Weekend in Galway

8 Oct

About a week and a half ago, I travelled to Galway with my classmates. It was an amazing experience and I think it helped me understand the Irish culture much better. We were able to visit and explore the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands. Since I had only experienced Ireland’s city life before Galway, it was a new cultural encounter for me. The exquisite landscapes and breath-taking cliffs in Galway showed me a new perspective on the country. I was able to understand much about the history of Ireland on this trip as well. The Cliffs of Moher rise 390 ft above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head, and reach a maximum height of 702 ft just north of O’Brien’s Tower. It was amazing to see one of the filming location of the sixth Harry Potter film at the Cliffs of Moher.
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Along with the valuable information from our Irish Life and Cultures teacher, Donal Casey, being in the presence of the locals in Galway taught me quite a bit. On our second day in Galway, we visited Inishmore, which is the largest of the Aran Islands. The cliffs at Inishmore were hard to admire on the second day due to the excessive amounts of fog and cloudy weather. Still, we were able to see directly below us from the top and dangle our feet over the edge. It was an invigorating experience, especially when you lay on your stomach and look out over the cliff. It is as close to flying as I’ll ever get. The dangerous part was that the rocks on the edge were made of limestone so they were slippery and could have broken off at any moment.
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The town was picturesque and the local people were particularly welcoming. Our tour guide told us that the main source of income for the town comes from the tourist industry. This was interesting to me because I had the preconceived notion that most Irish countryside towns made their income from farming. I also interacted with the local shopkeepers who were selling authentic Irish sheep wool sweaters. Their excited attitudes were contagious. The small alleys with booths selling jewelry and souvenirs along with the enthusiastic street performers at nighttime made Galway a distinctive memory in my study abroad journey. Overall, the Galway trip was enjoyable and informative for me.

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