Episode 2 - Good Luck & Happiness Too

This past week has been the most hectic I have experienced in a while. The combination of courses starting (my first ever large lectures! I'm so accustomed to my small school life) and meeting as many new people as possible has left me a bit drained. I have been learning to find small moments of time to myself and to strike a balance between alone time and social time. 

3 Things I am grateful for:

1) My roommates and their willingness to learn and try new things

2) universal card games

3) Small quiet moments

3 Things I have learned:

1) 50 degrees in Ireland is not the same things as 50 degrees in Chicago

2) Not to rely on the weather app for rain predictions

3) I should have appreciated my metric conversion lessons in grade school more

On Tuesday, a group of us headed out to Monroe's, a pub in town. We listened to music flood the room while traditional dance was performed by a few professionals in the crowd. Every Tuesday the dancers come out and teach onlookers to dance so that they may join in as well. I laughed through all of our miserable attempts to keep up, but it was still such fun to pretend that we could! 

Thursday night we celebrated one of my housemate's 26th birthday by inviting as many different international students as we possibly could to our place. We had Ireland, Sweden, Norway, China, United States, and Germany all represented and a few of us compared the different ways we all celebrated birthdays. I actually learned two more verses of Happy Birthday that I didn't know existed prior to that day. My favorite was:

From good friends and true,

From old friends and new,

May good luck go with you,

And happiness too.

Me, Ella (UW-M), Matilda (Uppsala University - Sweden) and Alex (NUIG), my housemates

On Friday, I finally got the opportunity to go around Galway with my camera to film a few spots of the city. I am continually amazed by the beauty of the coastline every time we walk it and so enjoy every walk I take along it. People walk around the parks with their dogs off-leash tentatively leading the way. 

Panorama of me filming Galway from the Pier.

A friend and I went out to dinner that night to Finnegan's, a restaurant that typically serves more traditional Irish comfort food. I got an Irish stew of Lamb, carrots and potatoes which was delicious. 

On Saturday, a friend and I took a bus tour to County Clare, Ireland to go see the Cliffs of Moher. We spent the day exploring the countryside and a few historical sites along the way along with the narrative of a very proud Irish tour guide who loved to pick on his passengers. 

Dunguaire Castle

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs were one of the most beautiful things of which I have ever laid witness. Every inch you climbed to the top changed the view dramatically and offered bigger and brighter opportunities to explore these impressive sights. Our bus driver stopped us along the ride back to pause and watch the sun go down over the coast of Galway Bay for the sole purpose of us experiencing the song of the same name. I momentarily left the group and walked as far out across the rocks as I could venture (sorry Mom & Dad) to perch myself right along the drop of a cliff so to hear the rush of the waves crash along the rocks as the sun cast its remaining rays across my face and the scenery. It was a moment so rare and beautiful that the raw nature of the experience brought my eyes to water. (Wow, how Thoreau of me)

If you ever go across the sea to Ireland,

Then maybe at the closing of your day,

You can sit and watch the moon rise over Claddagh,

And see the sun go down on Galway Bay.


Other things:

1) Classes are very low stress and very high density in students

2) Eating my way through every Gluten Free option

3) Peanut butter is very different here and hot sauce is seen nowhere

Irish phrase of the week:

Creid é nó ná creid = Believe it or not 

Having a great time and surviving with only mayo as a sauce, creid é nó ná creid (gross).

With love from Galway,