Day 3 - Buses and Smurfs

Doolin Travel Blog

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Sunset on Atlantic at Doolin, Ireland

Sept. 7, 2007:  Day 3 – Buses and Smurfs


            I got up semi-early and said goodbye to Blair, Tomek and a few others from L’Arche.  I was very thankful for their hospitality.

            I had purchased a bus ticket from Dublin to Galway the day before, and head toward to bus station in downtown Dublin.  I bought a banana (0.60 Euro) and filled my CamelBak for the trip.

            I got to the station just in time for the 10am bus, but missed it due to trying to change my ticket (to no avail) to go straight to Doolin where I had booked a hostel near the Cliffs of Moher.

Beginnings of the Cliffs of Moher at sunset
  So I had to wait an hour for the 11am bus.

            On the way to Galway I noticed how green the land was, and I noticed how there was minimal suburban sprawl.  Actually, I would say there was no suburban sprawl.  Once outside Dublin it was bright green pastures with four foot tall man-made rock barriers instead of fences that kept in cattle and sheep.  Besides the occasional bus stop where we would pass through a small town with a bar or two, and some small buildings, the green pastures comprised the trip.  It’s very refreshing not to be bombarded by Wal-Marts, Home Depots and billboards like in America.

            After almost five hours we arrived in Galway.

Northern part of the Cliffs of Moher at sunset
  I bought my ticket to Doolin, and waited two hours for the bus to depart.  During that time I explored the college town a little, stopping at the city park to borrow the wireless internet and observe the college students.  I ate at Subway (yes, Subway, I know…terrible of me to eat at an American chain) and enjoyed a six-inch tuna sub.

            At 6pm I said goodbye to Galway and two hours later, after passing through more green pastures on very narrow roads, was in the quaint sea-side town of Doolin.  The sun was setting on the Atlantic and, after checking into the hostel, I made my way to see it set on the water.  I just missed it though, but got some good pictures of the aftermath.  The beginning of the Cliffs of Moher were close to the hostel and we stunning in the fading sunlight.

            Luckily the hostel sold food and I bought 500g of spaghetti and some sauce (2.

My new friends in Doolin
20 Euros).  The large kitchen had one big table where everyone sat and ate.  I met a couple from Canada who now live in Switzerland, two guys from Munich who talked about how touristy and overpriced Oktoberfest can be (uh oh), and three travelers named Justin, Carrie and Gabby.

            Justin is from California and is traveling through Europe for 4 months.  He had met Gabby a couple weeks prior at a hostel in London.  Gabby is from Australia, and so is Carrie.  They were all traveling together, and had also met a couple German guys who were staying at the hostel down the street. 

            I felt comfortable around them, and it was great when I found out we were sharing the same room that night. 

            We all ended up going out to a couple of bars with the two German guys, Yogi (“like the bear” as he says) and Stefan.  Yogi knows more American pop culture and slang than most Americans and it was hilarious hearing him say certain phrases like “hoochie momma” and referring to “Brendan and Kelly from Beverly Hills 90210”. 

            I learned some slang from the crew; in Aussi (‘skulls’ for chug, chug!; ‘shrapnel’ for loose change in pockets) and German (‘ex’ for chug, chug!).  And we talked about politics, cartoons (Smurfs is from the Netherlands right?) and movies.  It was good being in the company of people.

On the way back to the hostel the stars were brilliant due to the lack of moon, light pollution and clouds.  I pointed out the Big Dipper, Milky Way and North Star to Carrie and Gabby since they are from the Southern Hemisphere where you cannot see them.

Tomorrow is the Cliffs of Moher.  Moher…I like the sound of that.

CrazyLisa says:
Absolutely love the pictures. So pretty. Looks like you met a fun group of people to hang out with!
Posted on: Sep 11, 2007
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Sunset on Atlantic at Doolin, Irel…
Sunset on Atlantic at Doolin, Ire…
Beginnings of the Cliffs of Moher …
Beginnings of the Cliffs of Moher…
Northern part of the Cliffs of Moh…
Northern part of the Cliffs of Mo…
My new friends in Doolin
My new friends in Doolin
photo by: chrisrae