23 Nov TY Trip to Galway
On the 8th of November 25 TY students along with Ms Nic Enri and Ms Johnston went to Galway for the weekend.
We left school at lunch time to catch the train to Dublin. Upon arrival, we had to embark on quite an ambitious journey, from Connolly to Heuston station during rush hour traffic to get the train to Galway. We made the train by the skin of our teeth but unfortunately it was then delayed for about an hour. During this time, we were not permitted to leave, but were instead entertained by an inebriated man who smelt of smoke.
We made it to Galway at about 7 o’clock. We checked into the hostel, Snoozles, and went to get food in Eyre square, as we were all starving from our long journey.
After eating we returned to the hostel and went to bed.
On Friday we awoke to the sound of rain outside our window. We quickly had breakfast and went to catch the bus to the Aran islands. Our trip to the island was looking doubtful due to the stormy weather. But when we arrived we got onto the boat and fortunately (or unfortunately?) we were soon on our way to Inishmore, the biggest of the three islands.
The boat ride was horrendous, as one would expect a boat ride to be in the middle of a storm. We all felt thoroughly unwell the whole time, though thankfully the crew distributed plastic bags, many of which were used. After about 45 minutes the boat made it to Inis Mor, much to our surprise as we were all sure it was going to capsize. Even Ms Nic Enri, a seasoned Galway veteran, said that the journey was the worst she had ever seen it.
Once off the boat we made our way to the two buses waiting to take us on a tour of the island. Our tour guides were very informative and provided an enjoyable and educational excursion around the island, showing us many different things such as the seven churches which were built in the 7th century and the birthplace of famous Irish poet Máirtín Ó Direáin.
After the tour we went to a traditional Irish cottage for lunch before detouring to the main village on Inishmore where we could visit the various shops, one of which sold handmade woollen jumpers.
We got the boat back to the mainland at about 4 o’clock. The journey back was far more pleasant, as the weather had taken a turn for the better, meaning our early demise was no longer likely. After the boat trip we boarded the bus to take us back to Galway city. We arrived at 6 o’clock and made our way to McDonalds for dinner.
After dinner we went to the cinema where we had the option to go and see one of two movies, A Star is Born or Bohemian Rhapsody. Everyone enjoyed the cinema. We made our way back to the hostel at 11 o’clock and quickly went to bed as we were all exhausted.
We were allowed a lie in on Saturday, which was a relief to many. After a late breakfast at 9am, we made our way into Eyre square to go on a guided tour of Galway city. It was a very interesting tour, showing us prominent locations such as Michael D. Higgins’ house and NUI Galway. Afterwards we were given some time to wander around Eyre square and get some lunch. We also got to go to the market where you could buy anything from crepes to wood carvings.
We then went back to the hostel to relax for an hour or two before we headed off to Salthill. It was quite the trek, though the view was spectacular from the promenade.
Once we arrived, were given an hour to get some dinner or to visit the arcade before we were forced to embark upon the return trek.
At 6 o’clock we made our way back to Eyre square before heading off to go bowling. Everyone enjoyed the evening, though many of us quickly realised bowling was not our strong suit.
After bowling we made our way back to the hostel where we were given some free time to hang around the common room before we were ushered to bed. The pool table was a popular attraction and various card games were produced.
On Sunday we got up and had our breakfast quickly as we had to pack our suitcases. We left the hostel at 10am and made our way to the station to catch the train back to Dublin.
The train journey was thankfully, not delayed, and we arrived in Dublin at around 1 o’clock, where there was a bus waiting to take us back to Dundalk.
It was a really fun weekend from start to finish and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
A big thank you to Ms Nic Enri for organising the trip and to both her and Ms Johnston for supervising us for the weekend.
By Síofra O’Reilly and Kate O’Brien