelleys. After eating our burger and fries and sipping our pints, we headed over to the Temple Bar area, and actually went into the Temple Bar. Everyone in there was so friendly and wanted to chat. I met people from the U.S., Ireland, and other countries. The live music was unbelievable. We listened to Irish tunes while swapping stories with strangers.

The next day my parents got me settled at UCD where I got my UCD id, and set up my room. I have 5 other Holy Cross roommates. We each have our own room and bathroom, with a large common space and kitchen.

I am already in love with this charming new city, and cannot wait to share the rest of my adventures with you all. Anyway, I am off to do a walking tour of campus, followed by orientation.


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