This post is a bit overdue, but it’s to catch you all up on my journeys from 9th-15th of September.
The week was less exciting than the others, as it was the last week of our start-up program so we were mainly wrapping things up. On Tuesday we went to the Hugh Lane Gallery, which is a gallery of contemporary art. We were there mainly to see works by the famous Irish painter Seán Keating. It was an amazing gallery, and my favorite work we saw was “The Eve of St. Agnes” by Harry Clarke. It is a stained glass window, which was absolutely incredible. The window was so detailed. The interesting thing about this stained glass window, is it wasn’t created by adding color to plain glass, but it was done by using colored glass, and then using acid to remove the color. The amount of acid used would determine the shade of the colored glass. The window is so detailed, that Harry Clark at times would use brushes with only one hair to apply the acid. A picture is below, but it does no justice to seeing the window in person.
On Wednesday we were able to move onto our accommodations on campus (where I will be the rest of the year), which was amazing! Now we don’t have to walk an hour to campus and an hour back, or take a bus to get class. We are very fortunate, because the accommodations we are in are typically reserved for post-graduates and fourth year undergraduate students My new room is even better than my last one, and it has all the same amenities. I still have my own room with a desk and storage, and I still have my own bathroom.
Not much went on during the rest of the week, that is until Saturday when we left for Galway! We woke up early at about six so we could catch the bus at 7. Instead of the bus though, we were placed with two others in a van that was going to Galway. It took us about two hours to get to Galway, which was interesting cause it only took 2 hours to cross an entire country! Definitely a shorter drive compared to driving from Spokane to Seattle which is at least 4 hours. Anyways, we got to Galway, checked into our hostel, and met up with our other friends who got to Galway the day before us. Once we met up with everyone we got onto a bus tour going to the Cliffs of Moher and the Buren.
Before we got to the Cliffs of Moher, we saw plenty of sights. We saw some burial mounds, Dunguaire Castle (bringing the total number of Castles I’ve seen up to 4), another fairy tree, a bronze age ring fort (just a circular earthen mound, which would have had a house on the inside and wooden palisades on the earthen mound) , another portal stone tomb and the town of Doolin. We didn’t spend too much time at all of the above places, because we spent most the day at the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs were absolutely beautiful, and the day could not have been more perfect, the weather was warm and the skies were blue. We mainly just walked along the Cliffs all day, taking pictures and hanging out. Below is a photo of the castle, and below that is a photo of the Cliffs.
The bus tour took up most of our day, so it was quite late by the time we got back. We went out to a few pubs that night and it was incredibly busy, Galway has a very happening night life.
On Sunday most everyone else left Galway earlier than us, so we spent our time exploring. We started the day by getting an Irish breakfast, which has become sort of a sunday routine for us. After, we just walked around Galway, seeing St. Nicholas’s Cathedral, the old Galway Castle (now a branch for the Allied Irish Banks), and we even walked out to a lighthouse (well, most of the way to the lighthouse as it was fenced off). We still had a few hours to kill so we went to a pub to watch the all Ireland Camogie final (which is just women’s hurling with a different name). Now in every all Ireland final there is both an under 18 game, and an over 18 game. In the under 18 game it was Galway versus Limerick, and in the above 18 game it was Galway versus Kilkenny. Galway won both games, which was very impressive. After the games we caught our bus and got back to Dublin that night. It was a great weekend, and it was very relaxing and beautiful to get out of the city.