Sunday, June 21, 2015

Day 14: A Bumpy Ride

           Today was filled with ups and downs, literally. This morning we first took a bus ride to Doolin and then hopped on a ferry to visit one of the Aran Islands. The rocky trip to the islands was rather rough for most of us, and lots of motion sickness meds were needed. 

          After a quite long journey (an hour for some, and a lifetime and half for others) we arrived at our destination for the day, Inishmore. Although the sun was shining when we left Doolin, we quickly became disappointed when it started raining during our arrival. We were bummed out because we had plans to rent bicycles and tour the island. We decided to find some food for lunch and cross our fingers for the clouds to clear. We went to Bayview Restaurant, and while eating we took note of some sustainable practices. The restaurant used local products to make their menu, which is great since they would have to ship in food through the ferry if they did not use these practices. The plants they used to decorate were in moss pots, which means the pot is biodegradable and less plastics are being used. These sustainable efforts kept us entertained while we waited for our food.

Our spirits were raised when the weather cleared up while we were eating. Most of our group followed through with the bike rentals and began to tour the island. The Aran Island is a small island so it is easy to access the whole island on bike or walking. Although a few vehicles were used on the island, bikes were a quick and sustainable way to get around the island. We biked along an Oceanside path and took a few pit stops at the Seal Colony and beach. The weather and view were both absolutely beautiful, and we even managed to take a group selfie while in motion on the bikes. While most of us were biking...
Others explored the island and shopped around. Some people prepared for the cold ferry ride back to Doolin by stocking up on warm clothes at the local wool shop. Thankfully, the sun was still out during our ride back so we were able to sit outside, which helped with the sea sickness.

Next up was the Cliffs of Moher. We had an hour to explore this gorgeous site of tourism. Needless to say, the pictures we had previously seen of the cliffs did not do justice to what we saw today. Some of our group was more adventurous than others and got closer to the cliffs while some of the more cautious students looked at them from a safe distance. The Cliffs of Moher is a sight that you almost need to experience yourself in order to truly grasp the beauty of it.

After a long day spent outdoors, we were ready to see what the small town of Doolin had to offer for dinner. Since it was Saturday night, most of the restaurants were packed. A few of us ended up sharing tables with tourists from other countries and ended up learning a lot about their own European adventures. After dinner, we began to settle into the Doolin Hostel for a night of rest before our journey back to the States in the morning. However, our night had a little bit of excitement left in store for us. One of the girl’s hair driers triggered the fire alarms, and we all (some of us in our bath towels) had to evacuate outside. The rest of our night consisted of strategically shoving all of our souvenirs into our suitcases and getting a good night’s sleep before our long day of travel.

Laura Bohnker
Senior, Biology

Rachel Kunst
Senior, Biochemistry