On the plane to Galway at the end of August, I met a boy from Wisconsin we really hit it off as friends. Since then, I’ve been hanging out with him and his flatmates, all of whom are from Minnesota. We had all arrived a week before school started and were finding our way around Galway together. It was an adventure everyday because the town was new to all of us and none of the Irish students had arrived at school yet. All of us international students wandered around together and explored the city and its surroundings. The day before classes started, my midwestern friends and myself decided that we would go on a day trip to the nearby town of Cong, and explore the Connemara region, north of Galway. Little did we know this meant waking up bright and early in order to catch the bus in the center of town. We also didn’t expect the roads to be what they were. Apparently here in Ireland, more money goes into the stone walls that border all of the roads rather than the roads themselves. It was quite the stomach turner to say the least!
The bus driver was quite entertaining and the stories he told were great for understanding the new sights we were seeing. After a few stops to take pictures, we stopped in Cong to see an old church and a castle that is now a five star hotel. The sights were amazing and I was sorry to leave! The little town of Cong apparently is where some of “The Quiet Man” [link] was filmed, so a lot of features are built around that. After we boarded the bus again, it was quite a journey through the beautiful countryside of Ireland, and then, just as my stomach began to adjust to the lurching and bouncing of the bus, Kylemore Abbey came into sight. It was so breathtakingly beautiful! I thought I was looking at a painting because it was just too picturesque to be true!
We ate lunch at the restaurant and I had my first experience with Irish stew; yum! Coming back to Galway was also so beautiful and I’m really glad I was able to see a bit of the country side near the town I am in. I’ve posted some of the best pictures from the trip, but there really is no comparison to being there in person. There are so many shades of green all the time, and the landscape is so unique because of the hills and the stone walls everywhere. Maybe these pictures will give you a taste of what I saw, but if anyone gets the chance to go themselves, I say “Take it!” The trip was amazing!
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