We’re Marko and Alex, the Vagabrothers, and in this series we’re on an epic 9-day roadtrip through Ireland. Our roadtrip starts on the Wild Atlantic Way where we surf, eat and dive into the adventure. [screams] Then we’re heading south to County Cork, birthplace of Irleand’s slow food movement, before driving to Dublin to discover the city’s hidden gems and get styled with Irish design. Forget what you think you know, this is Ireland: rugged, real and raw. (Marko) mmmmh… I’m gonna miss this place (Alex) mhm (Marko) We’re coming back! Good morning guys and welcome back to day two of our Irish adventure. Right now we’re about two hours south of Sligo, in a place called Cnoc Suain. It’s about 20 miles north of Galway, just off the Wild Atlantic Way. So, County Galway is a bastion of traditional Irish culture. It has one of the highest percentages of Gaelic speakers in the nation. And so our plan for coming here is to meet with the owners, Charlie and his wife, Dearbháil, who’re gonna give us a crash course in traditional Irish culture. Let’s hit it! So, when we found the place, just to give you an idea, this whole place was overgrown like it is there. Now just look at the type of stone. This was the original cottage. This would have been the outhouses. When we restored we then linked the two together. Cool! Dude, if I were to come learn Gaelic, staying here for like a couple of days or a week, it would be like the way to immerse yourself in the culture. It’s like a college dorm at Hoghwarts [Alex laughs] (Marko) Dude, where else would you get a little fire down there… (Alex) Where would you put your owl? We didn’t restore this for this to become a museum. The goal of it is to create an awareness about the Gaelic culture and the natural history that is in the bog land. Everything we do is interactive. We want people to become engaged, to participate, and to have fun. This Gaelic culture is the root of all culture that’s in Ireland. One of the first things that I noticed when we got here is the smell of burning peat. It’s really really nice and relaxing. Peat is pretty much, it comes out of a bog and it was used and still is used to heat homes. So, all around us here are bog lands. It’s a huge percentage of Ireland that is made out of bog lands. First formed when the Celts came here, cleared forests and that clearing of the forest kind of made these bog lands. And a lot of what we know about early Ireland is from the bodies that fell in these bogs and were preserved. (Alex) Pretty much mummified (Marko) Yeah (Alex) We’re gonna meet up with Charlie and he’s gonna teach us a little bit about the bogs. Ready? (Marko) Let’s do a bog walk! (Alex) Bog walking. A bog is an ecosystem that is based on this plant. That is the bog maker. That’s responsible for this entire landscape. That’s the peat. See, the bog grows at the rate of one millimeter a year. (Charlie) Well, you’re looking all the way to the mountains there (Alex) That is all bog? (Charlie) That is all bog land, yeah. (Alex) Wow. (Alex) That is a lot of peat. (Charlie) It is. A lot of peat, a lot of preserve. (Charlie) Stand there. (Alex) They call it black butter for a reason. (Charlie) Yeah, go on. (Alex) Like butter. (Marko) Look at that. Got a piece of peat. This will be good if we pop it back up there and let it dry and it’ll heat the house for the winter. (Alex) Would you like a slice of bog butter free? (Marko laughs) Uh, that’s a shitty Irish accent. Sorry. (Charlie) Two hands on it. (Alex) Yeah. (Charlie) Go. (Marko) Oh wow! It’s super low. (Alex) Like King Arthur. (Marko) EXCALIBUR! (Alex yells triumphantly) (Charlie) So, that’s where it’s solid ground. (Alex) That’s insane. That is a big bog. [attempts an Irish accent again] Now, that’s a bog! Well, that was really interesting, but one of the things here in Ireland… music is an intrical aspect of culture and cultural and language preservation. So, we’re heading over to one of the other cottages and there is some live music happening. Let’s go have a listen. Sounds like a party is happening on the inside. [whispers] Let’s go! Here goes nothing! Guys, make sure you follow our Snapchat and get this stuff live! Alright guys, so just a little bit of the backstory here: What we were doing earlier, the skippydi-dabbadi-do… [man singing] It was called lilting and it was a traditional form of music back when people maybe didn’t have enough money to buy musical instruments. People had to play the music and they way they’d do this is they lilted or sang, sang the tune. You know, they don’t have any words, you make up the word, you kind of start with [demonstrates lilting] And then you go on and finish with a kind of big long “do” [Marko and Alex lilt and finish with a big long “do”] (Marko) We’re backing the Irish. (Alex) Oh yeah. Super good introduction to Irish and Gaelic culture. And we’ve even topped it off with a bit of local moonshine. Gotta love it! So, we’re on our way to Galway and we’re gonna do a little walking tour through the city. (Marko) And then of course: food and drink. (Alex) Perfect, let’s hit it! [Marko whistles a tune] Ugh, no no no no