Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Family Visit and Ireland

Random view from our daily hike from our hotel to town.

My cousin and his wife came to visit me in June and I am just now posting about it. They stayed in my painfully tiny apartment but we made do. Unfortunately being the low person on the totem pole at my job, I didn't get my requested days off and wasn't able to accompany them a lot. They went to Rome and spent a lot of time wandering around Paris by themselves.

View of the Cliffs of Moher

However, we did get to spend a few days in Ireland. Being the savvy traveller (insert laughter), I booked a flight to Dublin. We then took a bus to Galway which is on the other side of Ireland.

Castle on the Cliffs of Moher

Public transportation in Ireland isn't as advanced as other places and the trip took much longer than I had anticipated. We shared the ride with some very annoying people, but after reaching Galway, all misery was mostly forgotten.

View from the Aran Islands and proof of how green Ireland really is.

While in Galway, we took a bus tour to the Cliffs of Moher and then a ferry to the Aran Islands. I was pretty happy with both outings as they were both on my "must see" list. The Aran Island we visited was incredibly fantastic. We rented bikes and road all over the largest of the three islands. Unfortunately the weather wasn't great but the outing was fabulous none the less.

Another view from the Aran Islands.

Overall, the weather was mostly gorgeous and highly unseasonable to the point of when I asked our very knowledgeable bus tour guide if there was any extreme weather in Ireland, he replied, "Yup, this." We had four days of mostly sunny, hot weather.

Picture of Galway city center.

Because the weather was so nice, people were sunning themselves at all times. The above picture shows the place where the locals seemed to enjoy the sun the most. There was a constant "Thank God it is sunny and beautiful" celebration feel to this area with picnics and beer drinking.

Random church at sunset in Galway.

Speaking of beer....Yum! I could really get used to the Irish way of life. They are such fun-loving party goers. Makes me wish I had done a year abroad there!

Old burial grounds and view of the sandstone ground.

This might sound like a really quaint observation, but Ireland is very green. I am pretty happy with my camera but the desire for a better quality camera never hit me harder than when I was in Ireland. I just could not capture all of the beauty with mine!

A real thatched roof house.

Ireland was one of my favorite trips. I hope to go back someday. While I generally like traveling by myself, it was really great sharing the trip with my cousins. It was a first for all three of us!

Picture from a cliff on the Aran Islands. There were no bars around this ledge and people could literally jump off if so inclined. However, throwing rocks off the edge is a strict no-no as some obnoxious boys found out.

I am really glad some of my family came over to visit. I wish everyone had a chance to come. I think my cousins had as good of a time as I did!