Ireland’s Majestic Beauty

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Jenna Holeman is a CISabroad student studying in Ireland this semester, originally hailing from Ohio University. Follow her journey through a few different excursions she went on throughout the country.


CISabroad has excursions set in our programs that help us explore the country we are studying abroad in. Early October our group went on a weekend trip along the east side of Ireland to visit the Cliffs of Moher, Galway, and the Aran islands. I have been in Ireland for a month and am constantly blown away by its beauty, but this trip was a life-defining moment. It was absolutely gorgeous.jenna6

We started with a rainy bus ride to Galway. For a point of reference, Ireland is about the size of Indiana, so traveling from one end of the country to the next doesn’t take terribly long. From Dublin to Galway it was about 3 hours.

I have never stayed in a hostel before and was excited to see what this would look like. Was it going to be a huge room with a bunch of beds? Was it going to be clean?  Was it like a hotel? Upon arrival, I was assigned a room and given a room key. The room had three bunk beds and an adjoining bathroom. My first experience in a hostel was grand. This location even provided a light breakfast for its travelers.

The following morning we took off from Galway to Doolin. The ride to Doolin was about 2 hours of gorgeous scenery.jenna1

From Doolin, we took a ferry to the Aran Islands. It was a mild day on the waters, so the ferry ride wasn’t bad, but I heard horror stories from previous groups of how sea sick people got from the rocking of the boat.

jenna2We went to the Inisheer . It is the smallest of the Aran islands with a population of approximately 250 people! It is incredibly small at 3.1 square miles! We went on a tour that explained the rich  history of the island and made stops at key locations such as The Plassy, a shipwreck site featured in the opening credits of a popular Irish show Father Ted.

We also walked through Tiemphall chaomha (church of St. Keevauns), a church surrounded by a graveyard. The church looked as if it had sunken into the ground giving it an eerie, lost society look to it.jenna3

Embarking on this journey to Ireland, I knew I wanted to try new food items since back at home I tend to be a picky eater. On this particular trip, I tried goat and fish! Embracing different foods that make up the culture is so important, so I am really glad I stepped out of my comfort zone.  Innisheer had a small pub with amazing fish and chips!

After arriving back to Doolin, we immediately headed to the Cliffs of Moher.

jenna5This moment has to be one of my top life moments. I was blown away by the sheer beauty. Moments like this really make me grateful for this opportunity. I would highly suggest anyone in Ireland take time out of their trips to visit.

I mean come on, how can you not be amazed at the cliffs?! My favorite moment being in Ireland so far.

Until next time,

Jenna