Upon hearing of my upcoming trip to Dublin, an Irish lady told me I must visit Galway.
Once I’d arrived in Ireland, several others told me the same thing. Taking advantage of a sunny Saturday on our first weekend, my roommates and I booked bus passes for a day trip to Galway, commonly recognized as a gem of western Ireland.
Galway is small and quaint with a relaxed vibe and seaside location. Pedestrians ambled up and down its cobblestone streets, uninterrupted by cars, to see the Spanish Arch, Lynch’s castle and the view of colorful buildings beside the harbor. Calm, blue water eased up over the rocks as locals and visitors lounged beside it on the green.
We checked our watches and realized we had only an hour left before our bus left for Dublin. But using the flexible bus passes we had, we decided to book a hostel for the night so we could stay. No change of clothes, no cosmetics, nothing. Just the desire to see more of a town we’d barely scratched the surface of.
A bit more time meant we could have dinner in one of Galway’s pubs, where despite the crowds coming in, we were left to stay as long as we’d like after our meal. It also meant we got to observe Galway’s nightlife, a flurry of nicely dressed people meandering in and out of pubs and crowding the streets with excited voices.
Our stay also gave us the opportunity to book a tour of the Cliffs of Moher and County Clare. The eight hour bus tour included stops at a castle, the Burren and its historic tomb, the town of Doolin and of course, the Cliffs.
The Cliffs had been on my list of things to see while in Ireland, but no photograph or spoken account could have summed up their beauty. Tourists ambled up a steep path to take pictures of the hulking cliffs, covered with moss and weathered by the sea. Below them, calm waters eased up against the cliffs and boats sailed by. The three of us left in utter amazement at what we’d seen.
We arrived back in Dublin late Sunday night, weary from our lack of sleep, but happy we’d taken the time to stay. Had we stuck to our original itinerary, there is so much we would have missed.
Sometimes, life’s just better unplanned.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi there! I'm a California native studying journalism in one of the coolest cities in the world, at The University of Texas at Austin. I'm a fan of chocolate, watching sports (go Giants), nice people, anything vintage and pretty much all music. I write as much as I can, whether it's a news article, a blog, or just a journal entry. When I'm not writing, I love to run, try new recipes in my little kitchen, take dance classes and catch up with friends. My goal is to see every continent someday. I'm getting there!</span></p>