West Of Ireland – Nora Smith

29 Sep

          This past weekend I traveled to the West of Ireland with the N.U in program. I had no idea what to expect, as the only part of Ireland I had experienced so far was the city of Dublin, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised.  My trip was filled with some beautiful sites, rich history and some great bonding moments with friends. Our trip started off with a two and a half hour bus ride through Irelands countryside, we had a great tour guide that informed us of the history of all the scenery we were viewing. Once we arrived, we checked into the lovely Snoozles a quaint hostel conveniently located near Galway’s city center. This was my first experience at a hostel so I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It wasn’t too bad it reminded me of summer camp as our rooms were complete with bunk beds, we were assigned room mates which gave me the opportunity to become closer with some of the other girls in the program.


       The first day we completed the treacherous travel to the Aran Islands, complete with a choppy but beautiful 40-minute ferry ride. These islands were filled with ancient ruins of monasteries; it was crazy seeing the old graveyards and what was left of this intricate architecture. We also had a wonderful bus tour that took us around the island. My favorite part of the day was the journey to the fort of Dún Aonghasa. It was placed upon breath taking cliffs. The cliffs dropped off to choppy water and shards of rocks 100 meters below. I felt like I could see for miles.


            The next day we traveled to the Cliffs of Moher, but before we arrived we made a few stops. My favorite stop was at the Fairy Tree. Everything about it looked mystical, it was an indented alcove in the earth with a raised edge that we walked along. However, you could only walk around it clockwise, or else it was bad luck. This spot was a bit underrated so there weren’t the mass tourists crowds then at the other spots. Once we actually arrived at the cliffs it was extremely foggy, so we couldn’t see the breathtaking heights of the cliffs, however we still climbed along the path. Something I thought was interesting was the large amount of stonewalls along the landscape. Our tour guide told us this was because the British government offered the Irish citizens a monetary payment for building these walls during the potato famine. The citizens then used this money to immigrate over to America.


            Overall this was a very fun trip, it offered me a different perspective of Ireland while allowing me to bond with my fellow N.U in peers. I can’t wait to explore the rest of the country with everyone!ImageImage

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