Galway and the Aran Islands

Here we are in the Netherlands and I’m wanting so desperately to cling on to places we’ve already been. I know that I need to write up our travels closer to our time of visit as they can only dissipate over time.

I want to at least share some highlights from all of our stops so far. And Galway had some amazing highlights! galway ireland
While Galway itself is a beautiful and vibrant college town, we also had an amazing adventure taking a day trip down to the Cliffs of Moher, The Aran Islands, and the Burren.

 

Unlike Limerick, everyone we spoke to, both Irish and not, had only wonderful things to say about Galway. Every conversation pretty much went the same way, “Oh, you’re going to Galway? I love it there! You’ll have a great time!”

 

And that we did.

 

We stayed a bit out of the town center, which so far on this trip is becoming the norm. Both for the lower price-point it offers and for the advantages of not being right in a town center with all of the tourists. Yes, I know we’re tourists too, but staying just a bit out of the center of things changes your interactions with locals so much.

 

Our temporary home in Galway was an older hotel. While it could very much use some updates, we loved it. The staff was all amazing, and there was a free breakfast waiting for us every morning with a table set displaying our room number. Just for us. 😃 The free breakfast consisted of coffee, toast, yogurt, fruit, and cereal. Not much, but enough to get your day started for sure!
Our last day there we did splurge on our first traditional Irish breakfast pictured below.
It was a good 30-45 minute walk into Galway center, but the walk itself was lovely. We ate great food, enjoyed being close to the water, and had a few days of dedicated work time.

 

One day we set aside for a day trip to “THE Cliffs” and the Aran Islands. I had visited the Island of Inis Mor in 2004 and just fell in love with the small town, remote feel of the place. We would have loved to stay on the islands for several days, but it just didn’t work out for this trip. So a day adventure it was, and well worth it!

 

This trip took us to the smallest island of Inisheer. We could easily walk around most of it during a few hours of allotted time on the tour. Most other people on our tour chose to take the horse and carriage ride around the Island.
We chose to walk. I didn’t think the carriage driver would have liked it much if I asked him to stop every 30 seconds so I could take photos. No, the walking at our pace was a much better fit for us.
aran islands
We b-lined it for the castle (YESSSS another castle to explore!) and had our kingdom to ourselves.
 aran islands rock walls aran island castle
It was a beautiful place. And the weather was really on our side.
I mean.. come ON!
Aran islands
After the island, we were back on the boat to see the Cliffs of Moher from the sea, then back on the bus to take us to the top of the cliffs.
It had changed since I was there last. You can’t walk up to the edge like you used to be able to. And with good reason. People had been known to fall off quite regularly, I seem to remember it was something like 14 times a year! Now there is a barricade so you can’t approach the edge, but we did hear that a tourist had fallen over the week prior to our visit. Very sad.
Then… The cliffs in 2004
2004 version
 Now… 2017
cliffs of moher ireland
This part of Ireland is amazing. I would love to come back and stay longer somewhere like Doolin or Ballyvaughan.
Honestly, just ALL of Ireland’s west side was incredible and we are left with a list of places to return and a growing list of places to visit for the first time.

1 Comment

  • Dmom says:

    Ah…Ireland! Though you guys have seen much more than we did, your photos brought back so many memories of our trip in one big rush! Thank you for doing this great adventure you two are on. Especially since I don’t have to travel to enjoy all the wonderful photography and stories shared along the way.

    Love you both, proud of you both!
    DaniMom

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