Galway — Western Ireland

29 Sep

Last weekend we took a trip to the Western Ireland, to the small city of Galway. I was really not looking forward to the trip beforehand, as we had just finished our second week of school and I was pretty worn out. Packing for our weekend trip was also a hassle as I wasn’t sure what kind of weather to expect. Luckily for me, this weekend was exactly the opposite of what I was expecting! By Sunday, I was looking back at a weekend filled with unforgettable memories. 

The bus ride to Galway was beautiful, with the sunset glowing on the green fields, and I was beginning to look forward to our trip. I’ve always enjoyed long bus rides, especially when there’s lovely scenery to look at from our windows. We arrived at Snoozles in around two hours, and I was a little worried about our sleeping situation there. I’ve never stayed in a hostel before and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Once we got into to the room I was pleasantly surprised to find a spacious area and a nice, clean bathroom. It was cool getting to room with someone from Blackhall as well as I rarely get to meet my peers from there. That night we went out to dinner to get to see Galway at night and found that it was a very different city from Dublin. It was much smaller and less lively at night, but it had a certain charm to it. I went to bed early that night, knowing that the next day would probably be tiring. 

The next morning I woke to find a clear, sunny day and my spirits were instantly lifted. I put on my tennis shoes, grabbed my camera and headed downstairs, excited for a day of beautiful scenery. We ate a brief breakfast and got on the bus that would take us to the ferry to get to the Aran Islands. The ride on the ferry was lovely, with the sparkling blue water spreading around us and views of green islands and mountains surrounding us. It was around a 45 minute ride and I was feeling a little sea sick towards the end of it. When we arrived at the island, I was struck by it’s beauty. It was the most charming, sweet little place I’ve ever seen. One of my favourite books, Anne of Green Gables, is set on an island in Canada and this island was almost exactly how I’d imagined that to be. It was stunning. We got on a hop on/ hop off bus then and took a tour around the small island. It was fascinating to getting to learn about a way of life so simple and sweet, where everyone knows everyone and no crime ever really happens. The island itself was absolutely stunning, from the beach with the seals to horses in the fields and little shops lining the corners. The best part was definitely when we went up to the cliffs. It was terrifyingly beautiful up there, and I got goosebumps just looking down at the water.

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We visited a fort as well and that was interesting; it seems much more real to learn about history when you’re actually standing there amidst it all then when you’re sitting in a classroom and reading about it. We ended the day by doing some shopping at the stores and nearly everyone purchased one of the famous Aran sweaters. We took the ferry back to Galway feeling thoroughly happy with our day. After getting back to Snoozles, we had a dinner organised for us at a nice restaurant. The food was good and the desert was fantastic! Hands down the best brownie I’ve ever had. 

The next morning we were going to go to the Cliffs of Moher and to go see some caves. Unfortunately, the weather was not as pleasant as it had been the day before and it seemed like we weren’t going to be able to see the cliffs very well. For me, the best part of the day was the drive. I absolutely loved the country side and my eyes couldn’t seem to get enough of it. Combine that with some local Irish music and it was a perfect ride. My ideal day would have been to just walk around and devour the beauty around me. Of course, the Cliffs were very exciting as it was foggy and that added an element of danger to it all. It was exhilarating looking around and not knowing if we were at the edge or not! I do wish that it had been clear and we could have seen the view around, but this was definitely a different experience. The drive back was as beautiful as the drive there had been, and we arrived back at Snoozles, I was a little sad that it had all ended. That night, we went to the same restaurant again and I enjoyed my delicious brownie! I was sad that it was our last night there but I was also looking forward to get back to my dorm room. 

My family will be visiting me in two weeks and I know they want to see some Irish countryside so I think that I might be coming back to Galway. It was a wonderful experience that I completely enjoyed and I really loved getting to see that part of Ireland. I’m already looking forward to our Northern Ireland excursion. 

–Sehr Malik

 

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