Rivers and Roads

Hi! So, something really exciting happened the night I got back from the Cliffs of Moher! My friends and I tried to busk again in the streets, this time late at night when there were a lot of people about. When my two friends were practicing before we started, they went through a list of possible songs, one of them being “All Star” by Smash Mouth. To my surprise, I found myself singing along (I’m a terrible singer) and I actually remembered all of the words to the fast parts of the song. They had me perform it with them on the street when we went out there, and it was so much fun! When we had had enough of busking, we went to a pub sort of out of the way for a change, not really in the town center. It was very relaxed, we had no trouble finding seats close to the band. One of my friends, Gabby (the one who plays guitar/sings while we busk), got to chatting with one of the performers during one of their breaks. After a few minutes of conversation, Gabby turned to one of my other friends, Corrie, and asked if she would be willing to perform a song with her in front of the whole pub. Before she could answer, the guy Gabby had been talking to stood up and announced in a loud, booming voice that two girls from America were going to be performing “Rivers and Roads” by the Head and the Heart. They hurriedly got ready and I got my phone out to start recording, since I knew they would want evidence of what they were about to do. Right before Corrie started singing and Gabby started strumming, the entire pub got completely silent. I only got a minute of it on video before my phone ran out of storage space (I guess I’m taking a lot of pictures!), which was a pity because at the end, everyone in the pub sang the chorus with the two of them. It was one of the coolest things I’ve witnessed since I’ve been here, and honestly something I may never see again. They did a fantastic job, and although they admitted they were really nervous, I told them it was one of the best performances I’ve honestly ever seen.

The next day, Sunday, we went to the Aran Islands, which I had been looking forward to ever since the other group told us it’s a really fun trip. They advised us to wear sunscreen and dress comfortably, which I was more than happy to do. It was an hour bus ride (on a double decker bus!) to the ferry and 45 minutes on the ferry until we arrived there. Once we all unloaded, we were directed to a wall lined with dozens and dozens of bikes! We all picked one and got going. We biked 4 miles along the coast of the island until we reached a little café/shop, where we stopped for lunch. After that we hiked to the very edge of the cliffs. Hiking there felt like we were in the middle of a Lord of the Rings movie, since we had to step on the rocks, not on the grass. Sometimes the grass would cover up big holes you could accidentally get your feet stuck in! It reminded me of the scene in the Two Towers when Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are running through an area much like that to find the orcs who captured Mary and Pippin. When we got to the edge, I realized it was actually scarier than the Cliffs of Moher. Once we (carefully) toured the cliffs and took a look at a natural swimming pool, we hopped back on our bikes to head back to the ferry. I forgot how much I love riding bikes—I had such a wonderful time biking the 8 miles there and back! The view of the coastline was magnificent, and there were also plenty of horses, sheep, and cows to look at as well. The only issue was my seat. It was too low, but whenever I moved it higher and locked it into place and then continued riding, after a few minutes it would hit back to the bottom. This was really annoying to deal with, since whenever it happened it took me by surprise and I almost fell off the bike every time, but I knew things could be worse. One of my housemates who went on the trip the other weekend said that her bike’s chain fell off and she had to walk the whole way! Right after I turned my bike in at the end of the trail, I literally ran into a study abroad group from SeattleU! It was really shocking to see them, but really awesome at the same time! They said they were going to be in Galway for the rest of the week, and I can’t wait to meet up with them—this time totally planned. Seeing them reminded me of what a small world we live in. Crazy, right?

And so the craic continues!

Alex

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