The following blog was written in Ireland between May and June 2019. The pieces have been uploaded here in the order that I wrote them.
I arrived in Ireland on Saturday and what a week it has been! The people here are so funny; it seems like everyone loves to tell colorful stories. The weather here is colder than I thought. It’s the middle of the summer and the high temperature for today is 53 degrees. It is a great relief to get away from the humidity in Tampa. We are staying at the National University of Ireland in Galway on the country’s west coast. Galway is a beautiful city with a young population of students and lots of musicians. In the Latin Quarter, there are street performers playing all kinds of music with some of the most interesting combinations of instruments. Imagine an accordion player and a saxophonist playing fast-paced Pink Floyd covers. What a great city this is!
My group of friends and I have been exploring its streets and have discovered beautiful cathedrals built in the 1400s, medieval ruins from the 9th century found underneath an apartment complex, and we even found a free museum. Galway is not too big but large enough that there is always something to do. The nightlife here is unmatched to American cities – there are quirky and unique pubs all over that have live music every night and a thriving authentic Irish pub culture. We are within two to three hours from all of the major places in Ireland, and nearby is the amazing region of Connemara, the Cliffs of Moher, and the Aran Islands. Galway is a safe city and the community is strong. There is a level of trust that exists here that has disappeared from American culture long ago – an almost naïve way of life that reminds one of the past. Dogs walk beside their owners with no leash, kids play at the playgrounds unsupervised, and families have dinner together every evening. The people love their town and don’t seem to worry about much. Life seems pretty nice here; this going to be a fun month.