10:00AM – Exploring Galway and places around
We woke up at around 10AM. I felt sick from the night before and actually will blame the weather for my sickness. I had a slight cough, but no running nose. So that was good news.
Our plan today is to go to a golf course. Ireland is famous for its golf courses and I knew that we would not have any trouble finding a golf course. Sure enough when we put in “golf” in the GPS, it came up with three or four golf courses! For convenience purposes, we chose the closest one. It was about three kilometers away. I took a couple pictures of the green Galway Golf Club, walked around the locker rooms, and bought some souvenirs. Of course it would have been amazing to play golf there, but I didn’t Fedex my clubs. We passed by the aquarium, which one of my buddies really wanted to stop by. But, we never ended up going back during operating hours.
Our next stop was the Burrens, which was about an hour away. The Burren is a national park, which has hills that are composed of limestone. There are crisscrossing cracks where grass will grow. We stopped by a souvenir shop to get directions. On our way to the Poulnabrone Portal tomb, we stopped by a perfumery. It was difficult to find and we had to drive through narrow roads deep into the Burren to find. The Burren Perfumery is the oldest working perfumery in Ireland and they make everything by hand. I bought three soaps for 6.5€ each. The lady at the perfumery said that the popular soaps were cedar and lemongrass and lavender. There was a garden in the perfumery and we walked around to see the herbs and such that were used to make the soap. Originally, I had decided just to buy one soap, but the girl before me had purchased about 90€ worth of perfume and such. So I thought to myself, why not.
Believe it or not, it was difficult to find the portal tombs, so we stopped by a pub and ask for directions. At the pub, I met the same girl at the perfumery. I ended up striking a conversation with her and she mentioned that she was studying in SF and she had gotten here before her tour group. They were staying for two weeks and she was driving and looking for the tombs as well. We chatted for a bit and then we left to see the tombs. Her name was Liz. We stopped by the tombs and looked at the limestone which dated to the medieval times. One of the highlights of the day was going to the Aillwee caves. Caves formed when steams were sinking underground started to dissolve the channels through lines of weakness in the limestone millions of years ago. It is one of the most ancient caves in the Burren and in Ireland. It was discovered by a hiker who had lost his dog and when he went to go look for the dog he found the cave. He went back to the caves with a candle and walked through the cave. He kept it a secret until a number of hikers asked him about it. The tour of the caves was well worth it. At one point of the tour, the lights in the cave were turned off and we experienced pure darkness.
|Driving Around Ireland|
After the caves, we headed back to the aquarium to find out the operating hours and then back to the golf course to see if I could get a tax rebate form. For those who purchase merchandise in the EU and reside outside of it, you get a refund at the airport. However you need to fill out a form or have it electronically recorded on a card. The golf course ended up not having this form, but I was glad we at least tried.
8:00pm – Dinner at an Italian restaurant
We ate dinner at an Italian restaurant. I ordered a penne pasta for 6.50€. It was a dim lit restaurant and they used candles for lighting. I felt pretty ripped off because the food we ordered, we could have gotten back home. Also, it didn’t taste particularly great. We then went to get ice cream, but most places close at 8pm and it was already past 9pm. When we went to the ice cream shop, the place was already closing. My buddies asked the girl at the register if we could just get ice cream. She hesitantly said yes, but you could tell that she was ready to pack up and close shop. It didn’t help that my buddies kept asking for samples and then asked whether or not one flavor was sweeter than another. She would reply that they are all equally sweet. I elected not to get ice cream because I started to feel under the weather. My buddies went to go see a free amateur comedy and I opted to stay behind and get some rest.
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Seven of Nine
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Eight of Nine
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Nine of Nine
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Zero/One of Nine
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Two of Nine
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Three of Nine
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Four of Nine
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Five of Nine
Labels: Places You Wished You Visited, Travels