We’ll Always Have Galway

Well, it’s official: I’ve pretty much only got a week left here. Sorry I’ve been so bad about blogging the past few weeks, I’ve gone through a few papers, an exam, and a bout of unproductive behavior.

But I’ve got to catch you guys up on my few days in Florence and all the shenanigans I’ve been up to in the past weeks. So, Sunday morning of my week of Eurotripping, I boarded a train headed to Florence from Paris. I was delayed a bit because there was a casual marathon going on right down the street from my hotel, which was stressful since I was forced to cross the throng of runners in order to get to the metro. But I was able to make it to my train and spent the day glued to the window taking in views of the French countryside and the Alps; it was definitely a lot more worth it than taking a flight. I arrived in Florence around 9 pm and met up with Rose, a good friend of mine in my Theta pledge class, to go back to her apartment, where I would be staying for the next few nights. Her apartment was gigantic and only about 50 yards away from the Duomo.

The next day, I met up with Katie and Shelby to tour the Duomo, see the Ponte Vecchio, and walk around the city. It kind of surprised me to see how small the city was, especially with the crazy amount of tourists that are there. In all honesty, it was a little bit underwhelming considering the other cities I’d been to, but beautiful nonetheless, plus the weather was beautiful. Later Monday night, I met up with my friend Matt, a fellow William and Mary student, for dinner at a pretty authentic Italian restaurant that had to-die-for gnocchi with truffle oil. After dinner, I went out with Laura, a friend of mine from camp, to a pub called the Lion’s Fountain, where I ran into Shelby and another William and Mary student named Hannah.

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The next few days in Florence were filled with eating way too much food and walking around the city taking in the sights. My last night there, Rose and I went out to a Spanish themed bar called Salamanca and had a great time! Then, Rose and her housemate Sabrina came back to Galway with me for a few days. I showed them around the city center and my campus, took them out to Carbon, the Front Door, and the Roisin Dubh, as well as the Cellar Bar for dinner one night. Overall it was a great week spent with great friends!

The past couple of weeks have been spent taking advantage of my time left in Galway, hanging out with, and sadly saying goodbye to, some really awesome people, and thinking about how my abroad experience has affected and changed me as a person. I’ve started making friends with the staff of the Roisin Dubh, my all-time favorite bar with a really cool indie scene, hanging out at gigs with DJ’s and band members, and getting to know the locals in new environments. I feel like I’m really getting acclimated to this part of Galway culture, but it sucks because it’s happening so late in the semester with so little time left. I’ve met some really cool and inspiring people that I hope to keep up with on my return to the States.

This city has become my second home. The people, the atmosphere, and yes, even the weather, have earned extremely special places in my heart. It really saddens me that in my heart of hearts I know I probably won’t ever see a lot of these people again, but my outlook on life, ideas of culture, and own personality have been irrevocably altered in some really awesome ways. While I am really excited to be reunited with my friends from home and at school, some part of me has turned into a Galway girl. And though I’ve got to leave this place in a matter of days, I know I’ll always have Galway.

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