A note about the photo first: I edited this one a bit more than I usually do, because this is what I saw in my mind and imagination. I’ll post the companion shot for this one later. Now the journal entry:
Woke up this morning feeling crappy as usual, but rested well enough. Showered and went to the Bistro, a dark wood paneled place, and imminently suited to my tastes this morning. The sun is streaming in from the windows, and some easy listening station is playing over the speakers. I’m starting to relax and really enjoy myself, feeling much better than when I woke up.
The drive to Rossaveal, where the ferry disembarked for the Aran Islands was full of the kind of old Irish landscape you think about from the stories. We drove up the coast, little homes dotting the landscape and hillsides crisscrossed with stone fences. The wood smoke in the air reminded me of Africa, and the way houses are built and the general Britishness of both places made the experience slightly familiar.
The Aran Islands are, in many ways, a step out of time. Picturesque sea shores, stone walls everywhere. The waves crashing on the cliffs that face the Eastern edge of Inishmoor near the ancient for of Dun Aengus. We biked around the Islands, following the Aran Circle, a good 10 miles of up and down and bumpy paths and roads. I spent some time towards the end at the beach, sitting down to write down some of the experience and take a moment to think about everything.
The ride back to Galway was uneventful, and after we got home about 5:00pm, we stopped to eat, then off to the hotel to watch the remained episodes of Firefly and nod off to sleep.
A note (about pubs): There doesn’t seem to be any other kind of restaurant here. The food has been generally very good.
I stayed in Galway today. Spent a good portion of the day just laying in the hotel room flipping through the channels of the television, getting a feel for the Irish brogue. I hope to be able to approximate it when I get home. It took a while to get a feel for the character of the language. I did some shopping, found the internet cafe and had dinner at a pizzeria.
Tomorrow we take in the Cliffs of Moher and the Buren, a circuitous route just south of Galway bay. I’ll post pictures tomorrow and write here again.