By: Kelsey Ufford, a Middle School Science Teacher who graduated in May, and
Rachel Heveron, an upcoming senior at UNI studying Leisure Youth and Human Services
Well, it wasn’t exactly sunny and 75 degrees, but it was still a great day to take a ferry to the Aran Islands. Our day began at 9 a.m. when we departed from Doolin.
We arrived at Inishmore Island, which is the biggest island of the three. On our way, we met Sandy the dolphin as she toodlin’ around the boat.
Rachel, Nick, Josie, Brittney, and Sam riding on the ferry:
Once on the islands, we went to the Bay View Restaurant for lunch and then made our way to the Aran Islands Bike Hire. From there, we were able to take two major paths with six key points of interest. They include Dun Anoghasa, which is a spectacular stone fort where you can get the best view of the entire island. We then made our way to the Aran Seal Colony and at low tide we could clearly see seals. Some of us even got to see some on high tide! Along the way, we were able to see some of the seven old stone churches that still remain.
When we were done riding the bike there were two little shops that we were able to explore. The Aran Sweater Market was by far the most popular among the group. There you could purchase wool clothing, mittens, blankets, hats, and just about anything you could imagine. Most students bought socks for family members and personal use.
Our ferry left the island at 4 p.m. sharp. We had to make sure that we were on time because that was the last ferry ride of the day. On the way back, the ferry ride was much colder with bigger waves. Many students began feeling woozie. Luckily, we made back to Doolin with no accidents.
From there, we started our four hour bus ride to Wexford. About two hours into our journey we stopped for supper. Students were able to get a taste of home with Papa Johns Pizza. The only difference is that they were served with French fries. Two hours later we arrived at the hotel. There we were able to get much needed sleep and WIFI. This was a very nice hotel with amazing showers and big comfy beds.
What’s more sustainable then riding a bike around the island all day? Once off the ferry, the majority of the options of transportation was either bike or horse and buggy. There were bus tours available, but it was not the most popular mode of transportation. While riding around the islands, we saw water troughs for cows that got filled up by the rain water. We saw major recycling bins that had you separate out the color of glass and tin.
The toilet paper came out one sheet at a time so one only uses as much as needed. Their toilets, like most of the UK, had little water in them to prevent water waste. Overall, this is a very sustainable island.