My mom flew to the United Kingdom to visit and gallivant with me in 3 different countries. It was half term break (one week) where I am, so we decided to pack a lot into a little.
My mom arrived Friday and I met her at the train station at 3.30PM (ish) to take her back to my England home. Then on Saturday, it was up at 3.30AM (not ish) to catch our bus to the airport where we’d fly to Dublin.
In Dublin, we took a bus to city centre and explored/ate. The good thing about early morning flights is that when you land, you feel like it’s later than it is and still have a whole day to adventure. That’s the entire reason for the early morning flights. In the moment, you wonder why you decided to put yourself through this agony, but you’re rewarded with time, so you look back and commend yourself on your choices.
After we ate breakfast and figured out how to get to Galway, we boarded a Citylink bus and began the nearly-three-hour journey to Galway, Ireland.
Galway is a beautiful place that’s right on the water. When we arrived, it was still too early to check in to our accommodation, which was at the University’s dorms. So, as we did often this week, we explored, baggage in tow.
Both Dublin and Galway are great places for tourists. It reminded me of going to tourist-heavy areas of Thailand or China where there’s tourist information and tours everywhere you look. I think I heard more North American accents in Ireland than I did Irish. There are a LOT of tourists and a LOT of places to accommodate tourists. Both Dublin and Galway economies are very clearly impacted by tourism, which, as a tourist, I like. I’m not sure how people who live there feel.
We walked around Galway, hauling our bags around on our shoulders. We followed the signs and visited an old church, the spanish arch, the Latin quarter, and a bunch of other areas I can’t remember. There was also a market going on. I’m not sure if it’s a regular occurrence, but there was fresh bread, produce, and other foods, interesting clothing and jewelry, and neat knick-knacks of every variety. Again, it reminded me of the markets in Thailand.
While it had been pouring in Dublin, resulting in a slightly damp bus ride to Galway, the rain stayed away when we got off the bus. It was cloudy, but warm and bright. This would set the tone for most days during our break.
I don’t know how many hours we walked, but our legs were done even before we decided to find the University. With the help of Google Maps (my BFF when I travel) and a little bit of back-tracking, we eventually found Corrib Village where we were staying.
Now, it’s nothing super fancy seeing as it’s university accommodations, but it gave us a place to sleep and shower. Thinking about it, it feels like we were there a lot longer than we actually were.
We got to Corrib Village in the late afternoon/early evening and stayed there because our legs were done and we were tired. All of our evenings were pretty much spent where we were sleeping!
We got dinner from the onsite cafe and spent some time outside in the sun, which decided to also make an evening appearance, before we went to bed.
While we were eating in Dublin, we were trying to figure out how to see the Cliffs of Moher and decided on a tour with the company aptly named Galway Tours where we would get to see the Cliffs as well as many other things.
So, in the morning on the second day, we trekked down to the bus station and began our second adventure of the trip.