Adventures in County Donegal

I’ve had a couple of adventures during my last few days in County Donegal. First, our class went to Finntown and went to a music session in an extremely old pub. This pub was called “Teach Ceoil” meaning “Music House.” I’ve been to many traditional sessions during my time in Ireland, but this one was especially authentic. This pub did not have any taps or fridges. They just had beer and liquor on the wall and one bartender serving. The bartender also turned out to be an excellent musician. During the night, many people displayed their talents. In our class, some people sang Irish songs and others played their instruments like the fiddle, tin whistle, and bodhrán. I was even able to Irish dance for a little bit. The room was very small, and some people had to stand. The entire night was enjoyable, and I am so glad we got the chance to go.

Teach Ceoil

On Saturday, a couple of classmates and I went to Donegal town for the day. Donegal town is a cute town with a lot of interesting things to do. We walked along the river and checked out old ruins of an Abbey. Also, I bought a GAA Donegal County flag that I am going to hang up in my dorm room. We also passed Donegal Castle which was very special.

Donegal Town

While I have been learning a lot in class, I find that speaking the language to other people outside the class benefits me as well. My teacher actually comes to the Bean an Tí’s house for dinner and he speaks to us in Irish. Using the language outside of a class setting allows for me to feel more comfortable and relaxed while speaking. I find that I am improving my listening skills and understanding what someone is actually saying to me. I find that I can respond decently if I first understand what is being said to me. Overall, I feel that being in such a remote place is great for learning Irish.