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Two weeks ago, Jon and I were in Bray, just south of Dublin, for our friend Laura’s birthday celebration.  It rained like crazy while we took the commuter train down to Bray, and we waited out the last couple minutes of the storm in the train station.  As soon as the rain let up, the sun started shining through the clouds, and Jon and I knew we were in rainbow territory. It only took a minute to find one forming in the sky, in the direction of the beach.  We rushed towards it, hoping to enjoy it before it disappeared.

This was the biggest, brightest rainbow I’ve ever had the chance to see.  We spent the next 15 minutes admiring, snapping photos, and walking along the beach.

The reflection in the puddles was pretty cool.

A stunning look at the Irish sea looking north towards Dublin, and then south towards Bray Head.

More cool reflections.

And shot of us together before the rainbow vanished.

No pot of gold – the rainbow was treasure enough!

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Spring is finally making its way to Galway!  This photo was taken over a month ago, on a randomly gorgeous day.  Since then, we’ve had a lot of rain, some snow, a couple rounds of hail, and generally chilly temperatures. But it’s getting better now – buds on trees, flowers blooming, temperatures rising…

To welcome spring in, we’ve planted a little herb garden in planter boxes on our back porch.  I’m terrible with gardens, so we’ll see if we can keep everything alive! Photos to come.

I was told a couple months back that we would be “really lucky to see snow in Galway.”

Turns out we are the luckiest of them all!  The first appearance of snow was at Christmas, and we’ve been gifted more snow this week.  Unfortunately, this was the weekend we planned to rent a car and explore the isle with our dear friend Ellen, who is visiting.

Ireland, it turns out, is woefully unprepared for the weather we’re having.  For a Minnesota girl, the panicked response to an inch of snow is sometimes funny, and sometimes annoying.  It is icy, but shutting down ALL bus service in Dublin, for this?

icy grafton street

My favorite example of the reaction to this “arctic weather” is this map, which we found while looking for information about road conditions.

danger!

Needless to say, we canceled our rental car reservation!

On Tuesday morning, I dug my bright pink rain boots out of the closet for the first time this year. I had been saving them for a day when the weather was really bad, and Tuesday morning’s weather certainly fit that description. I carefully folded my jeans inside the boots, slipped on my pink raincoat, pulled the hood over my head, and ventured out of the apartment towards the library.

Outside, I faced the rain, which was falling diagonally from the sky in sheets. I struggled against the wind, alongside the rushing River Corrib, past silly Irish women who appeared to care more about fashion than staying dry. Proud of my sensible American roots, I marched on through the cold rain (which turned to hail for a moment) to class.

I’d been warned about the unending rain in Ireland, especially in Galway. But I had no idea that it would be so… severe. I’ve been told many times by native Galwegians that people in Galway don’t use umbrellas because they are no match for the wind and horizontal rain that Galway experiences. In fact, on my walks back and forth from campus, I’ve seen many broken umbrellas, crumpled knots of metal and plastic, abandoned on the street. The umbrellas really couldn’t hold up against the forces of nature in Galway.

As the week has progressed, the rain has continued, unrelentingly, to fall. The River Corrib has been swelling increasingly higher. I have used my bright pink boots on a number of occasions, and have begun to get used to being perpetually damp.

the raging River Corrib, swollen from days of rain.

Thankfully, yesterday morning, I found out that this weather isn’t actually normal. In fact, this November has been the rainiest in 30 years! I was relieved to find this out, because if this were normal, I wouldn’t want to see bad.

Beyond the discomfort of being wet, the rain has brought some more serious problems. The flooding throughout Ireland has been terrible. Roads have flooded, almost completely cutting Galway off from the rest of the country. Flooding has affected downtown areas as well, including smaller towns like Ballinasloe and large towns like Cork. Cork is a mess, as the river Lee broke its banks and has left downtown Cork underwater. The University there has cancelled classes for the next week, and some students are left without housing.

So far, none of the flooding has directly affected us. We have friends that have been unable to travel to or from Galway because of the roads flooding, but luckily this weekend we aren’t traveling. The only possible problem for us would be if the River Corrib flooded, as our first floor apartment is approximately 40 feet from its banks. There are no indications that that will happen, so don’t worry too much. 🙂

As we speak, thunder rolls quietly, the trees are dancing in the wind, and the rain continues. From the safety and warmth of our apartment, it’s actually kind of beautiful. But I am quite grateful that I decided to bring along my huge pink boots.

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Welcome to our blog! Follow along with us as we travel and experience life as a couple of 20-somethings - with all its ups and downs. We hope to post photos, short videos, stories about our daily life and not-so-daily adventures, and thoughts on what’s going on in the world.

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