A Weekend Trip to GalwayDublin, Summer 2010
There was a trolley person selling coffee and sweets on the train ride back to Dublin. I wanted to ask her for a few Chocolate Frogs and some Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. It was a good day for me. In fact it was the cap to an almost fantasy-like weekend in Galway. After a week in the city, half of our 60-student group escaped to the West side of Ireland to spend time sightseeing on the coast. I experienced Irish traveling for the first time. Between trains, buses, ferries and roads that make little to no sense, let’s just say it was a treat. On Friday morning we took a three-hour train ride across the country to get to Galway City. We then got in a bus for an hour and 15-minute ride up the most narrow, winding, rocky roads imaginable. Our tour bus was stopped for 20 minutes trying to slide passed another tour bus coming down from the opposite direction. Our bus driver thought it was hilarious. We, battling unanticipated motion sickness, did not. We did finally reach the Cliffs of Moher. The ‘bus ride from hell’ became immediately worth it. We waited in awed silence as the fog cleared to reveal the most breathtaking sight I have ever seen. On one side of the scene were green, rolling hills that went on forever, and on the other side was calm, expansive ocean that melted into the distance. It felt like we were on the edge of the world. There were even cows. This was Ireland as I had imagined it. After, we took another 45-minute bus ride to Aillwee Cave. I don’t particularly like caves, so it wasn’t very memorable. By the time we got back to Galway we all had ‘bus fever’. We had dinner together, explored the city on foot for as long as we could last, and then stumbled up to the hotel. In the morning I was pleased to discover the above satisfactory water pressure in the hotel shower. I stayed in for far too long, reveling in appreciation of a water stream that did not resemble the leaky pipe that is my city shower. We got back in a bus, hopped on a ferry and landed on the Aran Islands: a picturesque isle dotted with sheep, winding, stone walls and quaint cottages. A few of us decided to bike around the coast of the island and visit Dun Aengus, cliff-side, fort ruins. The view along the bike path was nothing short of amazing. Crystal clear ocean and old, stone remnants of churches had us stopping for photo ops every few minutes. At the fort, we abandoned our bikes and hiked up to the cliffs to explore. Again, breath-taking. We joked that these were the types of scenes you can set your laptop background to. Filled with fresh air, beautiful images, and a renewed sense of why we came to Ireland, we headed back to Dublin.
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