Galway, Aran Island, Inis Mor, and many more…

31 Jan

When I was in the states and I told my friends and family that I will be studying in Dublin, Ireland this semester, they always had something positive to say. Some told me, “Ireland is a beautiful place to be” and others said, “You’ll have an amazing time, there is so much to see.” I never really understood their excitement about the country of Ireland till this past weekend.

We had a planned trip to Galway on Friday, Jan 23rd and I must say that I was unsure of what to expect during the trip. On our way to Galway we saw lots of sheeps and cows; I had never seen so many sheeps in my life until last weekend. I noticed that a lot of people in Ireland feed from the land, and they farm a lot. This was shocking and surprising to me because I never imagined seeing so many farms and animals. After arriving in Galway, we were able to visits some shops and walk around the city for about 2 hours and during my walk, I noticed that there were Irish Claddagh rings in all the shops I visited, so I decided to purchase a ring for myself. I also purchased some for my sister and friends because I really like what the ring represents, which is Love, Loyalty and Friendship.

On Saturday, we had to be up really early in order to begin our trip to Aran Island. First, we got on a ferry boat and then we were welcomed by a tour guide, who gave us the tour of the Inis Mor (the big island) from a tourist van. The Inis Mor was occupied by 800 residents and they all lived in small villages. These villages had about 10 houses per village. There was only 1 grocery store on the island, called Spar and they had 3 bars on the island. They had about 2 hostels and 1 hotel on the island for tourists and about 3 churches. Now, I go to a school that is occupied by 5000+ students, with huge shopping malls and grocery stores, restaurants and pharmacies, so you can imagine my surprise at the size of this island. I was fascinated. The island had a lot of rocks and these rocks were piled up to build fences around peoples lands and the though in my head was, “Who had time to build all these fences.” We also saw some cute leprechaun houses and some old houses with hay roof tops. Inis Mor is blessed with lots of lands and water and the people on the island were very friendly.

During our tour, we were able to walk up the rocks to see the cliffs of the Island, and we were told that parts of the movie Leap Year was filmed on the cliff and on the island. I really loved how peaceful it was on the cliff. I laid down on the grass and listened to the water while the sun shined on my face, and this moment is one I will never forget from my visit to the Aran Island.

-Esther Dada

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