Jordan and I finished spring break in Ireland – going to Galway first to stay with Ashley there where she was studying abroad at the National University of Ireland (NUI).
Wednesday March 29
Our bus to Galway was nice because it had wifi – I had been having a hard time communicating with my mom and Tommy because we would be out all day without wifi and as soon as we got back to the hostel it was late and we went to bed immediately. Too bad it was still morning time now and everyone back home was asleep! It rained a little bit during the 3 hour drive and that turned it into the best napping time.
Before I knew it, we were in Galway! Everything was SO green and there were fields full of sheep chilling everywhere. We pulled up to the bus station and Ashley was there waiting for us! It was only a 5-10 minute walk to her apartment from the train station and the place was really cute. From here, we wanted to go walk around and get tea but as soon as we stepped outside it started to rain…we went back upstairs to get our rain coats and were off!We went to a cute little tea shop called Cupan Tae and had some very sweet and delicious English breakfast tea. There were some people around us having high tea with little treats but we weren’t too hungry yet.
After getting tea, we walked all around Galway and it didn’t take long – it’s tiny! There are a couple main streets with a lot of talented street performers that we stopped to watch. Jordan even got a genuine Claddagh ring from one of the original shops. Ashley took us to her school and we walked around the campus – it was really green and pretty! Observation: the Irish boys wear their pants SOOO tight it cannot be comfortable. They were even tighter than my skinny jeans. We went and sat near the water to talk and watch some weird baby fish in the water. Thankfully the rain had stopped by this time so we could walk around and shop a little more.
Pubs in Galway
That night, we went to a bar to see some traditional Irish music (and surprise dancing!). We all got a Guinness and fell in love with the band playing – especially the accordion player :). Eventually, some dancers hopped on stage and were completely killing it! It got later in the night and people were leaving so we took their spots on the floor right next to the band. To my surprise, they put the spotlight on me and tried to get me up on the stage to dance! I was so embarrassed because I don’t know how to Irish dance and didn’t want to look like fool up there – so I just looked like a chicken instead who was too shy to get on stage. They kept doing it and putting me on the spot but I couldn’t do it 😦
Here are some links to videos to watch the band and dancers! I am going to go back to my other posts and link to videos because 1. wordpress makes you pay if you want to put videos directly into the page 2. now that I am posting these from home my internet is wayyyy faster and I can actually upload video:
The bar with the music and dancing closed relatively early so we went to another nearby bar with a band in it! I really liked the songs they were playing – there was a mix of Arctic Monkeys, the Killers, and even the Beatles and they did a good job covering. This group of French people bought us beers and asked to dance and we had a fun time with them – my French is not as good as it used to be and mixed with loud music the conversation didn’t go very far haha.
We went home tired to a hilarious sleeping situation. There was one couch to curl up on and then two sofa chairs… so we got creative and pushed the two chairs together and created another couch of sorts. We switched off who would get what couch and luckily we were so tired and it didn’t matter where we slept.
Thursday March 30th
Tour of the Cliffs of Moher
The next morning, we woke up semi-early to go on a tour to the Cliffs of Moher! This is one of the main attractions of Ireland that you have to do. We had a little ways to drive and the tour guide put on some traditional music for us and it was really growing on us! However, it was soft and soothing and if you know me well at all I am the type of person who gets car sick…so my body is trained to immediately fall asleep in a moving vehicle. I wanted to stay awake and look at the scenery but I really couldn’t help it! I gave in and took a nap before the first stop because I actually starting to get sick from all the winding roads.
Our first stop was at some caves… I really don’t remember much about these caves because I am writing about this several months after the fact – my bad! They were cool though and it was nice to be off the bus. Funny story is that there was a guy with HUGE dreads on our tour and he was sitting a couple rows behind us. When we were getting off the bus Jordan freaked out a little bit because as the guy was walking off the bus some of his dreads were resting on my shoulder shudder.
A little while longer and we were there! It was really amazing and our luck with the weather was still paying off because it wasn’t raining and we had great visibility! It was really windy so I was happy to have a hat and wind breaker. We had an hour and a half to walk around and take photos. I know some people get a little crazy and take pictures hanging off the edge or laying down…but I like my life an would like to stay alive so we stayed on the right side of the fences.
After having some salty clam chowder and turkey sandwich for lunch, we all couldn’t help but pass out on the bus. They must have drugged us because no one on the entire bus could stay awake. There were a couple more stops that we woke up for but otherwise we slept the entire way back!
Last night in Galway
When we got home we walked around a little more to wake up and stopped by the grocery store to get food for dinner. By this time, Jordan and I had had enough traditional food because it was all so heavy! We were feeling really gross so we opted for the salad bar at the grocery store and stuffed a container to share and it was really refreshing for a change.
We went back to the same bar as the night before to watch the music and see some dancing but it ended early so we tried a new place! This other place was packed and the only spot was RIGHT up next to the band so we sat there about a foot away from them! It seemed to be a mid-life crisis band of men but they were really good and were having a fun time performing together.
At this point it is raining so we ran to one more bar and it was a younger bar with people our age. Something funny was that a girl in front of us in line got turned away and the bouncer said “I think you’ve got enough drink in ye, I can smell ye from down the street!” she was not pleased. We got inside and it was soooo packed and hot! To our surprise, we ran into the accordion player from the band the night before and said hi in a very fan-girl type of way and I think he was freaked out haha. This bar was fun to interact Irish people our age – we talked to some guys who gave us tips for our future trip in Dublin the next day.
Before going home… we got the ultimate drunk food even though none of us were very drunk and stopped at McDonald’s. It was hilarious because this McDonald’s was just as sloppy as our McDonald’s on Green St. One guy was sitting alone devouring some type of wrap and it was hilarious because he basically stuffed the whole thing in his mouth at once. I think that this was my first encounter with McDonald’s since being abroad and it was….amazing.
We were sad to leave so soon… While both of us thought of Galway as more of a stop to see the cliffs, it would have been nice to stay in the cute town a while more. I loved the concentration of musically talented people – it was like Nashville! Plus, there were a lot of people our age there because of the University so that was cool.