Sunday morning - time to leave the city of Galway and visit the surrounding area. I definitely want to go back to Galway so that I can explore the city during the day and really see what it has to offer. The time I spent there was a BLAST but I just didn't get enough! Maybe in a few weeks...
All of us got on the bus completely exhausted from the weekend. Most people were hungover (not me), everyone was tired from a lack of sleep (definitely me), and we were just tired in general from a lot of riding on the bus. That day we were visiting Kylemore Abbey and I took the time getting there to get in some much needed nap time. When we finally got to the abbey I was surprised to see a beautiful stone castle! Apparently the building started out as a castle in the 1800s and was turned into an abbey and then a boarding school for girls. It was a very secluded castle set right on a lake and surrounded by only water and woods. We went for a look inside the castle (unfortunately only some of the rooms were open for viewing) and learned that the original owner of the castle (Mitchell Henry) had also built a small neo-gothic cathedral and mausoleum in honor of his wife who had died at a very young age. What an unimpressive gesture of his love...ONLY a cathedral and mausoleum?
It was a gorgeous fall day (in general we've been really lucky with the weather here) and we all took the opportunity to walk around the grounds and take it all in. The weather and greenery reminded me a lot of New England and it made me a bit homesick. But then I casually walked past a castle and was reminded that I definitely was not in the states.
Somehow on the drive back to Dublin, the ride turned into some sort of karaoke/dance contest. First our teacher taught us a traditional Irish song and we got to sing over and over again (lucky us). Then someone plugged in their iPod and played "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Wagon Wheel" for a little taste of home followed by some classic Nelly for a dance contest in the aisles of the bus. I have no idea what it is about busses and long rides but people always seem to band together as a bus community and there's no telling what will happen. You combine that with being over-tired and it was a little bit of madness. But I enjoyed every minute of it until I finally passed out.