Up and packed for Galway, our bus was able to leave a little before schedule. For some reason the students all find it easier to wake up on their holiday days than they did on their class days!
The schedule for the day was: Drive to Bunratty, tour the folk village, and settle in to Galway for the final leg of Irish Life Experience 2014.

A quick pit stop was taken in Adare en route to Bunratty. Adare is one of the most picturesque villages in Ireland. Emily Conway was delighted with the photo opportunities she got, but most students spent the few short minutes they had in the gift stores.

Everybody packed on to the bus again to continue to Bunratty Folk Village and were not disappointed when they arrived, because Scones was waiting for them there, nothing to do with the folk village. Well ok…, maybe something to do with the folk village. The group started with a tour of the castle and learned about the customs of the families that once lived there. Stephen was especially enthralled with the spy hole. Fernung family beware-he may be tempted to drill a few holes in your house on his return.

Everybody then went their separate ways to explore the village a little at their own pace. If you ever want to get an idea of exactly what Ireland was like 100 years ago, then Bunratty is definitely the best place to do it. Everything is as it would have been. Students could wander into the little thatched cottages to be greeted by women dressed in appropriate fashion baking in the kitchen. The aroma from the house of freshly baked apple tarts was incredible. Grace, who we’ve discovered has a love affair with food was thrown into a total conundrum-it smelled so good but was making her so hungry she didn’t know whether to stay or go. Of course David and Linnea just fell in love with the Irish Wolf Hounds immediately and spent most of their time trying to coax them over to the fence. Jess took plenty of pictures of the village streets and scenery saying it was too pretty not to document.

It wasn’t long until we had to herd the students on to the bus once more for the final drive to Galway.

First things first, having been given their room keys in Galway all of the students started to unpack neatly and quietly straight away. (Hopefully none of you are delusional enough to believe that, the WiFi password request ALWAYS comes first!) All of the apartments were in the same row, so students were free to roam in and out of each other’s living rooms. Until they realized that once more dinner was their own responsibility and they needed to shop for some supplies, a mad dash was made to Dunnes Stores shopping center across the road in an effort to outdo each others culinary abilities. On seeing the amount of frozen pizza boxes that had been purchased, we lost hope in being able to judge these culinary skills, but once we saw the amount of burnt/raw pizza some students were eating compared to the colorful stirfries some others were cooking, we were able to make a decent guess!

The students were wrecked tired after their day of traveling, so there weren’t too many shenanigans going on for the evening. Everybody wanted to be…, in David’s words…, bright eyed and bushy tailed for their Burren hike and their trip to the Cliffs of Moher. It was an early night all round.