Weekend Study Tour West

21 Oct

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
― Mark Twain

The trip began in Galway, a city in the province of Connacht. The Mayor Edward Eyre presented it to the city in 1710, which is where the name was derived from. In 1965, the square was officially renamed “Kennedy Memorial Park”, to honor U.S. president John Kennedy who visited there before his assassination. I walked around the city center in Eyre Square for about an hour, and simply observed. Immediately, I noticed it was much colder than Dublin. That was because strong winds from the North Atlantic current were brought in. I also noticed many flags and statues located in the park. The stores surrounding the city center were all very small, clean, and comforting. The city was kept very neat, and clearly was nowhere near the size of Dublin.

The next day we visited one of the Aran Islands, known as Inishmore. Inishmore has an area of 31 square kilometers, and 801 residents. Only a few houses are built every 10 years there, and may only be built by residents. There are only about 5-6 kids in each grade that attend school. A few stores I entered there were Spar, SuperMac’s, and Café. There were also sweaters on the Aran island, each one uniquely knitted by each family. They are known for the time and quality invested in them costing as much as 165 Euro. Overall, very beautiful island, and I saw more tourists then residents I felt. Probably because of the circular forts, early Christian remains, 12th century high crosses, and medieval churches that mark the island.

Lastly, were the Cliffs of Moher, located in County Clare. They have a maximum height of 214 meters north of O’Brien’s tower. Sir Cornelius O’brien built this tower in 1835, in efforts to attract more tourists, which would benefit the economy. The Cliffs have also appeared in the movies Harry Potter and Leap Year. Standing near the edge of the cliffs was a very scary experience for me, but one I could not get sitting at home on the couch. Seeing the Cliffs of Moher really opened my eyes, giving me the idea there is so much to see out there in the world.

-James Richards

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