A Weekend in the West!

25 Sep

This past weekend my fellow NU in-ers and I headed to the West of Ireland to see the city of Galway and the amazing sights that surround it. We traveled to the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands, and the Aillee Caves in just two days! Even though the weekend was packed with lethargic bus rides, rocky boats, and lots and lots of fog, it was an experience I’ll never forget.

 

My group traveled to the Aran Island, Inishmore, on Friday. This island is the biggest of all the Aran Islands, which is ironic since it contains only 840 inhabitants. On the way there, I sat on the top deck of the ferry to take in some of the cleanest air in all of Europe and enjoyed a beautiful and sunny day outdoors. When we arrived on the island, I noticed that there were only a few buildings, a small hotel, a bar/restaurant, and the Aran Sweater Shop (which made big bucks on the students of Northeastern that day J.) I found myself wondering what we were going to do and see on an island that seemed pretty bare, but I was inspired by its beauty once we loaded up our bus and started driving around the island. We saw thousands of miles of stonewall that was built to transform arid land into fertile farming soil, ponies, and an old cemetery which holds remains of the deceased community of the island. On the boat ride back I sat on the bottom deck, where I fell asleep to the rock of the waves in my new, authentic, Irish wool shawl.

 

That evening we enjoyed a delicious meal at Kirby’s in Galway’s City Centre, and afterwards, we walked along the quaint cobblestone roads of the city until we fell into a peaceful sleep at our lovely hostel called Snoozels. The next morning we woke up early for another big day of touring and learnin.

 

On Saturday we traveled through the Aillwee Caves in County Clare to see extremely old rock formations, an indoor waterfall, and spooky bats. Afterwards, we made wishes while walking clockwise around a fairy tree for good luck, and then made it to my favorite part of our trip: the Cliffs of Mohr. Unfortunately, Saturday was extremely foggy and we couldn’t see much of anything past the cliffs, but that didn’t stop us from carefully inching to the edge in attempt to catch a glimpse of the water below. Despite the fog and somewhat harsh winds, I was still shocked at the size and beauty of the Cliffs. I left the site with some awesome photos, and really windswept hair.

 

I truly enjoyed my weekend of famous sights, cozy Irish sweaters, Irish and Celtic history (with a bit of the fall of Rome to add some flavor,) and bonding with my classmates, but at the end of the trip I found myself wishing to go back home. Much to my surprise, I didn’t mean back home to Buffalo, I wanted my home in Dublin :).

 

– Caroline Dudeck

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