I awoke on my very first morning in Glencolmcille to blue skies, perfect weather, and the smell of an enormous full Irish breakfast cooked by my sweet host mother, Margaret. I ate with the two other girls staying at the house, Mags and Liz, and as we ate breakfast Margaret mentioned that it would be a perfect day to hike to the Norman tower. It would take around an hour and a half to get there, but since this was our only full day off and we were excited to explore.
It happened to be Easter Sunday, so as we walked we ran into many dressed up families on their way back from Mass. We started up one well worn foot path when two small boys ran up to us, still dressed in their church clothes.
"Would you like a rock? It's free!" said one, who then informed us his name was Matthew.
We laughingly accepted the little boy's offer of free rocks and looked at his rock collection until his older brother pulled him away to play soccer in the yard.
As we climbed up and up the hill we eventually came to a marshy peat bog. I'd never seen real peat before, so it was really cool to see the neat layers that local farmers had cut.
The part that wasn't so cool was squelching through the wet, marshy bog...Matthew's rocks came in handy as we used them as stepping stones to make our way across.
Finally, we made it to the Norman tower! It was cool, but the real view was a short walk away, over to the cliffs.
Margaret had mentioned the cliffs used to be notorious for pirates and shipwrecks. As we peered down, it wasn't hard to imagine either.
Even though we were winded, soggy, and hungry from the hike, the three of us were all smiling from ear to ear as we surveyed the view and snapped photos. It was a great introduction to Glencolmcille.