Ireland: Galway

3rd hotel of the trip and I wake up confused. Slowly it all comes back… Galway, Cliffs of Moher. Let’s go.

It is a 15 minute walk to the downtown center where the buses leave from. We start the walk over and board the 55 passenger bus with our jovial Irish driver. I picked Galway Tour Company because they had a combo tour of the Aran Islands and Cliffs of Moher. We laugh when we see people from our Hop Off Tour in Killarney.. its a small world or at least a small top 5 on Trip Advisor. We grab out seats and off we jet!

The countryside is gorgeous and our hilarious driver tells us stories throughout the whole trip. There are two ways to get to our ferry that will take us to the Aran Islands which is our first stop. The first way will take us potentially longer than we have but its prettier. He says we’ll be fine and off we scoot.

When we arrive at the ferry I am automatically nervous. The waves are CHOPPY to say the least. We board and I sit inside thinking that might be better. It is not. The 45 minute ride makes me want to jump out of my skin. I basically kiss the ground when we arrive. There are three options to tour this island; horse carriage, bikes or a tracker. Technically the tracker isn’t legal and one police officer happened to pop by so horse carriage it is. Naturally it starts to pour, we head over to the horses which are all uncovered. Thomas says he can take us around happily!

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As we trot around we are drenched and now freezing. My poor father is in the front taking the brunt of the wind/rain. The 4 of us are in the back huddling together, 60% of us without rain jackets. Most families would bitch, moan and cry but not the Marino’s. We laugh in the face of a challenge. IMG_8420.JPG

Thomas tells us how electricity only came to the island in the 70s. The island is also government sponsored in some ways because they are the only place that completely speaks Gaelic. They have camps where for 2-3 weeks families send their children to learn Ireland’s language. Our first stop is a beached ship from a time a forgot for a reason I forgot.

There was a partially submerged church too from some crazy old time period but it was about 30 minutes away and we were cold. Thomas says he knows a pub where we can get warm and drive. Say no more!

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It’s time to head back to the boat and I am about to cry. Occasionally they can take the boat closer to the Cliffs of Moher. The water is too choppy though so back to land we head. 45 minutes crawls by again and I wish I could have taken any other mode of transit.

Back on land I get myself together. It’s time for Cliffs of Moher! The place where the Cliffs of Insanity are in Princess Bride and where Dumbledore and Harry go to get a horocrux. Besides all that its just gorgeous. Apparently 8 people died this year from falling off, a couple of them died by taking pictures on a selfie stick… No thanks. I’ll stay away from the edge.

Back on the bus and back towards Galway. We take the scenic route because our driver is the man. The sun comes out and views we see are incredible.

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Our driver pulls over to this old castle. It used to be surrounded by land but when this typhoon came in the 90s it brought the water up. Now there is all this marsh around and some incredible photo ops. He said its technically private property but if we go quickly we should be alright. Don’t have to tell me twice!

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There is a crazy cool stone arch that we climb up because you know… #doitfortheinstagram

Back on the bus for a quick nap on our way back to Galway. The landscape in this part of the country is breathtaking. I am itching to come back and hike because I 100% am certain we saw the smallest part of what the country has to offer.

 

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