A few weekends ago, I joined our Irish Life and Culture class on a trip to Western Ireland. During this trip, I was able to explore Galway, the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher. On Saturday we embarked for the Aran Islands, which involved a bus and ferry ride. We learned quickly that the weather conditions for the day were not exactly ideal, since the wind made the boat ride very rocky. Once on the main island we took a bus tour. The driver informed us that the Aran Islands are made up of 3 islands, Inis Mór, Inis Meáin, and Inis Oírr. The population on the Aran Islands is over 1,300. The island has one market and one bank. The people on the island receive food and other supplies brought by boat from Galway. While on the island we were able to practice our Irish, since that is the spoken language by the locals on the island. We were also able to climb up the Aran cliffs and see the seven churches.
The following day we visited the Cliffs of Moher. We initially experienced very foggy weather in which it was very difficult to make out the cliffs in the fog. Luckily the fog lessened after half an hour and we were able to view the cliffs. The cliffs formed 320 million years ago and are 702 feet high and 5 miles in length. The rock layers of the cliffs were formed by hardened mud and sand. On a clear day a visitor would be able to make out the Aran Islands and Galway bay in the distance. At the base of the cliffs is one of Ireland’s largest surfing waves. The wave is called “Aileen’s” by surfers and has been seen in multiple surf movies.
Overall it was a wonderful trip in which I was able to understand why individuals have been drawn to the charming, culture filled environment of Western Ireland.
By: Jenna Gilder