The aran islands are a must see for any visit to Ireland! I have had the most amazing three days here. It is the only place left where Irish is the residents first language, and where it is also spoken in the schools. It is ideal for biking here, so Kara ( a fellow couchsurfer) and I rented bikes for our stay. On our second day here our host (Glen) biked and hiked with us to the black fort. The day we went there it was overcast and spitting out but it was breath taking all the same. The next night was saint johns day and the whole island was talking about it, they celebrate by each village having a huge bonfire. The local children burn their school books and the dads are in charge of putting the bigger items like mattresses and staircases on it, and all of the moms bake sweets and cook Christmas sausages. They were so hospitable, and the fun goes late into the night, definitely my favorite night on the island so far. Local phrase: what's the craic? Translation: what's going on?/what's up
Right now I am sitting in the lobby of the hostel where my couchsurfing host works. from here I can see the Atlantic ocean that separates us from the mainland. So much of this remote island reminds me of nova scotia, little colorful houses, the generous hospitality and the coastal beauty.
Yesterday I rented a bike and biked to the highest point on the island, it was amazing!
I'm safe in Ireland, I arrived to Ennis on the 18th and I am leaving for Galway tomorrow. The hostel I'm staying at in Ennis is so nice! It is called the Rowan Tree Hostel. When I first arrived there were tons of families staying here for a hurling tournament. Hurling is a traditional Irish sport, and I would say it's like a combo of feild hockey and lacrosse. Yesterday I met a girl from Japan and a girl from Australia. I found out very quick that you have to be really outgoing if you are traveling by yourself. And when I was talking with the girl from Australia (Amy) she mentioned that she only knew two stereotypes of Canadians, and so far everyone that she has met from Canada has proven them right. The first one was that we are the friendlyist people on the planet and the second was that we always know what way is north, east, west, and south. Hopefully I will get to post again soon, all depends on the Internet access here. Cheers from Ireland!