Irish culture

Today I walked on cliffs in the clouds with birds while the sea roared below. That’s what it felt like. I couldn’t see further than a few hundred meters away because of the thick fog swallowing the Cliffs of Moher. The burren and cliffs tour that I was on was saved by the spectacular views of the burren and of the Irish countryside, as well as the visit to Aillwee Cave and the stop to see the slab tomb at Poulnabrone Dolmen. Note to self: Don’t expect to be able to see spectacular sights at high altitude when on a day trip. Stay in the area for at least 24 hours in the hope of catching a clear view. That’s what I did in Banaue, in the hills of India; I’d forgotten the lesson.

Tonight, I continued my immersion into Irish culture, not the land but song and dance. It was a quick 5-10 minute walk to the Salthill Hotel from Clare Villa. I paid a fixed price for the deliciously satisfying three course meal on offer for the night before experiencing the magic of Trad on the Prom show. I have no pictures because they’re not allowed of the show but you can see them at http://www.tradontheprom.com. The musicians and talented and versatile. Out of the five main performers, three of them demonstrated more than one talent. The dancers were high energy, enthusiastic and well synchronized, simply fantastic. It was a full and enjoyable day.

Yesterday was a more relaxed day. I walked around Galway, exploring the Spanish Arch, the museum, the market, St. Nicholas’ Church, the Galway Cathedral, Cobbin River, the River Walkway. I got most of my gifts at the market which sold a variety of crafts, wollen wear, baked goods, vegetables, fruits, cheese, hand bags made in Nepal, some jewellery made in Ireland while others were made in Sweden and other places. I stopped by the river to finish my book, and to watch the fishermen and the other people enjoying the sunshine. As I walked on, I saw some swans and ducks in Galway Bay. I’d given my feet quite a workout but I’d do it all over again.

Traveling around Ireland

So far, I’ve taken both a bus and a train. The train ride from Dublin to Belfast was beautiful. Well, the scenery can get a bit boring after a little while, all the farms, idyllic pastures, cows, sheep, more or less what I imagined Ireland to be. It feel a bit surreal going over water on the train tracks. Since all i could see around me, it feels like we’re going through the water or maybe even on the water since there is no apparent disturbance to the water’s surface. That was the best part of the trip for me.

I got to Belfast quite around 8 p.m. I made my way to my guest house and then to Ryan’s for irish fare. I had a seafood blanky (??). I’m not sure if I have the name right but it is basically like a savory pancake. It was quite good but a little bit too high on salt.

Yesterday, I took the bus from Belfast to Dublin and another from Dublin to Galway. It was a long trip (over 6 hours). The bus made lots of stops. I dozed in and out of sleep the whole way and was happy when I finally got to my hotel. The host at Clare Villa is very nice. The room is lovely with a double bed and both a tub and shower. I was very comfortable but felt lame for staying in so I went out for a walk to the beach around 10 p.m. I was also kind of hungry. I had a hard time finding a place that served food so late. I got fish and chips at Salt and Pepper because it looked like I had no other choice. Of course, I found a few more options after that such as Chinese take out and an Italian restaurant. I ended up walking about 4 km. It was around midnight when I got back.