no Mark. It’s like this! [Alex whistles a tune] (Marko) That is so different! (Alex) That’s it, I know! (Marko) That’s not it! (Alex) ‘Cause you were wrong! Okay fine, play the track. Okay guys, so we just got to Galway The sun is about to set. We don’t have much time to explore, so we’re gonna get after it. Yeah, Galway is a big student city, it’s a medieval town, formerly walled city and it’s got a cool bohemian vibe. (Marko) So, we’re meeting up with Connor from Galway Private Tours and we’re gonna take a walk on the Old Town. (Alex) Let’s hit it! Guys, this is Connor, he’s gonna be showing us all the cool things to do in Galway. So, what are we gonna do today? We’re gonna have a walk around the medieval city centre of Galway, the river Corrib, we’re also gonna see the cathedral and university, which is on the other side of town. This city is seriously cool. It’s very very bohemian; there’s a lot of people busking, playing live music. It’s a place that has attracted artists and writers, creative types over the centuries. The nickname is “The Graveyard of Lost Ambitions” because so many people come here. You could see how you’re walking down the street to go do some business and meet a friend, jump in and have a pint, stay there all afternoon. Galway is synonymous for the good life, I think. And we’re gonna dive into it in a bit. We were just walking along the river, learning about the history. So Galway was founded by Irish and then came Normans and then in the Middle Ages it became a trade centre. They exported cowhides and leather, they imported wine, salt and iron and it was connected with Spain and other countries. That’s why there’s a Spanish arch in the harbour. Well, guys, actually this isn’t my first time to Galway. I came here in 2010, right after I finished university. I was with a couple of friends travelling, and we were in Galway for one night. And pretty much the only thing that we did was we came to the Spanish Arch and drank beer outside. Which I just learned today is called “bushing”. So, if you come to the Spanish Arch, it’s a good place to come bushing. During the industrial revolution they used the river as an energy source to turn the wheels of water mills and to facilitate transport with barges We’re walking up to the university now. A lot of exchange students come here and the American students just arrived. So, while you’re abroad, it’s not a bad place to be. (Connor) J.R.R. Tolkien (Alex and Marko) Whoa! (Connor) He stayed over there because he was a visiting professor here back in the 1950s. At the same time he was writing “The Lord of the Rings”. I was gonna say there was some Hogwarts vibe going on here but… GANDAAALF! [evil laughter] (Alex) Well, I thoroughly enjoyed my brief moment as a wizard. (Marko) Of Gandalfness. Oh yeah [groans] but that was a cool little walking tour. It’s coming to an end and I think we’re gonna head over and grab a bite. Where are we going? So, this is a funny story. About a month and a half ago at the Calgary stampede, I told someone that we were going to Galway And he says, go check out Mr Eat Galway on Instagram who’s a local chef. (Marko) So, I believe that random travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God, so we’re gonna go check it out. (Alex) Deep. (Marko) Actually it’s Kurt Vonnegut, who I think said that. We’re gonna go check out the restaurant. (Alex) Let’s do it, I’m starving! Alex has the raw scallops. Like a scallop ceviche. I don’t know what to do. What is this? It’s molecular. It’s like sprinkled fairy dust and some scallop that has been cured in birch wood. So, my name is JP MacMahon. I’m the chef patron who opened Aniar Restaurant in Galway. And we call ourselves a terroir restaurant. The philosophy behind the restaurant is that we try and use as much produce from the West of Ireland as possible. So, 90-95%. Through this we had to exclude lemons, black pepper and chocolate. I suppose in some respects it’s kind of writing the menu in reverse. We look at what we have and what we can get and then we put those together. Because the philosophy of the restaurant is to source everything from this immediate area, constraints can be the source of the beauty of the product. Kind of like a haiku, you know, you say you can only do it this way and you’re forced to be creative and that’s what we’re seeing here. So, even though Ireland might be a place associated with going having a Guinness and maybe some pub food, this is like the opposite, and I’m loving it. So, cheers! Well guys, that was another incredible day in Ireland, learning about Irish culture, but it’s late and we’re gonna tuck in earlyish. That’s because tomorrow we’re getting up early to got the Aran Islands, which are just off the coast here. And those really are… it’s a very special place in Ireland. And we’re gonna tell you more about it tomorrow morning. In the meantime, if you liked the video, give it a thumbs up, share it with your friends, and subscribe to the Vagabrothers for new travel videos every Tuesday and Thursday. And as always: Stay curious, keep exploring, and we’ll see you guys on the road. Peace!