Though I still have so much more to write down about the first few days settling in here (we have slept a total of 15 hours since leaving on Tuesday), we had an amazing day full of the most spectacular views I have ever seen in my life.
We headed out on a bust tour that left Galway city at 10 AM and did not return until 6 PM (aka 6:45 PM in Irish relaxed time). We traveled to the Cliffs of Moher, which are these beautiful cliffs that overlook the water and are one of the biggest hotspots for Irish tourists. It was breathtaking, but also completely windy. Think of a sea breeze on steroids.
The cool part was that we stopped all along the way to the Cliffs, at different castles, pubs, ports, and to see some pigs (a real highlight). The tour was led by an old man, Desmond, who was so lively, jolly, and fun that our entire bus could not stop laughing. His son drove the bus down the SMALLEST streets imaginable. Cars literally would just pull up onto the grass when they saw us coming because there was no hope of fitting two vehicles, let alone a huge tour bus down the small streets. The cars seemed used to it since tour buses are a regular occurrence.
We had some traditional Guinness Roasted Beef Stew at a pub in a small port town (the cutest!) that was to die for and we grabbed a coffee at a cute little pub along the way. Though the day was long and required us to get up early (after being out until 3:45 AM the night prior), it was totally worth it.
The best part was we got to pay 30 Euro for this tour, but we got a ticket that allows us to ride for free for the rest of our stay here. Since I will have visitors and my family will surely want to attend this tour, it will be nice to join them free of charge.
As always the Irish are so incredibly kind, upbeat, and always up for some good jokes so the dynamic of the trip was filled with laughter and good memories. It shattered the stereotype of a tour bus activity– Desmond made us all feel like we were his grandchildren in a way. It was intimate enough that we felt we were truly experiencing some of the local flavor here in Ireland.
Though nothing can compare to the in person view, here is the photo dump to give you a taste of what we saw all day.
–Up first we headed to an abandon castle that was so beautiful. It currently serves as a cemetery.
Above we visited a site where the ancient Irish would throw bones of dead animals into a large opening they created. The site still exists and the structure still stands. The view of green land went on for miles. The Cliffs of Moher jut out into the ocean and if you look down over the water cascades at up and over the rocks in such an aggressive manor. We took quick pictures then quickly backed away from the ledges.
O’Brien Castle with one of my roommates, Molly.
The rushing water… this was far too close for me to get to the ledge. Indeed, there is a stone that has a dedication to all those who have died on these rocks–while some were suicides (presumably) some were accidents.
We ended by going to the genuine countryside coast, which was so beautiful but chill to the bone windy. We were a bit tired and lagging at this point, but the beauty was not lost on us.