The Aran island, Inishmore

Trip Start Sep 15, 2008
Trip End Dec 24, 2008

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Flag of Ireland  , Western Ireland,
Sunday, October 19, 2008

All right ... to the West !!

Caitlin and I left Dormers around 10: 30 in the morning, and headed into town to get tickets to hop the bus and ferry to the Aran islands.  We got a bus and ferry package for a fairly decent price, and prepared our minds for Inishmore, one of the three Aran islands, and it's the largest. 

We of course sprinted to the top of the double decker bus to be the first to reach the front seats, and we won.  Of course, Big Brother.  Time to relax, since the bus ride to was an hour away to Rossaveal, where we picked up the ferry.  We drove through Galway, and saw all the beautiful scenes it has to offer.  The bus traveled along the coast the whole time, so we had an amazing view of the ocean.  And lucky us, another beautiful sunny day.  We saw houses with thatched roofs.  (Roofs looks strange?  Is that the plural for roof ...?  It's definitely not rooves ... ha, uh ... anyway) ... so an hour or so later we get to the ferry dock, and the ferry is another forty minute ride.  Forty minutes until glorious Inishmore.  I believe it's properly Inis Mor ... with a fada over the 'o'. 

We arrived on Inishmore, I'd say around 1: 30 ... we got off the ferry, went to the bike let, and rode away !!  It was amazing.  A beautiful sunny day on a tiny island nine miles away from the mainland, with Irish speaking islanders, simple fishermen, donkeys, ruins, small pubs, sweaters, and ruins of forts and castles. 

Caitlin and I rode our bikes for about two and a half hours ... (we had to be back by 5: 00, or else the ferry would leave us ... o, no !!) ... we met a donkey, we climbed on top of old ruins, we sped down hills ... 'LOOK MA, NO HANDS !!'  Ha, I really felt as if we should have had slingshots hanging out of our back pockets.  I felt like a ten year old reliving 'Treasure Island' or something. 

We met an old man leaning against his stone wall outside of his little cottage, wearing his hat and sweater with his pipe at his side.  What better image of Ireland could you ask for?  "Hello ladies, beautiful day isn't it?"  BEAUTIFUL?  Sir, today is awesome.  Ha. 

We couldn't find a castle we had wanted to visit, but then we thought the image of a castle we had in our minds might not be the castle we should expect.  I think we found the castle we were looking for, which name slips me at the moment, but it was just a lot smaller than expected.

We spent so much time climbing and riding and acting like children that we never made it to Inishmore's famous cliffs.  The cliffs on one of the islands, I'm not positive if it's Inishmore, but you have to actually lie on your belly and go over to the edge, because the wind can become so strong that ... well, goodbye to you.  Isn't that ... incredible ... yet frightening?  Haha.  I'm sure I would have done it ... but then again, hmm.  I did cross the Carrick-a-Rede bridge though.  And we also missed out on a seal colony.  Damn.  That's okay.

We rode around some more, stopped at the sweater market, bought sweaters (yay !!), and picked up some postcards for family and friends. 

Before the ferry was to leave, we decided to have lunch at no other than the American Bar.  Honestly, a restaurant named the American Bar on an island 9 miles off the coast of Ireland?  Geez.  We really are everywhere.  So, we had delicious paninis and headed off to return our bikes and get back on the ferry to head back to Galway. 

The plan all along was to get a train back to Dublin for that night, not realizing it was Sunday, so actually upon returning to Galway we see that we missed the last train to Dublin by fifteen minutes.  YUP !!  So, another night in Galway it is. 

Hopefully better than last night?

But really, everyone should go to the Aran islands if you ever visit Ireland.  It's absolutely amazing.  Especially on a sunny day.  I wish we had more time there to actually explore the whole island, which can easily be done in one day, and maybe if we had thought ahead we could have actually gotten a B&B on the island ... but it's okay ... we had an amazing time anyway.

And back to Galway ...
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