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That fuzzy weekend in Galway...

IRELAND | Sunday, 14 June 2015 | Views [529]

Hello everyone! This is my first official travel blog post, and I am so excited to share my adventures across Europe (and who knows where else) with you. 

Last weekend, I met up with some old Boston pals as a type of "reunion" in Galway, Ireland. But let's go back to that first epic day...

I took a long bus drive down to Belfast, where I met my friend Paul, who had been zipping around the country the week before in a tiny car, and we took off and headed to Giant's Causeway, where we were promised spectacular views along the coast. We thoroughly enjoyed cruising around the countryside, admiring the green views, sheep, and occasional rainfall all while listening to the Euro pop radio stations. (Which were, much to my disappointment, much like American pop radio stations). 

We eventually found Giant's Causeway and hiked down to get a great view of the spectacular cliffs and take pictures. Did I mention how GREEN this country is? After hiking up the cliffside and trying not to imagine what it would be like back in the old times with shepherds having to carry sheep up there, we jumped back in the car and headed to Londonderry, where we checked into a hostel and cruised into a local pub, where we promptly met a bunch of young locals on a break from university, At that point, we were behind on our drinking, and proceeded sink a couple beers. Live Irish music was being played, which meant that everybody got up at random parts of the night to start kicking up their heels and dance and drink. It was great, and as stereotypically Irish as you could get.

The following morning, we set out on a 4 hour drive to Galway, while I navigated and covered my eyes, saying Hail Mary's every time Paul whipped the car around a roundabout. Driving (or even being in a car) in Ireland genuinely terrified me. We stopped every now and again to take pictures and speak in incredibly bad Irish accents which made us sound more like pirates, but we didn't care. Fun was being had. We had a bathroom break after passing through Sligo at a pub, which turned into a "well let's have a pint" break, and upon learning from the bar maid that it IS indeed legal for the car passenger to drink, I ordered a road soda and headed out the door. We eventually came across a sign for a sheep shearing competition, which was incredibly tempting at that point, but were low on time and needed to get to Galway!

A couple hours later, we were reunited with all our friends, and much merriment was had. At this point it gets a little fuzzy. All in all, it was a weekend filled with beer, midnight Hillbilly's runs (Ireland's version of Kentucky Fried Chicken), where we probably consumed enough chicken to sustain several local farms, beer, dancing, beer, singing, beer, and then managing to pull it together to walk around Dublin's touristic areas. You know you've had a good weekend when you're in Temple Bar and all you can manage is a diet coke while everyone around you is on another planet all together. And yes, we definitely skipped the Guinness brewery.

In many ways, parts of Ireland reminded me of my time in Boston; it's quaint charm, and especially the young, rowdy atmosphere brought me back to my college days bar hopping on Boylston Street in Back Bay.


Next destination: Rekyjavik, Iceland

Happy travels & until next week,

~ Katie

Tags: beer, cliffs, ireland, river, temple bar


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