I have been pretty terrible about keeping up with dates, but I want to let you all in on the little things we have been doing around the city because so far I have only talked of a lot of walking around and how beautiful it is but we have been doing a lot of other activities as well.
Galway United FC soccer game – We went to the soccer game on Tuesday, June 21. Now, I absolutely love soccer and like watching it on TV and even more in person so I had great expectations after learning that the field was close enough for us to walk there. I was sorely disappointed. The stands were pretty scarce and the Galway team was not very good. Usually I can get into a game regardless but the amount that the Galway team was being dominated was just sad; there were a couple of really standout players who were clearly talented, but the rest of the team was pretty lazy and very unaggressive. It was a fun night because there was a large group of us that went to the game (probably 20) and then the rain set in. It does rain here a LOT, but usually it rains for a little bit (maybe an hour) and then will be done and it is also typically a light rain. The night of the soccer game it downpoured. It was crazy and we tried to wait it out but there was no way so we had to walk home and were drenched through by the time we got back to Corrib Village (our apartment complex). Overall, a fun time but disappointing game.
Cliffs of Moher and the Burren – Our program took a trip to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren on Friday, June 24. Mom, Aunt Mick, and Sam went to the Burren and Cliffs when they were in Ireland and said it was so beautiful so I was very excited about this trip. The difference was that Mom and co. went on a nice, sunny day and we went on a rainy day. It was still very beautiful and we had a really awesome guided tour of the Burren via Burren Walks. Our tour guide was hilarious and the land was beautiful. It was on a mountain so we were able to see the different farms in the area and he explained the different shades of green to us as the different stages of harvesting. The guide also told us there is a phrase for the area that when translated means ‘the fertile rock’. I thought that was such a beautiful way to describe the area.
Next we had lunch and then headed on to the Cliffs of Moher. This area is supposed to house the most brilliant views in Ireland. It was gorgeous but foggy. I actually loved it. People in Ireland always apologize about the weather and when you go somewhere and it is foggy they say how horrible it is that you missed the views. Even with the fog I thought the Cliffs were fantastic so I can only imagine how beautiful they are on a clear day! It was very windy and the rain was falling hard so it was a little painful to walk in the wind this way. The picture below shows that we couldn’t even keep out eyes open!
The weekend of June 25 I went with some friends to Dingle. It was just a girls trip: two of my roommates <Shannon and Ashley>, Haley, and me. We rented a car and Shannon was a champion driver! I was so impressed with how well she handled driving on the itty bitty roads and on the left side and she seemed totally unphased. I loved Dingle! The drive down was very foggy and it was great! There was a point where we stopped on the road where there incredible greenery and then the foggy clouds were dipping down between the mountains and I thought ‘if I got to pick what heaven looks like for me, this would absolutely be it’. We got in Saturday afternoon and were walking around to find a B and B and we kept going in and finding no vacancies. There was a pub we were already planning to go to because of the good trad music and as we got to that pub there was a B and B right across the road so we took a shot and we got the last two rooms they had! It couldn’t have been more perfect. Dingle is just such a cute, quaint little town. LOTS of pubs <a bartender told us that there are more pubs per area than anywhere else in Ireland> and stores; we thoroughly enjoyed the shopping! We also saw an O’Sullivans pub with the Gaelic spelling which made me very happy. Saturday night we went to the pub for trad music and it was the best! It was just a guitarist and an accordian player and it could not have been more perfect. We got to sit by the fire place and even had some rowdy entertainment. Two very drunk girls from Cork decided to do traditional Irish dancing in the small 4 ft by 5 ft area where there was an opening and they kept running into our table and knocking over our drinks but it was amusing to say the least. The musicians were clearly a little annoyed, but you could tell they also thought t was kind of funny. Sunday we got up and drove the Ring of Dingle and the views were spectacular. We came across a little town and went into this tiny church and all of the paperwork, pamphlets, and even the headstones in their cemetery only had Gaelic writing. I find Gaelic so interesting because there seems to be very very little correlation to English or any other language I have seen so it’s not like you can look at the signs and just figure it out. If they don’t list English under the Gaelic you are just out of luck!