My Adventurous Trip to Galway

28 Sep

Erica Nesses

Last weekend I was able to travel to the other coast of Ireland. The 3-hour, 210km bus ride west was very picturesque; the countryside of Ireland was filled with open fields, farms, and natural beauty. When we finally arrived to Galway I noticed that it was quite similar to Dublin, just on a smaller scale. We stayed at a hostel named “Snoozles”. Before this trip I had never stayed in a hostel before and I definitely had a good experience; it was very clean and inviting.

Exploring the small city center of Galway was extremely fun, the area was quaint and the locals were very friendly. I could feel a strong sense of community in the streets as I passed by different stores and chatted with residents at the local restaurants and bars. The pubs were filled with upbeat people, live bands, and a feeling of sweet welcoming.

The first day of my trip we traveled by bus up into the hills of County Clare to visit the Aillwee Cave. This million-year-old cave was recently found in 1976 by accident and was once home to animals, precious stone, and possibly even people. The tour was exhilarating as the guide explained the evolution of the formation of rock in this underground tunnel. The next stop was the Cliffs of Mohr. These massive cliffs are very graphic and extremely high to the ground. Underneath them is the ocean about 1,000 feet below with its strong crashing waves. Sightseers walk along the cliffs at their own risk because it’s steepness and windiness can be very dangerous. The thrilling feeling of being on top of the cliffs is one that I will never forget.

The second day I took the ferry to the Aran Islands. After leaving Galway, I felt that this place was unlike any part of Ireland I had seen before. With only one supermarket on the island and a few gas stations, this region seemed to be set back from society at least 50 to 100 years. Although the island was completely self sufficient, it focused on living a simple and quiet lifestyle. We went on a bus tour through the island that drove through narrow streets along the coastline showing us the landscape and natural terrain of the grounds. Greenery was everywhere and it was absolutely beautiful; stone walls led on for 7,000 miles that acted as boundaries to cut off land for people that once inhibited the island. Today the population is only 820 people and many farm animals. Once reaching near the top of the highest point on the island I was able to see the Atlantic Ocean while perched on top of toothed cliffs; the views were absolutely breathtaking.

While my time in Galway came to an end, I have many great memories of the beautiful scenery and times I shared with the other students in Nu.in. I also have a handmade sweater from the Aran Islands that will remind me of these adventures I had there that I will truly never forget.

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