Yesterday, we took a day trip across Ireland; we traveled from Dublin, on the east coast, to Galway, on the west coast. Around 7 a.m. we left Dublin on a tour bus and began our road trip. We made many different stops along the way to Galway so the drive did not feel long. Throughout the day, the stops that resonated with me the most are Bunratty Castle, The Cliff of Moher, and Galway.
In terms of size, Bunratty Castle was huge! It reminded me of the structures in the TV show Game of Thrones. It’s amazing people actually lived in these building so many years ago and in 2019 the structure still stands. Our second stop was at The Cliffs of Moher. Our group was so lucky to go to the cliffs on such a sunny day. The view was spectacular and the experience was something not possible in America. People could walk along the edge of the cliffs, for me that means 15 feet inland, and snap incredible photos. Some other groups of tourists were even sitting over the edge of the cliffs. Yikes! No way, no how! Our final stop yesterday was at Galway. I wish we had more time to explore the city but unfortunately, we only had two hours. This just means I need to revisit Ireland in the future. I spent my time eating lunch (fish and chips) with some of my other student abroad classmates. After lunch, I walked around the streets of Galway. Boy, it was crowded. It gave me a Times Square vibe, just on an extremely smaller level. Overall, this trip was a success, in my opinion, I really enjoyed the drive since the route we took resembled California 1 along the coast.
Since yesterday was really our first “tourist” day in Ireland, I now believe I can comment on whether I would recommend Ireland to others. Obviously, the answer is an absolute yes! Ireland loves Americans and encourages us to visit. According to the government-run Irish tourism website, US citizens are the second largest source market, accounting for 1.4 million visitors in 2016. Dublin is a lot like a US city, but it also has a European style which is a nice change. The people of Ireland are incredibly friendly, and many I have talked to tell me about their family in the USA.
If I had another week in Ireland to just be a tourist, I would like to spend some time exploring the countryside and stay a few nights in Cork, Limerick, and Galway. There is so much farmland here but that does not mean driving across the country is boring. Also, the road from the cliffs to Galway are extremely narrow. We passed through a few small villages and hugged the Atlantic Ocean. I have never seen the Atlantic as blue as it is here. The view reminded me of the Pacific, just a lot colder temperature-wise. My dad has been to Cork and he really enjoyed it so I want to see all of the hype. Some people from my high school are studying abroad in Limerick and they post about all the fun they are having on social media. Overall, Ireland is a beautiful country. It is small but that does not take away from its character. I am so happy to be on this trip and I cannot wait to see what the rest our days here have in store.
This is the end of today’s blog post. Thank you so much for reading; I will write again soon!