Monday, April 23, 2012

Galway City Weekend


This past weekend Jessie, myself, and three other students from the program traveled to Galway City. Galway compared to Dublin City, is much smaller. It is more of an intimate atmosphere. But, there are still streets and streets of shops, pubs, and restaurants. On Friday, Jessie and I left our house right after school, around 3:30pm. We then took the Luas (the train very similar to our Septa train), to Heusten Station. Heusten Station is a train station right outside Dublin City. We then met the three other students we were traveling with at the station. Our train ride to Galway was only 2 and a half hours. It is really neat that someone can travel anywhere in Ireland in just a couple of hours. I think it takes only 5 hours to go from the top to bottom of Ireland by car. But, any part of Ireland can be accessed by train or bus pretty much. Also, because we were students we got a great rate on the train ride (it was a total of 20 euros round trip for us, compared to the 46 euros it would have regularily been).

After arriving in Galway, we made our way to our hostel. We stayed at Kinlay Hostel, right in the center of the city. We had booked a 6 person room for the 5 of us which meant we would possibly have a stranger staying with us as well. Our room was very basic. There were three sets of bunk beds, a sink, and a small bathroom that had a shower. The shower was really interesting because you had to hold a button for the shower to work, or the water would turn off after about 5 seconds. But, we made it work. After checking in, we went to dinner. We got to the hostel around 8:30pm so by the time we went to dinner it was about 10pm. Most of the restaurants and pubs stop serving food at this time so we were fortunate enough to find a sort of "hole in the way" restaurant to eat at in town. I ordered a panini, but learned that panini's in Ireland are just basically a deli roll that is toasted. But, it was still delicious. After dinner, we headed to a pub called, The King's Head. They had a live band, who was amazing. They played American music, but played everything from Queen to today's hits. We met a few of the locals, as well as visitors from England while at the pub.

On Saturday, we finally met our room mate. His name was Clement and he was from France. It was somewhat hard to understand some of his English, but it was still really interesting and fun comparing meanings of words in English and French. Saturday we spent the day in Galway City exploring the shops and some of the sights, such as the Galway Cathedral and beautiful coast lines. Saturday night we went out to dinner again and I had Guinness stew at a lovely restaurant. It was very yummy! Saturday night we spent at a pub, called Kelly's, with our new room mate Clement and had a very good time.

Our train on Sunday didn't leave until 3pm so we were able to do some sightseeing before heading out. We went to a town called Salthill. Salthill was about a 15 minute walk from Galway City. It was a beautiful coastal town, and we spent time just wondering around. After Salthill, it was time to catch our train home. I finally finished the last book in the Hunger Game series on the train. It was a great book. Everyone else slept on the train because they were very tired. Overall, it was a great weekend and I really enjoyed myself!

Here are some pictures from Galway:

Galway City


Galway Coast

The four lovely Americans and I from my program

Irish Words:
grand - fine (they say this ALL the time)
timetable - schedule
get a lift - get a ride 

This week should be a very full and busy week for me. After observing different classes all of last week, I will start to teach this week most likely. I am working with many teachers, and students from ages 13-16. So, I will have a very wide-range of experience teaching students in Ireland!

Until next time,

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