The Aran Islands: Inis Mor

24 Sep

Matthew DiCenso

This past weekend the N.U. in program visited Western Ireland and it was an experience I will not soon forget. We saw various geographic features, took note of a different culture, and learned more about the history of Ireland. However, the portion of the trip that I most appreciated was the day trip to the Aran Islands.

There are three Aran Islands, but we traveled to Inis Mor, which translates to “Big Island”. Ironically, this island is not very big. As my tour guide pointed out, the population of Inis Mor is approximately 750 people and the island is about 9 by 3 miles. Can you believe that? The place was basically deserted. It was truly eye-opening to be at a community that seemed completely vacant.  It was also amazing to hear from my tour guide that the island didn’t have electricity until 1980. Being at a place that had such different values than what I was used to was a great opportunity to discover more.

Besides witnessing a completely different culture, my group at Inis Mor also got the chance to visit an ancient fort. One end of the fort was a cliff that overlooked a quick death for whoever fell off. Undoubtedly, members of the N.U. in program sat on the edge and literally risked their lives. Viewing such a scene on this field trip was a picture that will always stay clear in my mind. Nothing compares to looking down at several hundreds of feet! Western Ireland was the trip of a lifetime. Not many college freshman get to say that they observed an ancient island and also a fort with a deathly view.

 

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