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A Few Weeks On The Irish West Coast

Alright, I’m not going to lie. Finding work in Ireland is really hard at the moment. There’s definitely still a recession going on over here. After leaving Belgium almost two months ago, I haven’t found a proper fulltime job yet. On the plus side, there is some money coming in. The website is finally taking off and I am doing some freelance work as a translator.

We – Caroline and I – spent a week or two in Dublin looking for jobs, without any luck, and then moved to Galway, on the windswept and rainy, but totally stunning Irish west coast.

Galway is where we decided to stay for a while, hoping for some job opportunities. In the end there seemed to be none. At all. It’s a gorgeous little city though, situated on the banks of the River Corrib, one of the shortest and fastest rivers in Europe. It’s absolutely a wonderful city to spend a week in when traveling; there are several sights to see and plenty of pubs to hang out in, including live trad music every single night.

Rain in Galway, Ireland.
A very wet first evening in Galway.

River Corrib, Galway, Ireland.
The River Corrib.
Colorful streets in Galway, Ireland.
Colorful streets.
Waterfront in Galway, Irish west coast.
Gorgeous waterfront in Galway.
Shop Street in Galway, Ireland.
Pubs, bars and shops on Shop Street.
Claddagh swans in Galway, Ireland.
The Claddagh swans.
Corrib River, Galway.
Low tide at the mouth of the Corrib.
Seafood in Galway, Ireland.
An abundance of seafood at the local market.
Salmon fishing in the Corrib, Galway.
Salmon fishing in the Corrib.
Galway Cathedral, Ireland.
Galway Cathedral.
Guinness in Galway, Ireland.
A nutritious Guinness in a Galway pub.
Typical street in Galway, Ireland.
Typical street in Galway.

Galway is also the perfect base to explore the remote regions in the west of Ireland. I’m talking about Connemara and the Burren.

We spent two days walking and cycling through Connemara, along its lakes and between its hills and mountains. Although it was the worst  bike I have ever ridden, the views, landscapes and scenery were nothing less than spectacular.

Amazing view in Connemara on the Irish west coast.
The first amazing view of the Connemara landscape.
Cycling in Connemara, Ireland.
Starting a 45km loop on the bicycle.
Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, Ireland.
Kylemore Abbey.
Stunning coastline in Connemara, Ireland.
Stunning coastline!
Connemara coast, Ireland.
Incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Heather in Connemara, Ireland.
Flowering heather alongside quiet roads.
Lakes in Connemara, Ireland.
One of many lakes in Connemara.

We spent only another day driving through the Burren, which is a vast region covered in rocks and stones, as far as the eye can see. It looks otherworldly. Never in my life have I seen a landscape that looks anything like this.

Dunguaire Castle, Irish west coast.
Dunguaire Castle.
The Burren, Irish west coast.
The emptiness of the Burren.
Poulnabrone Dolmen in the Burren, Ireland.
Poulnabrone Dolmen.
High Crosses in Kilfenora, Ireland.
High Crosses in Kilfenora.

Ireland’s #1 tourist attraction is located in the Burren: the Cliffs of Moher. No matter how busy it is, it’s a spectacular place and it totally lives up to the hype; definitely another highlight this year!

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland.
Cliffs of Moher.
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland.
Great view of the Cliffs.
Mussels in Guinness in Doolin, Ireland.
Amazing lunch in Doolin.
Wild landscape in the Burren, Ireland.
Unimaginable landscapes in the Burren.

So although we haven’t been working in Ireland so far, we have done some exploring!

However, after about a month in the west the unsuccesful job hunt was becoming increasingly frustrating. Therefore we took a break last week, went to Belgium and caught up with friends and family. We seized the opportunity to visit some new cities in Belgium and the Netherlands as well.

Yesterday morning we flew back to Ireland, ready for part two of the job search. We’re in Cork now, checking out the employment situation in the south of the island.

Fingers crossed!

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