A friend of V's, Kristen, from the states is on holiday in Ireland, and he didn't want to miss the opportunity to see her! We packed our bag and went off on a little road trip to see her in Galway.
We stayed at Corrib Village, right next to the University. Essentially, it was a dorm room that they rented out as budget accommodation. I think it's a great idea! The room was quiet, comfortable, and clean - and that's all we really needed. We were very pleased with our stay here, and will definitely look it up to use again, if we're in the area.
Despite the forecast, it rained pretty much nonstop on Saturday. We also had decided to walk to meet Kristen - which means walking back to the hostel... 1.5 km each way which drenched us to the bone by the time we returned to our room. Fortunately, the room was warm and by morning, our jeans and coats were dry and ready to be worn again.
Sunday's weather was much nicer, and allowed us to bring our cameras along without fear. In the morning, we met with Kristen and her friend Pria for a bit of brunch. On the way there, we enjoyed a bit of sun peeking out from behind all the storm clouds!
We had a great time meeting with them and the food was delicious. If you're ever in Galway, definitely take time to stop at Griffin's Bakery and Tea Rooms. The atmosphere was very nice, and the food was great. Seriously some of the best tomato soup I've ever had in my life.
After we said our goodbyes, it was time to head home by way of the Cliffs of Moher! We figured that since we were in the area, why not visit this beautiful slice of nature? We also wanted to do a little drive by of a castle wherein we will be shooting a wedding in November... so we inputted all the information into our GPS (sat-nav) and went on our merry way to Ballyvaughan and Burren.
At some point in our journey, the GPS got lost (go figure) and started taking us in the wrong direction - putting us on some tiny, back-country roads (not to be confused with the tiny, regular roads... haha). We figured it out eventually and righted ourselves, and really enjoyed the scenery along the way.
We happened upon the Dunguaire Castle, and since we were being touristy anyway, decided to stop and have a tour.
Yes, those are swans... swimming in a lake... outside an ancient stone castle... I. Love. Ireland.
Inside, there were three levels of living space, and the castle is still used today for Medieval Banquets. One was scheduled for that night, but unfortunately, we did not have time to stick around that long. Here is the banquet hall! They have actors and poets perform for the guests on a stage in the room which is just out of the frame. It seemed like something worth trying at least once, so maybe we'll put that on the agenda too, next time we're in County Clare.
At the top of the castle, there was just enough room to walk around...
And if you look down, it gives you a bit of vertigo...
But look ahead, and the view is spectacular!
After our tour of the castle, we headed back on our journey to see the Cliffs of Moher. The scenery as we were driving was just indescribable. As we crested a hill heading toward the cliffs, this sight literally took my breath away.
Although the fog was obviously going to be a problem... See that mountain (er... hill to all my Alaskan peeps) in the distance? That's where we were headed. Blah.
As it turned out, the fog WAS a problem, and we ended up turning back for home... where it was sunny. Actually, it started to clear up just a few miles south of there. Of course!
At any rate, we had a great weekend and really enjoyed seeing a bit more of the countryside, meeting with a good friend, and just getting away. It's wonderful to be away for even just a weekend, but it felt great coming back home.
Do you think he missed us?