Sunday, October 10, 2010

Please Sir, Can I Have Some Moher?

This was an epic weekend. Last weekend when I was in Cork we had all talked about going to Galway  and seeing the Cliffs of Moher the next weekend, but it was one of those promises made by a group that had a high possibility of not actually getting carried out. I was happily proved wrong and it did happen. Everything began as I caught an evening DART into town which was an adventure on its own. On Friday night there was a Eurocup 2012 qualifier match against Russia, so the train was packed with soccer hooligans. It was awesome, but it probably violated many health codes with all those people. My original plan was to take the train across the island, but that fell through. Seeing that the Tara Street DART station is right by the bus stop, I felt it made sense to go for the more convenient, and cheaper, route to Galway. The bus got into the city center at 11:30 and I crossed town to meet everyone at the hostel. They were all just getting ready to go out for the night so I threw my bag on my bunk bed, it was just like summer camp, put in my contacts and we headed out for the night.

There were a few stops at a few pubs. I got a pint of the Galway Hooker at one of the bars so dirty jokes instantly circled the table. Eventually we found ourselves at the King's Head. The pub was founded in 1649 by the man responsible for executing King Charles I. It turns out the actual area had been a public meeting place for over 800 years, but the actual pub itself wasn't founded until the 17th century. Either way, obviously, I loved it. Filled with locals, the building was amazing on its own. The live music was nothing short of awesome. "The Naked Bear" played pretty much every popular song that a drunk person would sing along to. Everything from Journey to Blink-182 and MGMT to Lady Gaga. Their version of Bad Romance was actually really good, but the one song that got everyone singing was Little Lion Man. It is now its suck in my head, and has been for the whole weekend. If you haven't heard the song before...go youtube it now. As the night started to come to an end, everyone started to get really hungry. Jessie, Kerry and I ventured back to the hostel and a pizzeria across the street from our home was letting off an amazing smell. We poked our heads inside and it just got better learning that garlic bread and pizza make for wonderful food after a night at the pubs.

Waking up on Saturday was a long process. There was no hangover involved, but I was just extremely tired after getting only three hours of sleep. It didn't matter though, because we were going to see the Cliffs of Moher. Jessie found this amazing tour company that leaves from Galway and goes all around the area stopping pretty frequently at major historical sites. So again, I loved it. We drove by this one castle that was only accessible when there is low tide. Thanks to modern engineering they connected the quasi-island to the mainland but it was extremely cool. We also stopped at a ring fort which was an actual manmade hill formed into a ring in the earth. Apparently leprechauns lurk inside the circle so going off the trail on the ridge is quite risky. The tour made a stop in Doolin for lunch where we all ate at this small little pub in the village. I got the beef and Guinness stew which was amazing. It was such a simple dish but it tasted so good.

Finally after much anticipation and excitement, we drove over to the famous Cliffs of Moher. Even though you may not realize it, you have all seen these cliffs at least once and quite probably two times. For one the background to the blog is a picture of the cliffs themselves. Also, in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, the cave that Harry and Dumbledore go to is at the base of the Cliffs of Moher. Although those are both amazing shots of this natural wonder, the pictures do not do them justice. It is absolutely breathtaking, for both its sheer beauty and for the feeling you get when you look over the edge 700 feet down to the crashing waves. We ventured in both directions around the rock face, taking pictures at every angle as if the cliffs were going to magically change. But I am proud to say that Jessie and I found the Harry Potter cave. We spotted it from O'Brien's Tower, the nineteenth-century tower placed on the highest point on the cliffs. As amazing as it was, we were all fearing for our lives considering the strong wind. You could jump and get carried a foot or two towards the edge. For that reason when we did the token jumping picture, we started a good fifteen feet from the drop off. Although no one wanted to leave the cliffs, we had to get back to our bus driver and tour guide Desmond who was on a very tight schedule with us. We made one more stop on the way back to Galway and we thought it'd be a good idea to build a pyramid...with fifteen people. We got three stable rows down perfectly. Then someone started to climb to start the fourth row, and our pyramid started to crumble. Being on the bottom row was not enjoyable.

Last night we ended up, yet again, at the King's Head. We drank before back at the hostel with some guys from Spain and taught them our vast supply of drinking games. The music at the pub did not disappoint either. It wasn't the same band as the night before but they hit on pretty much all the same classics. Sticking to tradition, we also found ourselves getting pizza. The only thing was, I had a good amount of alcohol in me and I had almost completely lost my voice from all the singing at King's Head. It was apparently, according to Jessie, a conversation of epic proportions. Like yesterday morning, getting up today was indeed quite the production. But we got breakfast and ventured off into the city to see what it actually looked like in the day time. We were touristy walking up and down Shop Street, which is literally lined with shops and we went down to the water to see the docks and the Spanish Arch. The cathedral in Galway is amazing. I got one picture of the outside and then my camera died. So that was a bit of a let down. As the day continued on we all started to make our way to the bus station. Having survived an amazing weekend in Galway, I find myself sitting in my room, still a little hoarse, but ready for whatever is next.


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