The Aran Islands

On Wednesday of our week in Ireland, Whitney and I woke to more rain. We trudged out to get donuts and pick up our handmade scarves because they had to be washed before we could wear them. Then we packed up at our hotel in Dublin, ate lunch, and jumped on a bus to Galway.

Galway Ireland
The view from our Airbnb in Galway
spanish arch galway
The Spanish Arch, Galway

We booked a tour of the Aran Islands/Cliffs of Moher for Thursday. It was through Wild Atlantic Way (highly recommend) and was an all-day event. We got on the tour bus at 9 a.m. and didn’t get back until 6 p.m.

The bus picked us up in Galway and drove us through the Burren (pronounced “burn”). According to Wikipedia, “The Burren is a region of County Clare in the southwest of Ireland. It’s a landscape of bedrock incorporating a vast cracked pavement of glacial-era limestone, with cliffs and caves, fossils, rock formations and archaeological sites.”

somewhere in the burren
A photo pitstop in the Burren

(Another fun pronunciation fact I learned in Ireland: I thought the word quays was pronounced “kways” but it is actually pronounced “keys.”)

The bus dropped us off at a ferry and the ferry took us out to one of the Aran Islands, where Gaelic is spoken as a first language.

Aran Islands
The Aran Islands
galic sign
Me with a sign in Gaelic
Aran Islands 1
The Aran Islands
ruins aran islands
Ruins

It was freezing on the island. However, we saw palm trees! We learned an interesting fact on the tour bus: the rocks in this part of Ireland (don’t ask me which ones) are very good at conducting heat. Therefore, you see plant life that is only seen elsewhere in the Mediterranean.

palm trees aran islands
Tropical trees growing in very un-tropical weather

Whitney and I walked around a bit, visited a local shop, and then stopped at a pub for lunch. I had Irish stew. (The bartender told me, “That’ll keep you going for a while.”)

whitney aran islands
Whitney
aran islands 3
So many rocks!
aran islands 4
Local shop

At the pub, we saw a notice that the local lottery jackpot was up to 4,100 Euro. πŸ™‚

IMG_8209
Win big!
aran islands 5
My friend has a daughter named Saoirse so I took this photo for her. πŸ™‚
aran islands 7
Goodbye, Aran Islands!

After lunch, we got back on the ferry and headed out to see the Cliffs of Moher. Stay tuned for Monday’s post to read more about that. πŸ™‚ It’ll be my last post about Ireland! I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the country through my experiences.

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