05 June, 2014

Day 10

While in Galway, we stayed at a little apartment. This enabled us to do a much-needed load of laundry and to make our own breakfast. After getting ready for the day, we took a half-hour drive to Rossaveal, then a ferry to Inishmore. It's the largest of the three Aran Islands and is only about 3 miles wide by 9 miles long. The island is completely covered in rock with no farmland at all. So the people who settled there thousands of years ago created their own soil through a three-year process of mixing sand from the shore with the seaweed they pulled up from the sea. The process worked and the island became famous for it. During the Irish potato famine, Inishmore was not affected by the potato blight, so people flocked to the island. But today, it has returned to its meager population of 900 people.

When we got to the island, we jumped on a minibus for a tour, which is the primary way for visitors to see the island. Our driver was quite the character, singing away and telling us funny stories. He brought us to several sites including an ancient monastery that was destroyed during Cromwell's rule and Dun Aonghasa, a prehistoric fort built on the edge of a 330-foot high cliff. We ate lunch at a thatched-roofed cafe along the way. After the minibus tour, we had coffee and dessert at a little cafe, then took the ferry back to the mainland. It was an interesting island and I enjoyed it overall, but we were all a bit grumpy and the freezing, windy, rainy weather didn't help much. I think we'd all gotten a little tired out and were ready for a change of pace. 

Back in Galway, we had Chinese food for dinner, which was a nice change from all the hearty pub food we'd been eating. We stopped in an arcade on the way back from dinner and Kevin and Dad played a game of pool. We got ice cream bars, headed back to our apartment, and played our board game before getting to bed.

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