Another week, another trip to a different part of Ireland! This weekend, I went to Galway and the Aran Islands with one of my roommates and a few of the girls who live across the hall from us. I spent more time sightseeing on the Aran Islands, so that’s today’s blog topic.
The Aran Islands are 3 islands off the west coast of Ireland: Inishmore (the largest), Inishmaan, and Inisheer (the smallest). They have some historical significance, and a lot of traditional Irish culture lives on in the islands. For example, most signs were exclusively in Irish, and I heard several of the residents speaking Irish. We went to Inishmore by ferry, and it was a rough ferry ride. The waves were strong, and we were sprayed with sea water several times. But we made it to the island in one piece.
A view of the sea behind our ferry.
We decided to rent bikes and see the island that way, and I’m glad we did. It was tough sometimes – there were lots of hills we had to ride up – but it was a fantastic way to see the island.
There were lots of animals on our route – cows, chickens, horses, and even seals!
We rode along the ocean on our way to Dún Aonghasa, an ancient fort situated on top of a cliff. The history of the fort is really interesting; look it up if you get the chance. Inishmore has a lot of hills and is very rocky, so the ride up there was tiring. We only rode to the base of the cliff, though; the rest of the way, we had to walk.
When we reached the fort at the top, it was absolutely stunning. It’s amazing that the fort managed to survive that long (with the help of reconstruction), and the view was unlike any I have ever seen. Maybe these sights are nothing special to the people who live on the islands, but to someone from the midwestern United States, these sights were awesome. It can’t get much better than an ancient clifftop fort.
Part of Dún Aonghasa.
Yep, that’s me, sitting on a cliff.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend a lot of time up there because we had to return our bikes and catch the last ferry back to the mainland. We made it with plenty of time to spare. We stayed in a hostel in Galway that night, and we were all so tired from biking and hiking that we went to sleep around 11.
Inishmore was fantastic. I’m really sad we didn’t get to spend more time there, but I know that I have to go back someday. It’s not an option. I’ll travel there again and spend a few days on Inishmore and the other two islands. There’s just too much to see and too much to learn to only spend a few hours there.
In other news, I only have 2 more weeks in Ireland. That’s it. Tomorrow’s already the first day of July…