ireland: galway

A Ring With Special Powers?

The BOXCar

By TheBOX Car’s featured Travel writer Sharen Ram

The more I travel about in Ireland, the more I come to realize that this country is full of stories about love.  These stories may all start off in a face-off between good and evil in times of war and heartbreak but it seems that all the myths about leprechauns, fairies, and the underworld tie back to romantic notions of love conquering all.  I could go on and on about these mythical tales but it seems making my way through County Galway is where I’ve heard most of them and this in turn, is the birthplace of the Claddagh ring.

There are as many versions of the legend about the origin of the ring as there are different takes of the distinctive design with 2 hands holding onto a heart that’s wearing a crown.  The legend I like to believe as truth is…

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Categories: IRELAND, ireland: galway | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sickness Peninsula followed by Cliffs of Flu

killarney, St. Mary's Cathedral, ireland, travel

St. Mary’s Cathedral

For this leg of my Irish travels, I became a Shamrocker and found myself on 5 non-stop days of a bus adventure taking me to the depths of what should be done in Ireland.  It was all easy breezy at the beginning where I essentially joined a hoard of Aussies dotted with a few Americans and Canadians and set off to the wild countryside of the Emerald Isle.  After smooching that damn Blarney Stone, I sailed into Killarney without any issues but the next morning is where my troubles began.

I woke up not feeling 100% myself but blamed the lady conversation about a wayward man and a baby named Abbey that was happening loudly in the hallway amongst a fit of hysterical cries at 3am that woke me out of a dead sleep.  Nothing a little caffeine wouldn’t fix right?  WRONG.  As we made our way around, on and off, the rain beat down on us as the bus tightly hugged every curve of that countryside road in order for us to explore the dramatic Dingle Peninsula.  Sadly, all I could think about is when the hell is this adventure going to end.  After a day of stunning beaches and little surfer towns, we finally made it to our end destination of Ennis where I felt like I was every shade of green and would have lost every bit of my lunch hours ago if I had managed to choke it down in the first place.

Dingle Pennisula, Coumeennole Beach

Coumeennole Beach in the Dingle Peninsula

Ah Ennis – how little I saw of you.  Yes, there was time to explore the town and check out a little traditional music in the pubs but I was having none of it.  I was completely content on my bottom bunk in a haunted hostel snoring away for a slumber that lasted about 14 hours.  For some sad reason even after that type of sleep, I woke up feeling woozy and more queasy than anyone ever should.  I couldn’t even fathom the idea of choking down breakfast prior to boarding the bus and setting off on another days adventure of twisty turny countryside roads leading to all things spectacular until we made it to our final destination of the day in Galway.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland, Travel

Cliffs of Moher

the burren, ireland, travel

The Burren

This was the day that I was visiting the stunning Cliffs of Moher rising hundreds of feet over the Atlantic Ocean before exploring the weird magical world of the Burren – Ireland’s lunar landscape and home to ancient tombs, fairies and leprechauns (as stated in the brochure).  Even in my haze of unwellness, I could see how this was all eye candy but at the time I may have made a smart aleck comment about how it all just resembles the Great Ocean Road and parts of New Zealand minus the beautiful weather and then found a warm place where I could potentially curl up in a ball and die.  It was official – I had flu but as I was in the middle of nowhere and so there was no choice other than to let the show go on.

What is known as a “Galway Hooker”

There was pity all around me but that couldn’t change the fact that I was on a bus and could feel every bump and turn as we made our way along a winding road.  Our driver and fearless tour guide felt my pain as they would give me status updates of how much longer until the next stop and constantly kept reassuring me to shout out if I needed to make an unscheduled stop.  By the time we finally made it to Galway – enough was enough and I pulled out the good old credit card and upgraded.  The best that could be done at that time was a standard single room with no ensuite so I shelled out over double of what I would have paid and called it a night.

Categories: IRELAND, ireland: ennis, ireland: galway, ireland: killarney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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