This adventure is born totall out of the blue, it was not even slightly prepared. We have booked two tickets to spend a weekend in London along with a couple of friends, then, just days before leaving, we have this feeling of anxiety just thinking about spending that three days in a large, crowded city.
So, we book a connecting flight for the near Ireland, the opportunity to meet some old friends just another reason to have our plans changed! Tickets bought, a room with Airbnb booked, and we’re done.
And then we land in London, just an hour waiting at the airport, and we check-in again towards Shannon, in the greeny, rainy and relaxing Ireland.
Our journey is not over yet, a couple of hours by bus are awaiting for us to bring us to our final destination: Galway, another Irish city on the West coast, but further North from Shannon. Two old friend of mine are waiting for us, another couple of amazing girls who I met more than a year ago in my long solo-backpacking summer in Portugal, in august 2013.
It really is a pleasure to mee them again after such a longtime; we have tried several times to meet, but there had always been something against us, both our lives full of commitments or some overpriced tickets.
Now, finally, we can hug each other again, and after the greetings, we chat for a long time, comfortably seat at the table of one of the famous Irish pub, a good beer in our hand to overcome the language difficulties.
The morning after is our first awakening on Irish land and the plan is already scheduled: Galway is one of the closest town to the Aran Islands and it would be a shame not to go there.
After a bus ride in the pouring rain – which we hope will quit soon – we continue our trip on a crowded ferry which really slowly moves away from the shore, while we begin to glimpse the shore of the Aran Islands.
There is one thing that for sure we will not lack of: a lot of hours of transportation, with all the possible means!
While the rain gives us, at last, some rest, we get closer to the islands. Far away, in the shadow of the towering clouds, low on the horizon, some house and a lighthouse are the only foreign elements in this otherwise wild land.
Finally, after hours spent sitting on a bus and a ferry, we reach the desired pier.
We still have not done the first step on land and another downpour comes. We take the chance for a brunch that will have us fed until tonight, then straight to the bike rental, the only way visit the whole island in the few hours at our disposal.
It is a shame not to have time to visit the three islands, but here it is and it can be a good excuse to come back for another visit here in Ireland.
Still wet, but determined not to being stopped by a few drops of rain – well, a lot of rain – we rent the bikes, prepare our waterproof jackets and jump on the saddle, ready to enjoy this day which seems to becoming a sunny one.
In these flat lands, the first thing that catches everyone eye, are the colors: they are all so bright from the blue of the sky and the ocean, to the green grass, the pristine white of the houses and the colorful waterproof jackets of the tourists.
Every colour is vivid, full of life, each graze neatly divided by the typical stone walls that resist, against all odds, in time.
Between a ride and a pause, a meadow and a hill, we get some time to rest and admire in the distance, the coast, slightly concealed by the clouds, like a mirage far away.
The landscape is so flat, there are no mountains anywhere to be seen, just some hills only meters high.
For us, used to be surrounded by the majestic Alps, it is really strange feeling, it as we miss something: we turn around and it is a 360° degrees of blue, in front of us and above, only a blue sky and the deep blue ocean.
Almost on our way back to the pier, biking along the curved road, we come across a populated beach. Beyond a channel bounded by the accumulation of debris and algae, in the low water heated by the sun , we are not the only one admiring the horizon.
Stretched out in the sun, enjoying the warm weather or maybe just curious about us, there are several seals. We try to reach them slowly, both to not to disturb them and not to slick on the slippery algae on the bottom, since the water is quite cold. The water is brushing our trousers folded up to the limit and it really is hard not to finish totally plunged in the water.
We would have a bad time being wet for the rest of the day, with this cold wind that blows and freezes us, better not to fall down.
What for an unexpected encounter, the seals! We had never seen a seal before and especially from such close to, they were just a few meters from us – and since they were becoming nervous about our approach, we gave up.
Before setting back to the ferry, we climb on the highest part of the island of Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands.
From up here it is possible to see the ocean in all of its majesty. Nothing but endless blue ocean.
And before going back to the ferry, we take some time for a snack, a different tipe of pic-nic: all together, on top of the cliff, we cheer to this experience and a picture of us all is due.
Sharing an experience is always the best way to live it. Travelling alone is nice, but it does not have the same flavor as when you can share your time with someone.
There is a long way back home awaiting for us, a ferryboat and then a bus. For sure we will have time for a relaxing nap, after all the wandering on this little island.
Our dinner is already booked: we will be the cooks of a perfect Italian style “pasta al sugo” – it would be better with an italian home made tomato sauce, but no liquid is admiss on the plane. It will be another long night of talk and refreshed memories of our surfing times and Portuguese parties. And despite the local irish accent which is a little hard to understand, everything goes smoothly, with some funny misunderstandings
Good evening everybody, tomorrow more adventures are waiting for us, discovering the green Ireland.