Vikings Take Galway!!!

Anddddd she's back. Sorry for the delay...it has been a WILD few days in these Irish lands, so this post will be a long one. Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start...what is it with me and these sound of music references?). So, Saturday. Saturday was a magical day that made me very thankful for two things: the Vikings and America. See, we started our day with a Viking Tour that basically represented everything Europeans hate about Americans. It was fantastic. We rallied our USC crew and basically took over one of the tour buses. Decked out in horned viking hats and our American finest, we hit the town, immediately befriending our hilarious tour guide who affectionately referred to us collectively as "America."
We were having plenty of fun in the company of just our tour, but the real magic happened whenever we passed someone looking at a map, holding a cup of coffee, or looking distinctly like a tourist--basically all of us, if we were the ones on the street and not the bus. When we passed these lucky individuals, our gem of a guide would quietly count down from 3 and then we would all scream at them and shake our viking fists. We got WAY too into it and loved every minute. Oh, I should mention that we spent some quality time on the party bus on the way to town, so the tour was especially enjoyable after that. Fun times were had all around.

Then the bus pulled a serious Jedi move and turned into a boat. Badass. We looked SO good in our viking hats and life jackets, especially when we did closed-mouth smiles.
God that's attractive.
Post viking tour, we cried a little bit because it was over. Then we got over it and went prowling the streets of Dublin, in search of a fun pub to eat lunch/dinner at. Then this happened:

That, my friends, would be Captain America. We were walking down the street, fully intending on finding some grand ole Irish pub, but upon sighting the sign for "Captain America's"...well, the rest is history. Dinner was fun, to say the least. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Good ole American fun. 

As joyous and blissful as Saturday was, we decided to get back into the Irish spirit and take the train to Galway on Sunday morning since Monday was a bank holiday. Despite a painful 6 am wake-up call and a nearly 3 hour long train ride, Galway was magnificent. I fell in love. After checking into our delightful little hostel Snoozles (so European of us), we caught the noon ferry to take us out to Inishmore, one of Galways beautiful Aran islands. Though we were exhausted, the beautiful Irish countryside invoked a burst of energy and adventure in us, and we rented bikes for a 7 mile (effing hilly) bike ride along the coast. I have no words for how impossibly beautiful this bike ride was. Luckily though, I do have photos, though they really don't do justice to the splendor of the Irish countryside.

Though breathtakingly beautiful, the bike ride was HARD. My thighs were feeling the burn, but we all pressed on, determined to do something active and wholesome after a pretty crazy week. Success! The long ride really reminded me that although experiencing the nightlife is crucial to getting the full experience of a new country, I am here for so much more than partying. Ireland is such an amazingly beautiful, cultural, and fascinating place, and I want to experience every facet of it--no matter how badly my thighs may burn in the process. That being said, the first thing we did after our commendable, eye-opening, and wholesome activity was head to the nearest pub and order pints of Guinness. Hey, when in Ireland, do as the Irish do. 

post bike-ride hydration at its finest
After our island excursion, though every inch of my body was imploring me to rest, we all rallied and got ready for a night out in Galway. I am SO glad we did. I'm sorry y'all, but the Americans have nothing on the Irish in terms of having a good time. On a SUNDAY night, every bar we went to was completely packed with Irish folk enjoying themselves immensely. It was fantastic. The first place we went was called Fibber Magees, which were lured to by the promise of free drinks from a Blonde Irish bartender prowling the streets looking for gullible Americans who looked to be more sober than they wished. I guess we fit the bill. I am actually glad we obliged because although those "free drinks" were nowhere to be found, the bar was bursting with craic (Irish for fun) and they were playing hilariously American party songs (think Like a G6 and Umbrella). Ali, Jennie, and I however started getting a little creeped out by these two old Irish guys posted up at the bar with their eyes glued on us American girls. Not chill, Irish dudes.
creepy men in the background!!!
So we left and headed to a supposed Galway favorite, The Front Door. So. Much. Fun. This place was much bigger than the first and much more...Irish? They even played the song "Galway Girl" (PS I Love You, anyone?), which literally made my life. I actually got up and started dancing and singing by myself, which turned a lot of heads, but not in the good way. This bar also reinforced the notion of the uh...boldness of young Irish gentlemen. I am a sucker for those accents...

So after a raucous night of Irish fun in Galway, we crashed hard at our lovely little hostel, Snoozles (which I actually highly recommend) and caught a morning train back to Dublin. I LOVED Galway but was so glad to be back in my own little room in Shanowen square--it's really starting to feel like home! 

Well, this post, per usual, is a novel, so although I have loads more to tell, I'll save that for another post. Stay tuned for a recap of my first couple days working as a journalist intern for Totally Dublin! 

Later y'all,


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