Why Galway? Why Not Some-place-else?
Ireland is rich in literary history. James Joyce, Yeats, Lady Gregory to name a few. Not to mention that Fairfield University has a strong tie to Galway University which enabled Michael and Elizabeth to recruit a respected Irish author, Michael McCormack, and an acclaimed poet, Eva Rourke, to teach. This specific location was also ripe for many of the students with roots in Ireland so when our day off came, we were eager to roam the hills of Galway and its surrounding counties.
We hopped onto a tour bus and roamed the Cliffs of Mohar, visited Lady Gregory’s estate and Yeats home. We walked among the ruins of castles and villages. We took picture after picture, attempting to absorb the atmosphere provided by this rich environment. Green hills, wandering clouds. A primarily agricultural community rich in culture and history. What really made the tour interesting wasn’t so much the history as told by the plaques but rather by the tour guides who would add a bit of flavor to the tellings. “I know they say that Lady Gregory and Yeats started the Galway Literary movement but that’s rubbish,” began one of our guides. Our ears perked to hear the bits that few knew, other than those native to the area.
By the end of the day, we were all tired but topped off the traveling with a wonderful meal at a small restaurant and marveled at the seafood.
Reinvigorated by our day off, we headed back to our apartments and readied for the next day of classes by reading the pieces that would be workshopped the next day and reviewing the homework assignments for the seminars. Never a dull moment in Galway.