First two weeks in ireland

Trip Start Sep 01, 2006
1
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Trip End Dec 28, 2006


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Flag of Ireland  ,
Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thus far I've been exploring Galway City and Galway County. Right away you get a sense it is a very old place with a lot of history. This part of Ireland is the only Gaelic speaking area left. Even all the street signs are first in Gaelic and then in English underneath. Gaelic is one of the few primitive languages in Europe unaffected or unrelated to Latin and this makes it very hard to make any connection between Gaelic words and any romance language. In terms of travel, the most spectacular place I've been so far is the Aran Islands, located about an hour north by bus and 40 minutes west by ferry. There are 3 major islands, the biggest being Inis Mor with just over 900 inhabitants (not including tourists). The island is famous for its fishing, the open Atlantic to the east and Galway Bay to the West, its stone walls - completely covering the island in no distinguishable pattern, most likely for grazing purposes - and their wool/sweater making. People have inhabited the island for over 5,000 years and for most of that time they have been excavating marine limestone which covers the island completely in an attempt to create a more agricultural lifestyle. However, even after that many years it's apparent that farming just wasn't meant to be. As you'll see in the pictures, there are multiple castles/forts set up around the island and there are lots of sheer cliffs created through millions of years of rain, strong winds and massive waves crashing against the island. The most impressive cliff is at the highest point on the island where a fortress and castle once stood. All that remains are som massive stone walls and a breathtaking view of the ocean below. In the photographs you'll see myself as well as Steve Andelman, my roommate from Haverford, and Brian Mahoney, a new acquaintance from Bates College in Maine. Hope you enjoy the photographs and a new installment of phtographs from Dublin should be coming soon.
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