Galway Girl: Week 4

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Soooo, this week I got to go the west of Ireland! Specifically, I went to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher. Let me talk about Galway first, where we started by walking along the promenade right on the coast which was absolutely gorgeous. We tried to go visit Galway Cathedral, but there was actually a wedding taking place so we just looked at the outside. These were both beautiful places, but I think the highlight of this Galway trip was the night pub life. Compared to the Dublin pubs I’ve been to, the atmosphere was amazing both nights we were there. We went to The Quays the first night and it was more a concert feel and then the second night we to O’Connors which was more of a sit down place with live music (The Quays is the first picture). Both were great in their different ways and I would recommend both of them if you are ever in Galway. Then we went to the Aran Islands, which consist of 3 islands, and we went to the biggest one, Inis Mór, which literally means big island. We took a ferry over, which was a little bit rocky but not too bad. On the island they had a couple shops along with a bar and coffee shop. After looking at the shops, we went on the bus tour around the island which showed us a site called the 7 churches, which isn’t actually 7 churches but just 2 churches with a graveyard. We also went to the fort of Dún Aonghasa which our tour guide said a lot of the forts were used for religious purposes and not military. Considering the fort was 300 feet about the sea on a cliff, they really didn’t need any defense. The other forts were either in the middle of the island or again on a cliff, so that’s one of the reasons we have to believe they weren’t for military use. After looking at Dún Aonghasa, we decided to head back to the hotel and eventually O’Connors which I mentioned above. Fast forward to the next day.

Finally, the Cliffs of Moher. On our way back from Galway, we stopped at the Cliffs because of how incredible they are. If you are familiar with the movie, The Princess Bride, these are the cliffs of insanity that they climb up. Anyway, the day we went it was torrential downpour and also consisted of big gusts of wind. There were actually times when many of us were close to falling over and had most of us changing out of our clothes because they were sopping wet. Even though we were fighting the elements, it was really a magnificent sight to see. It has been one of my favorite places to see so far on my study abroad journey. After changing we headed back on the road to stop at Barack Obama Plaza. As it turns out Obama had relatives from Ireland in the 19th century, so in honor of that, the Irish built a plaza of him, with various memorabilia. This was such an interesting stop, because I did not know that the Irish were that passionate about our 44th president. It really shows how much America has influence on the world, and just made me consider and think about my actions I have done here so far. Because, I have also made friends with a Swedish girl named Femi, who told me that they get a lot of their news and entertainment from America. Which is so weird to think about for me, but it’s more of a normal and common thing in the European countries.