Friday, June 15, 2007

Galway: A First Impression

We have just arrived in Galway and, despite the cold oceanfront weather, it feels like the place to be. It is a bit smaller and just more relaxed than Galway. To put it in easier terms: If Dublin was Chicago, then Galway would be Lake Geneva. It is very hard for me to ignore the extreme similarities between this town and many small lake communities throughout Wisconsin. The only difference is that when an old fisherman approaches you on the street here, you do not get scared for your life, because his foreign accent makes him sound, as the girls in the group say, cute.

Well, those are my first impressions of Galway. I look forward to taking in this new side of the country. Tomorrow I have a trip planned up north to Swinford, in County Mayo, to meet with some Irish relatives of mine that I have never met and know nothing about. I am excited for it and will be sure to keep you all posted after the trip.

Overall, we have had a very good week and I am happy with the progress we are making on the show. I also really like the part I have been given and hope that I`ll be able to flesh it out the way I see it in my head. As far as our cultural visits have gone, I feel that we have truly seen a lot already. The shows we saw were interesting, Sweeney Todd was very well performed and had to be one of the best staged shows I have ever seen due to its creepiness and Barefoot in the Park brought me my first experience seeing Irish actors attempt American accents. It was weird to be on the other side of this. It was a little rough. They had a talk-back for us afterwards and lets just say that they thought they nailed the American accent. We were also brought on a general walking tour of Dublin where we saw many landmarks and got just a general history of Ireland and the city. Trinity College`s campus sadly put Marquette to shame. The Ghost Bus Tour was not very funny (although the Borat-quoting guide thought so) but was very worth it for the stops and actual stories.

Our trip to the Art Museum was also very interesting, seeing things from paintings, to stained-glass windows, to Francis Bacon`s very own, intact art studio, to short films. I spent a lot of time in the last mentioned. But, overall, the most interesting visit for me was to the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks. Aside from the many elaborate objects on display, the museum had a recently opened, huge exhibition about the history of the Irish military from the Middle-Ages through the fighting for Irish Independence and then to the present. Some of us spent a lot of time in this exhibit, myself and Liam personally staying for over an hour. It just really drew me in. I can`t get over just how much history there is to learn about this country as a whole. I think its just shocking coming to a country with so much more recorded history than we have, as the Europeans did not discover America until 500 years ago.

Well, I`ll spare you any more rambling for today. I`m off to take in Galway and will hopefully be able to write again soon.

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