Another week finished in the beautiful country of Ireland. This time we took a trip to one of the big cities, Galway. While a much different experience from the quiet small town of Bundoran, it brought its own set of charms. Though it wasn’t a very long experience, it’s one I’m gonna remember forever.
Before we departed for Galway, we started our journey towards environmentalism and being carbon neutral. Flying all the way from America to Ireland certainly released a lot of carbon into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly something we’re striving for in the age of climate cataclysm. So we’re taking a proactive stance with Irish Gap Year, and after a nice workshop learning about what the world is doing to combat it, we started our plan. We took a trip to Good Guys Organic to plant enough trees to not only cancel out our carbon emissions, but also be carbon negative which means we are removing more C02 than we are producing while in Ireland, win! While I could never live on a farm, I always admired the lifestyle and enjoyed the work I did when on one. Going there every week is a nice weekly reminder that there’s always a positive impact you can have on the world and that all hope is not lost.
Then was the part of the week I was excited for, Galway. A bustling city that, when I walked around, I couldn’t help but feel lost in its immersive nature. The walls were lined with interesting stores I felt like I would never find anything similar to in America. A walkable streetlife that didn’t feel like I needed a car to do anything for. It was a dream to live in, especially with a group of people just as excited as I was. We’d spend our free time learning the history of Galway, walking around the busy streets, and of course shopping. I personally took interest in getting a Claddagh ring; the way you wear it signifies the state of your dating life. Of course, what would a weekly post be without a pub update. The streets were lined with pubs to the point that you could spend all day moving from one pub to another. My particular favorite moment was when I was in a pub which seemed to be the favorite of all the college kids in the town. The peak of the night was when they started playing the song “Galway Girl”, which I’m sure the people who live there have to put up with every night, but it’s novel to experience for the first time. I even found my own Galway girl one night; unfortunately, not one that turned my Claddagh ring around.
The outdoor life part of our excursion was the boat ride we took into the island Inis mór, or as I knew it, the area where the movie The Banshees of Inisherin takes place. Of course, it has its own history, but biking around and seeing the same stone walls from the movie, it was hard not to think of it. While biking around the set path was beautiful in its own right, the best part was when I got lost and found myself in the middle of the dirt paths the people who live there take. I was stopped by a pair of dogs playing in front of their house, and later a lone donkey. Eventually, I found the path I was supposed to take, but I can’t say I was disappointed in where being lost took me. All spots I found were adorable and added to the charm of this small island. The scariest and yet most beautiful were the cliffs, I did my best to capture the sharp fall without succumbing to any fears of plunging to my death.
After returning to our small town I felt sad, but it’s always nice to have a low-key rest point between our exciting adventures. I still have nothing bad to say about my time here, it has all been beautiful scenery and immersive culture. The next update will not be a documentation of settling into a new culture and the places it has to offer, but one of what the people here are truly like.