The enigma that is Éire: Ireland in photos
The sea mist caresses my nostrils as the North Atlantic sun sweeps away the blanket of grey, ensuring the oft-cloudy green island that the sun still exists. A white tour bus idles across the street, collecting passengers from the row of B&Bs on College Street before carrying on to the countryside and nearby attractions. Seagulls hop among chimneys, leaking out a few squeaks and squawks before soaring onward. The sparse clouds move quickly and a breeze sets in, leaving me curious as to how the day's weather will unfold.
Galway's ever-changing forecast is as reliable as searching for a local pub that serves dinner past 8 p.m. Ireland's lack of meteorological consistency is ameliorated by its friendly folk, quaint quirks, and ability to leave you guessing.
Ireland can't seem to make up her mind when it comes to weather. As badly as she wants to be sunny, the clouds aren't having it, using any means necessary to claw their way into the sky's sought-after space. But the sun is resilient, fighting her way through the larger, faster, more imposing colleagues of the sky. Every now and then, the wind kicks in and jostles the atmosphere, interrupting the ongoing battle and adding a degree of difficulty for both parties.
Four p.m. on a Sunday afternoon in Temple Bar, Dublin, feels like a raucous Friday night in any other city. Imbibers stand outside pubs with their pints, smoking cigarettes, leaning on barrels. Conversations among strangers are littered with a litany of accents, and live music rings from the pubs' interiors; for that brief moment when a door is open, I am privy to a line of the band's storytelling, commonly found in trad (traditional) Irish music.
My sister and I meander through Dublin's cobblestone streets, away from the crowds in Temple Bar and into the real Dublin. We see our namesake splashed on law firm buildings and street signs, and we pay a visit to the National Library to investigate a bit of our Irish heritage.
An afternoon drizzle accents our peaceful walk through St. Stephen's Green, a park filled with ducks, swans, and stretches of shady green paths. In any city I visit, I always make a point to visit the green spaces, the parks, an expanse where I can step away from the urban noise and into a cove of quiet, even just for a few minutes.
Having visited a fair amount of cosmopolitan European cities with unmatched architecture, art, and restaurants, I now find myself longing for more remote destinations, where tourists rarely go and where I am able to take part in an aspect of local life. For future travels and posts, I will continue to pop around to a few cities here and there, but I also plan to explore and write about lesser known locales where I can bask in my newfound definition of travel.