This past weekend I went on my first trip while in Ireland. The plan was to leave Dublin and head to Galway on Friday, spend two nights there and then visit the Cliffs of Moher on Sunday. I went with a group of 22 students from my school, James Madison University, located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA. For there being so many of us, the trip went extremely well.

We took the train from Heuston to Galway. On the way there I got to see my first glimpse of rural Ireland. There were huge expanses of green grass, rolling hills, and old castles. The train ride was surprisingly comfortable—trains in Ireland put trains in America to shame! It felt like a 5-star experience, yet I only paid ‎23 for the round trip.

That night we roamed around Galway for the first time, unsure of where we should go first. We went from bar to bar to test the waters, meeting many people along the way. We ended up at The King’s Head, and that was my favorite bar. It had two floors and a live band playing some early 2000’s classics, like the Killers’ “Mr. Brightside.” I had a great night!

The next morning, we walked back into town and tried to decide where to go for breakfast. We went to a quaint breakfast restaurant, and all the food was fresh and delicious. I tried black pudding for the first time. I had no idea that black pudding is dried pig blood and that made me a bit queasy, but it was so good I couldn’t stop eating it.

On Sunday morning we took a bus to the Cliffs of Moher. The highest point on these cliffs is 214 m (702 ft). Seeing waves crashing on the rocks from that high up is a staggering feeling. I made sure to keep at least a couple feet between myself and the edge, but a few of my friends went right up to the edge. If there was a sudden gust of wind they would’ve been fish food. This is what makes the Cliffs of Moher one of the most dangerous and exhilarating tourist attractions in the world.

 

 

Overall, my trip to Galway and the cliffs was amazing. I can’t wait to see the rest of Ireland!

By Dino Papalia

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