Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ode to Ireland


In lieu of Saint Patrick's Day, I thought it would be appropriate to reminisce about Ireland. First off, I've just got to say - you haven't had a Guinness until you have one on tap in a small Irish pub. It becomes much more than just a beer - it becomes part of the culture, part of the way of life. In my case, having had travelled on a very limited budget, it also become dinner.

I don't think I had ever seen such lush greenery in all of my life as I did on my trip to Ireland. My roommate from Spain and I decided to travel to Ireland for our first jaunt out of Spain. Both being from Irish heritage, it was an easy decision to make.

We started off our trip in Dublin. We didn't leave until we had done the Guinness Tour. This tour, while a bit pricey, it totally worth it for the views on the city (with beer in hand!) once you complete the tour.

After wandering the busy streets of Dublin, we headed west to Galway. (I am sure Galway is much different now, as I am sure it has become much more of a tourist destination. I could sense it coming when we were there.) What a beautiful coast city! I felt like in the 2-3 days we were there we walked around the entire city. We also found a great restaurant that seemed to be a "locals-only" joint - thanks to a tip and invitation we received from a local. I guess it's no surprise that the place highlighted Irish cuisine - meat & potatoes. The people were all very friendly - so friendly I don't believe we were allowed to pay for any of our drinks at the local pubs. :)

From Galway we took a day trip to the Aran Islands. Some of my most fond memories of all my time spent in Europe include our trip to the Aran Islands. I remember it being an absolutely beautiful day. We took the ferry over and rented bicycles. We certainly put plenty of miles behind us and captured plenty of photos of scenery, livestock, and more along the way. Our trip to the Cliffs of Moher was also a delight, unlike the cave tour.

It's days like today that I like to remember this trip, and dream of the next time I travel across the pond for another visit. Until then... Happy Saint Patrick's Day everyone!

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