The Great Roommate Exchange

Last fall, my roommate Elea and I were planning our study abroad trips and of course we also planned to visit each other. I don’t know where the time went, but the time finally arrived to visit each other. I visited Elea for the weekend in Cork, Ireland where she is studying for the semester, and then she returned with me on the Holyhead ferry to quiet little North Wales. I’d say we got our weekly quota of castles this time, between Blarney Castle and Beaumaris and Conwy castles in Wales.

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Unfortunately, two bus-ferry-bus trips in a weekend finally did me in and I spent the next week in bed with a head cold. It served as a British over-the-counter drug names tutorial (the more you know, right?) and a chance for me to catch up on sleep and webseries (what? valid life choice…). Elea, good friend that she is, stood loyally by by coughing side with tea, chocolate, and empathy. :)

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Despite feeling under the weather, I went to several interesting classes and learned about theories of readership, writing dialogue for screenplays, and Welsh culture… and yes, I went to a couple castles as well!

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Conwy Castle is an impressive example of Edward I’s Norman castles because it was actually completed and used defensively (against the Welsh of course). It was built into the rock at the edge of the water, which prevents tunneling; its walls are too high to scale; a freshwater well inside protected against drought in sieges.

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Elea and I climbed up and around Conwy Castle’s towers and enjoyed the view of water, town, and sheep.

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We walked around the medieval wall surrounding the town, which was surprisingly steep in places and held incredible views of the castle and misty landscape.

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I said to Elea, “We could go this way to the town center or that way to the smallest house in Britain.” “The smallest house in Britain?” she repeated, with what I thought was awe. I quickly realized it was in fact incredulity that anyone would want to see such a thing. It was only a minute away, so we went anyway (yay!) and found a tiny, adorable red house along the waterfront, carefully labeled with a big sign “SMALLEST HOUSE—>” so we wouldn’t miss it.

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In a Conwy gift shop, Elea found a sheep and dragons chess set– how cool is that?

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When I was crashing at Elea’s place in Cork, I took this photo of St. Finbarr’s cathedral from her patio at night. How’s that for a view?!

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