JWU Student Blogs

Irish Seaweed Is Not Just For Eating

Samantha Riley's Irish adventure bounces along to County Sligo, the final resting place of poet W.B. Yeats and a place to receive an amazingly slimy seaweed bath. 

My friends and I embarked on a short overnight trip to Strandhill in County Sligo a few weeks ago. Sligo is about as far north as a person can go before entering into the land of Northern Ireland and is famous for its rugged beauty and for being the burial grounds of W.B. Yeats.

During the summer, Sligo is the destination of countrymen and tourists for its resort-town vibe but during the off-season it is filled with only the locals. The evidence of its summer glories was still present with an ice cream shop, a luxury spa and a surf supply store. This was the perfect destination for a night away, we had a room and almost an entire hostel to ourselves, the hostel was only a mere few feet from the ocean, and the small town was charming. At the one and only pub, live musicians were jamming to their heart's content while customers shared tales of the day. The chords of the Irish ballads would follow us home that night all the way into our dreams.

Samantha Riley captures County Sligo. Credit: Samantha Riley

The next day all four of us were up at the crack of dawn to watch the sunrise over the ocean. We climbed through the bluffs and sat atop a sand dune to welcome the morning, but unfortunately the unpredictable weather of Ireland decided to roll in a squall. Later on, my friend convinced me to join her for a step further into the realm of relaxation and rejuvenation with a trip to the spa for a seaweed bath. At first it was, “You want me to pay to soak in seaweed?”

County Sligo and ice cream make a perfect day. Credit: Samantha Riley

With the warm genuine smile of the receptionist to greet us in the morning, we were guided to our individual rooms and given our instructions. First it was to enter into the steam room that also doubled as a shower. The staff had previously turned on the steam and it was so thick it prevented me from seeing anything beyond inches in front of me. The steam physically and mentally melted away the stress I had been wearing like a badge of honor over the previous weeks. Worries all made their way down the drain. The peaceful ambiance was created in part through the burning candle and soundtrack of ocean waves with the centerpiece of it all being the vintage claw foot bathtub. Slowly I immersed myself into the heated seaweed bath, unsure of what exactly to expect. The seaweed definitely had a particular slimy feel to it but it faded as time went on. Unwrapping myself like a life-size piece of sushi, it was time to leave after a successful new experience.


Topics: Study Abroad