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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pictures of Eire

Helloooo! Day 3 of the Shamrockers bus tour through the noble and ancient land of Ireland. It is a beautiful country. Over the last couple of days we have visited some absolutely stunning sites of scenery. Today we experienced the famous Cliffs of Moher. (you might recognise them as the Cliffs of Insanity from The Princess Bride or Tom Riddle's cave from Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince) Unbelievably beautiful and dramatic coastline, with birds soaring through the skies all around the cliffs.

It's amazing being up this far north, last night it didn't actually get properly dark until after 10:30pm. It's been mainly overcast (which Ireland is, 90% of the time) but as of now (almost 7pm) the sun is shining and it's absolutely beautiful T-shirt weather with a slight chill in the breeze.

What I've loved most about the country so far though, is immersing myself in its history and culture. Our tour guide Dave is a historian and archeologist by trade so let's just say he knows what he's talking about. Ireland's history is absolutely fascinating (and for the most part horribly tragic) and since I've only ever heard the basics (which I suppose is so be expected living in the British Commonwealth on the other side of the earth) I'm really loving hearing all of the stories, the myths, the legends and the heroes. I'm slowly beginning to understand why Ireland kinda hates England so much!... Not so much in the modern day. The Queen actually visited Ireland for the first time only last year, the first time a British monarch had set foot in the country in 100 years, and the first time since they became a republic. A strong step towards a harmonious future. But there's a lot of healing to do, it's a long and bloody past between them.

It's going to get even more fascinating (and possibly disturbing) when we go up into Northern Ireland in a couple of days. Not quite sure what to expect there...

Tonight I'm staying in the city of Galway which has taken me a bit by surprise in how awesome it is! Unlike the last few towns which have been quaint and sleepy little villages, Galway is bursting with culture and activity! It seems like a hive of creativity and modernism, while still maintaining the sense of history with its old buildings and stoned streets. Very cool place!

Tomorrow we're spending the day on the island of Inis Mór, where the residents all speak native Irish! If the weather's good I'll be hiring a bike and riding myself around the island. Should be cool!!

I'll blog later, t'be sure.

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