Livia Romanov: Antique Lands

Mystique and Cecelia walking through Galway (Liv Romanov)

It was unanimously agreed that our current hotel in Limerick had a better breakfast than the Titanic. A staggered breakfast time between buses allowed for a more relaxing time preparing for the busy day ahead.

We enjoyed a wonderful guided tour of the town of Galway. Everywhere you looked there were flags, stone foundations, and (most importantly) dogs! Our tour guide told us phenomenal stories of monkeys saving babies and men executing their sons. The history was so rich you could feel it in the cobblestone.

Besides spending the bus rides perfecting my Irish accent with my best friends, I loved looking out the window.

On the drive out to the Cliffs of Moher, we passed through hills that were once covered by glaciers. Over the years the ice carried huge slabs of granite down the mountains, and over the years people settled here in this gorgeous valley. But over the years people also perished in this gorgeous valley.

There were miles and miles of cobblestone walls that formed grids in the valley. Built as far back as the 19th century to create jobs, they still stand today. But every mile or two, there would be ruins of old buildings. Sometimes you could only see the foundation, sometimes the roof was still intact, sometimes there would be a forest growing from the old drain pipes. Sometimes there would be a few gravestones tucked away in a backyard.

This scenery reminds me of the British Romantic poet Percy Shelley, and his work Ozymandias. Both presidents and kings have a tendency to fall to rubble. Humanity is the only thing that preserves the past, as we saw in Galway. A town built from the decaying civilization before it. In the valley, humanity was lost.

On a lighter note, we saw the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher for a mere 45 minutes. But the gorgeous views were a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The water was so blue, the waves framed the rocks just right, and we didn’t get blown over by the wind.

The highlight of the day was by far the Irish music workshop. In one hour we learned a traditional Irish tune in the breathtaking Dysert O’Dea Castle. Working in separate groups, we all came together at the end to perform this to a very loving and supportive audience. We then enjoyed a barbecue dinner by our amazingly talented teachers. The band improvised on modern music with an Irish twist. Needless to say, it was a big hit with the orchestra.

I’m looking forward to more enlightening bus rides on the way to Wexford and Dublin tomorrow.

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