Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Travel: Galway and Cliffs of Moher

Since I am now quite free, I decided to write about my travelling experience.
Today, it will be on Galway and the breathtakingly beautiful Cliffs of Moher!

So, from Dublin we boarded an IrishRail train to Galway, it cost us €9.99 per person and the journey was just over 2hrs.
We booked our seats in advanced hence our names came out on the screen! It was so exciting haha...

There wasn't much to see in Galway either, as the town is small; like Preston.

At one of the streets in Galway town

But Galway is definitely prettier than Dublin. If I am given a choice to either study in Dublin or Galway, I will definitely choose Galway.
However, the food was sooo expensive.
Burgers can cost up to €10! We had dinner at Capital Kebab House, a halal Turkish restaurant.

We also visited one of the famous place in Galway, the Spanish Arch.
I am not sure why was it called Spanish Arch. But the place was more beautiful in picture than in real life.
But since the ambience was very peaceful and cooling, it was very nice to hang out.

The Spanish Arch; the arch that is behind us. See it?

19th June 2014 was also the day my Galway friends had the graduation but since I arrived in the evening, their graduation ceremony ended and they were already in the middle of the celebratory lunch/dinner.
That night I spent the night in Nani's room with Aisyah. Nani's parents were there for her graduation hence she stayed with them in a vacant junior's house.
Radhi was the only occupant in the house whose parents did not attend the graduation ceremony hence she hosted my stay there.
Wasil stayed in someone else's house; a Malaysian brother called Abg Aji. He worked as a chef, and he had two children (in these situation, I am not sure if I should use past or present tense? Had or has two children?)

The next day was our day tour to Cliffs of Moher day.
I've always heard beautiful stories about the cliffs and having been to Carrick-a-Rede in Belfast, I really wanted to see the Cliffs of Moher.

I joined the tour by Galway Tour Co and it cost us €20 per person (student price). The bus departs at 10am from Galway Coach Station.
I will strongly advise people to sit on the left side of the bus because the scenery is muuucchhh nicer. I sat on the right side and always had to peek onto the left.
The driver was also the tour guide, but he was not as funny and as lively as the one I had in Belfast.

Our first stop was the Dunguaire Castle.
We had only 15 minutes there so I dared not walk nearer to the castle. We simply took pictures from far. Good thing I brought my monopod though! It will be so hard to always ask someone to take our pictures for us.

Dunguaire Castle in the background. That was the nearest we went

Our next stop was a restaurant/toilet stop, the place is called Monk's Seafood Pub and Restaurant.
The restaurant allowed us to use the toilet for free, but charged us excessively for a cup of coffee.
The weather was very cold and I thought a cup of hot cappuccino will be nice. Turns out it cost €3!
I could have gone to the toilet 10 times!

We then stopped by a ring fort. I was actually super sleepy in the bus so I didn't really hear what did the tour guide say about the ring fort. If I am not mistaken, mythically it was a place inhabited by fairies and leprechauns.
I could not even get the name of the place, Wasil was too sleepy to listen too while Aisyah was too new to the Irish accent she could not catch up. LOL~

As we were leaving the fort, I hastily took this picture before running to our bus. I thought it will have some information about the fort. Haih... This was all that was written. I hope they will put REAL signs next time

Next stop, the Poulnabrone dolmen; a portal tomb.
A portal tomb is a tomb made from portal stone (surprise, surprise) i.e. two or more upright stones supporting another flat stone on top of it.
From what I read on the visitor information boards; the Poulnabrone served as a tomb with perhaps their farms and houses surrounding the tomb.

See the portal tomb behind us? There are two big upright stones, supporting a big flat horizontal stone on top of it

Next stop: Kilfenora Cathedral and Crosses.
Awkwardly, as soon as we get into the main entrance of the church, we were welcomed by a graveyard.
Since all of us from the bus walked in at the same time, there was quite a queue outside the door because people had to really observe where they put their feet since the graves were not arranged symmetrically.
One will have to walk in zig zag to avoid stepping on someone's grave!

I did not really understand the significance of this cathedral, but I know that this is a historical site.
I don't really find it strikingly beautiful.

That is the small entrance to the cathedral. Once you enter the door, you will see the graveyard

The tour bus followed the tourism trail called the Wild Atlantic Way and along the trail, the road dividers are made of stones arranged on top of another.
I think the structure is very unique, I wonder if was made long time ago or did the government arrange it that way?

See how the rocks are arranged? This arrangement exists ALL THE WAY! SubhanAllah~

Next stop: FOOD!! We stopped by at Doolin village for lunch before going to the highlight of the day; The Cliffs of Moher!

The Cliffs of Moher
I don't even know where to start!
The place is so breathtakingly beautiful I can only say SubhanAllah all the time.
The weather was nice, cool and breezy, the sound of the water hitting the rocks was very calming and everyone seemed to be captivated with the beauty.

If you read/watched Twiligt Saga, Jacob's hobby was cliff-diving. That is, they dive from the cliff into the water below, and somehow that was what exactly I felt. I felt like diving down the cliff, into the water below.
Adrenaline really rushed through my blood.
I felt like singing, spreading my arms and start dancing.
On the other hand, I also felt like sitting down quietly and just stare at the cliffs and the blue water underneath.

Let me give you some pictures!

See the beautiful water below?!

Everywhere you turn your eyes to, you can only see the cliffs. It was almost never-ending!

The thing about the beauty of God's creation, it is so beautiful that even cameras could not capture it as beautiful as our eyes can see it.
If you think these pictures are beautiful, wait till you go and see the real one.
The green ones are even greener and the blue ones are bluer.

We had two hours there, and it felt so short!
I wish we have at least half a day there.

Once we enter the compound, the Visitor Centre will be in the middle and we can choose either to walk to the left or to the right of the centre.
We chose to walk to our left and we can't seem to stop ourselves from walking and exploring more.
The cliff just never end! We later found out that if we continued walking, we will reach Doolin town, the town we stopped by for lunch earlier.

I wish I can just sit there, and stare at its beauty

See the length of the cliffs? Even if I walk to the end of the cliff in the picture, I can still see more cliffs like that

So how was it?
Did you feel like going, now?

I am very satisfied because I brought Wasil and Aisyah here. Wasil might come again with his friends but I think this might be once in a lifetime chance for Aisyah. She really enjoyed the time and scenery here.

Some people say no matter how beautiful the cliffs are, it will never beat the beauty of our own east Malaysia.
But well, I myself has never been to east Malaysia so I can't really comment on that.
But I doubt we have cliffs like these?

Some people wants to give the impression that Malaysia has the best of everything.
I acknowledge that Malaysia is a very beautiful country but I don't understand why some people just can't accept that some of the sceneries outside Malaysia is really really beautiful.
We are not comparing government policy or society's standard here. We are comparing the beauty of God's creation, which has nothing to do with who the government is.
I understand if some people want to say Malaysia health policy is better or the attitude of our society is better (because we still respect the elderly more than the English does) but to say Malaysia is far more beautiful than any other country; that is plain ego.

Anyway, let's not get there.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my trip!

-Because life is a test-

Another cliff. We stopped by here for 5 minutes on our way back. Less greeny, more rocky. Beautiful never the less!


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