I was heading into the tiny village of Doolin following a visit to the Cliffs of Moher and an hour shy of the night’s festivities. Feverishly unpacking my effects at the Aille River hostel, I managed to wash up and hastily set off just in time.
Doolin is one of those quintessential places that let you experience everything you’ve dreamt it would be like – or at least it was for me and my comrades. I want you to think of your ideal experience of Ireland, as it’s likely the same as I imagined prior to my travels of this past April. Beautiful views of a humble village, a pub of locals and other friendly faces passing the hours of night without an eye at a clock. Whilst having the time of their lives, accompanied with rounds of flowing pints and cheerful moods, inspired by vibrant local song.
A beautiful sunset snuck over the tiny village that sat atop the rolling hills that slyly merged into the sandy coast. Within the village, I followed a steady pace of locals and travelers alike, sauntering to the edge of town. Where the faint rattle of makeshift drums and the speedy shrill of a violin were able to be heard. I was traveling alone this night, separated from my travel companions who already visited two nights prior. I sat at the closest empty table near the duo performing a traditional Irish verse.
Their entire bodies were emphatic in motion, smacking their occasional freehand on their knee as their feet kept the steady beat. Faster and faster they played, as the pub was alit with merriment, cheers and a playful revel. Joining my table, I passed the time making new friends from Germany and Switzerland. We shared in hilarious personal stories, we put cultural rumors and ill-perceived perceptions to rest, while enjoying what seemed like an endless supply of the black elixir Guinness stout. That night will forever be my fondest memory of my three week trek through Europe.
Ireland is known for having the most friendly people in all the world – I have not visited the entire world as of yet, but I will agree that the Irish are among the nicest I’ve ever met. Ireland felt like my true home, I’ve never felt the same kind of acceptance and simple passion anywhere else before.
Doolin is known for its musical heritage and festivities. If you ever find yourself in Ireland, make sure that Doolin is one of your can’t-miss stops!