The City of Tribes

29 Oct

It’s been a little while since I’ve written my last blog but I’m going to discuss our first trip to the West of Ireland, to Galway and the Aran Islands. We met for an 11am departure in front of the Aungier Street building, where our bus was patiently waiting for us. After picking up a morning coffee, we headed onto the bus. We started with a brief attendance check, and then we were on our way. And, might I add, that I was not on the list, so I was considered “staff”. Having this label had its perks to it, which I will explain later in the blog.

On the way to Galway, we passed a town called Athlone. We drove along the River Shannon and passed the Athlone Castle. We also learned a fun fact about our teacher, Donal: he grew up in Athlone.

We finally arrived at our hotel in Galway. Once the group got inside, a circle formed around Donal as he began to pass out our keys. I waited for my name, and in this situation it was “staff”, to be called. It turns out that I had a room all to myself, which I could not complain about. After settling into our rooms, a few of us took a 20 minute walk to the City Centre. Here, we explored the area and found that there were many shops, restaurants and pubs, sort of like a mini-Dublin. We visited the sites such as the Claddagh and the Eyre Square.

Later that night, we made our way into the City Centre again and went to a pub called “The King’s Head”. We listened to some traditional (and some not-so-traditional) Irish music by a band called “Stone Cold Sober”. Ironic? After a late night, we had to brave an early wake-up at around 9am. We hopped back on the bus and took a one-hour journey to the ferry which would take us to the Aran Islands. The Aran Islands are composed of three separate islands. We traveled to the biggest island, Inis Mór. We took a tour around the island, having learned that the island has a population of only about 800.

The best part of the excursion, and possibly my favorite adventure to date, was visiting the Dun Aengus. Dun Aengus is located at the edge of a steep cliff. To get to this cliff, you had to trek it up a path, which included a set of steep and rocky steps. Once getting to the top, it seemed worth the trouble of climbing. We couldn’t have asked for a better day, having probably one of the clearest days so far in Ireland. It was a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean. I could almost see Boston, which is where I am from. 

On our final day and after another early wake up, we left the hotel and made our way to our final destination of the trip, The Cliffs of Moher. This site was one that I was looking forward to, having heard so many great things about it. The weather didn’t seem to be in our favor today, having little to no visibility. I had one good view of the Cliffs but after that, no luck. Despite the weather, I am still grateful we got to go.

I enjoyed our trip to the West of Ireland, having made new friends and visiting stunning sites. 

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