9 Oct

This past weekend I went to Galway with twelve other students. I was at first nervous for the trip, because the kids that had gone the week before did not seem to have a good time. I was slightly disheartened when our bus driver was an hour and a half late, but he eventually he arrived and the trip started! After three long hours on the bus, and a lot of lip-syncing with my roommate we arrived at the ecolodge! I fell in love with that ecolodge! The layout was amazing and the fact that it was incredibly eco friendly only added to the love! The circular building was set up with beds all along the sides of the main room, a fireplace in a sunken family room in the middle, and a room on the second story right above the family room. I loved that it felt like we were all one big family sharing a really cool space. The food was amazing and they easily accommodated to my gluten-free life. I happily went to bed that night and could not wait for the next day.
Our first day we went on a hike and visited a huge cairn. It was an unopened one, and the fact that it was unopened became an immediate debate with our group. I believe that the cairn should stay closed. The tour guide told us that some of the cairns were “false” cairns, meaning it was just a pile of rocks. I thought that if that were the case it would be silly to spend a lot of money tearing apart a beautiful historic figure to find nothing. I also love the fact that it is an untouched piece of a history, it’s a mystery what is actually in the cairn, and that makes it special. If the cairn really is a cairn and not a false one, then that would mean that there are probably human remains inside. These cairns acted as graves thousands of years ago, and I believe out of respect they should continue to be let to lay at piece. Many of the other students disagreed with me, and we decided to let the debate end, because it was time to go surfing!
Surfing was the highlight of the trip for me! I loved being in the salty water, trying to stand up, and falling all over the place. It was so much fun and it gave everyone a good laugh when people wiped out. After surfing we went back to the ecolodge. My roommate Caroline and I went exploring around the ecolodge and found out you can walk on the roof! We climbed to the top, hung out with the owners of the ecolodge, and watched the most mesmerizing sunset I have seen in Ireland. After our roof adventure we went back inside and waited for the druid and musicians to arrive!
The musicians were amazing, and the druid scared me a little bit! The musicians played a lot of traditional Irish music on the harp, accordion, and viola. I was nervous I would not like the music, but was more than pleasantly surprised with the music. It was beautiful and fun to listen to. The druid would tell us stories and answer questions we had during the musicians breaks. She seemed a little bit crazy and witch-like, but her stories were interesting. She told us the perspective druids had on St. Patrick, and in their minds he actually was a druid and was never held captive in Ireland. She also told us about her journey to becoming a druid, which involved studying since the age of seven, composing three songs in one afternoon, and many more years of intensive studies. In the end I liked the musicians a lot more than I liked the druid, but both were interesting and a fun part of the weekend.
The next day was checkout day, and we visited another cairn. This cairn was much smaller, but we could go inside this one. The inside had three small chambers where humans were laid to rest thousands of years ago. I was fascinated by the inside, and the fact that apparently there is one stone that if removed the whole cairn would fall! The architecture of the cairn was amazing, and it was really inspiring being able to take such a huge step back in history. After experiencing the cairn it was time to go home to Dublin, and say goodbye to my favorite weekend yet!

-Emma Hinman


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: