I got the chance to spend Halloweekend in Galway, Ireland. It is a beautiful little city, and Galway Girl was stuck in my head the entire time. When I first arrived in Galway after a 3-hour train ride I was starving! So a group of us found a cute breakfast place with eggs, sour dough bread, and my all time favorite… Coffee :)
Then we met back up with the rest of our group and took a walking tour of Galway. With Hurricane Ophelia passing through recently, there was dried heaps of seaweed all along the edge of the river bank, and the river itself, overflowing with water, seemed to race out toward the Atlantic. We got lucky with how beautiful a day it was, the sun was out, and musicians were on every street corner… I listened to the music more than the actual tour… Oops!
That night I went to a pub for a little bit. There was live music and guess what song the band finished with last? West Virgina…. The Irish love that song! The pub was hot and stuffy so we left and went to a Gelato place where we had a convo with some really nice Gelato makers who were more than happy to share their opinions with us on Ed Sheerhan’s attempt to capture what is Galway. To quote one: “It’s a catchy tune but we don’t sound like that.”
After scenic Glendalough, we headed to Kilkenny, a small town. It was so cute! My sister and I found a subway, and all the school kids were on their lunch break in their uniforms. It was sunny, and just absolutley beautiful. There was a small cluster of tents set up with pumpkins for sale, Crepes, coffee, you name it!
We also went on to visit Killkenny Castle. With our student cards it was 4 Euro each so not bad at all! It is really cool inside, they recreated/restored it to how it would have looked hundreds of years ago. The best part however, was the rose garden. We sat on a bench near a fountain, among the roses, the castle off in the distance. The smell of freshly-mowed grass, the sound of birds in the distance, a cool breeze. It was absolutely beautiful and tranquil; the perfect end to a crazy, adventurous day!
Click here to see part one of our day trip:
A few days after arriving back in Dublin from Scotland I dragged my sister on a trip to the Wicklow Mountains just a bus ride out of Dublin. If you are visiting Dublin, I highly recommend doing a tour of this area, we did a Collins Day Tour and had an awesome tour guide who actually made me want to write something on Trip Advisor, it was that good! Our first stop was Glendalough, an old monastic town in a little valley, but the pictures don’t do it justice.
We were given an hour to explore, and my sister and I walked down a trail until we came across an area along the river with a bunch of random ribbons and other things tied to a few trees. There was a well with steps leading down into it. There were pictures of people, saying R.I.P. so-in-so, I found a clementine…. A ribbon with the word hope tied to a branch. There was something beautiful but also eerie about it, as there was no sign or anything that explained the meaning of it.
I found out later, that this spot is not on most tourist maps, so I feel very lucky and privileged to have found it. It’s called St. Kevin’s Well. People make pilgrimages here, and it is said that baptisms have taken place here. There was definitely something magical about this place, and if you ever want to find it, just walk down the path in the opposite direction of the “Upper Lake” until you see the colors entangled with the green of the trees. After that we continued through the mountain range, the views were spectacular… we saw lots of sheep. We were also able to stop at a beautiful lookout spot to take pictures.
Click below to read about the next stop on our day trip:
Maybe it was the history, or maybe it was the crisp autumn air; Maybe it was the bagpiper's tune that kept me in awe of Edinburgh. Maybe it was the fear; the letting go and giving of myself to a place still unknown to me. I longed for the city's joys and miseries to inflict themselves upon me.
Maybe it was the promise of a fresh start... or was it the innate spirit deep within me that longed to go home to the land where my ancestors once lived and loved and died?
Maybe it was everything....
But for reasons I still cannot account for, I was drawn to Edinburgh, and I still feel its tug on my heart to return to it.
This is my experience living and interning in Scotland's capital, and how I came to do so!
- Amanda :)