A 5 am wake up call is not something I am normally happy about, but today it was completely worth it. After a nice nap on the Wild Rover tour bus I awoke to cows and sheep right on the side of the road. The tour guide explained agriculture is the second largest industry in Ireland, behind tech, and that we would be seeing many more cows and sheep on our way to the Cliffs of Moher! Another hour or so passed and we finally arrived. The cliffs are what my professors like to call quintessentially Irish, so I had really high expectations for what I was about to see. Thankfully I was not disappointed! The views even from a lower altitude were incredible and once we reached a high point I was amazed. They look like something out of a mystical movie, we were later told they were used in the sixth Harry Potter film. The views coupled with the adorable old man playing traditional Irish music made me feel like I was finally experiencing the “real” Ireland, or more truthfully the stereotypical Ireland everyone fantasizes about. I was really impressed with the many different walking path options which allowed us to get an individualized experience and see the Cliffs from a variety of angles and perspectives. One word of warning, do not walk too close to the fences unless you want to smell of cow poop for the remainder of the day.
After experiencing the beautiful site that is the Cliffs of Moher, we made our way to a city made famous partially by the one and only Ed Sheeran. I would be lying if I did not admit Galway Girl was playing on repeat in my head as we walked through the streets of the coastal town. The cobblestone streets and quaint shops were again depicting the vision of Ireland I had in my head before getting here. The music in the streets was creating a lively environment that was at the same time incredibly comforting. Galway was almost like a miniature Dublin, filled with similar shops without the mass amounts of people one will find in Dublin. I might prefer Galway if I were to move to Ireland in the future.
Overall, I am really appreciative of my ability to travel to these incredible places at a reasonable price. The tour was great and the locations even better. Back to Galway next weekend for a trip to the Iron Islands!