Pressing on to GALWAY

Pressing on to GALWAY

Well just 1 year ago, my mom and I set off on an IRISH ADVENTURE. . . and I didn’t quite get to tell all our tales on this blog yet. So here I will share a bit more about our journey on the Western Coast of Ireland. We said farewell to The Cliffs of Moher at dusk, which meant we had some night-driving ahead of us, about 2 hours actually. We were hungry but decided to press on to not waste time. Galway City, 2 hours up the coast from Moher was our destination. An urban city, the 4th largest in the Republic of Ireland, Galway, pronounced GAUL-WAY, has much charm to it. We arrived late into the evening. The roads were quite Icy at times, and if not icy the roads were dark and curvy. I made use of the high beams on the car for a good stretch of it. Thankfully my co-pilot & momma was there to get me through it and also a Bright Full Moon providing just a bit more light and leading us to our destination. We had booked A HOTEL in the The Latin Quarter of Galway in the city center. A HOTEL? After having stayed in so many quaint and lovely Bed and Breakfasts all over the country, without one complaint or disappointment in any of our stays, with belly-filling-meals-included at that, you are probably wondering WHY? I figured that we could treat ourselves to one night in a Hotel somewhere in the trip for some privacy and comfort, and this city seemed like a good place to do it. I had booked everything before the start of our trip afterall, and so we would stay one night in Galway’s THE HOUSE HOTEL. The 89 EURO price was not bad for our central Location and Breakfast was included. This hotel was like a peek into the future. . . You couldn’t turn on the lights without the Key Card, and same goes for the sink or shower in the bathroom. If you didn’t insert your KEY CARD into its home base, nothing in the room would work. Later on I was waiting for my very own Personal Robot Assistant to undress me and tuck me into bed at night (though sadly it never came). Anyways we oooohhed and awwwhhhhed at the Lovely room, and most importantly the Size of the bed. Must have been a QUEEN SIZE, fit for 2 Queens obviously. We had paid for a standard Twin Room that should have had 2 twin beds, but I cannot emphasize enough how traveling in Off Season has its perks. They must have had extra Queen Rooms and decided to treat us. Thanks we loved that big ol’ bed!

The House Hotel
Our Room in The House Hotel

 

We wasted little time and went in search of a warm meal. We found a busy restaurant called THE QUAY STREET KITCHEN and got to eating. We shared a Squash Soup for our starter and I made the mistake of ordering some Lamb dish that made me feel all kinds of funny. It’s what they had recommended to me.

But to be honest, after having seen so many beautiful Sheep along the Irish cliffs and in the countryside these past days, I must have had GUILT. I couldn’t even eat half the dish, and I had to throw back some Ale to settle my stomach.

Nightlife in Galway

Mom ordered the local beer and at least the candlelit cozy atmosphere made for a nice time together. We had been told by many that Galway was a great city to finally hear some Local Irish Music and we had high hopes. First things first though, we wandered into a pub and ordered some Irish Coffees to warm up. Yes, that Whiskey goes down the throat and then straight to the heart warming you up from the inside out. We sat on stools at the bar and wondered if this would be a good spot for live traditional music. After waiting patiently we asked the bartender when the band was going to start playing, having waited our entire trip to hear those Irish folk songs. He told us they were going to be playing modern music, and sure enough before we left they were playing a version of a Britney Spears’ song. . . We got out of there quick and almost turned in for the night, but then decided to try our luck a couple blocks away in another pub. This bar called TAAFFE’S looked lively and the moody interior lighting was the perfect setting for this Irish Trio Group. FINALLY!!! They sang songs in Gaelic and also songs in English with a strong Irish Accent. . . and sometimes they just let the instruments do the talking which meant I could finally do a Jig from my excitement.

Traditional Irish Music Finally
Irish Music in Galway
Local Irish Pub
Local Irish Pub we enjoyed in Galway

Locals sang along to popular traditional tunes, and we both agreed it was a great way to spend our only evening in Galway. The next morning we had just a few hours to eat breakfast and take in the City. We walked through the streets of the Latin Quarter, saw an excellent street performer with the voice of an angel and a curious puppet-version of herself, saw the 16th century Spanish Arch (wall) and chatted it up with a local in a souvenir shop.

Galway, out enjoying the city
Galway City Ireland by day
I'm your Puppet
Galway street Performer

The young man working in the shop spoke Gaelic to us, teaching us how to say A Thousand Thanks, Ireland, and Galway all in GAELIC!!  Galway was the most interesting to me, written like this: Gaillimh, and pronounced like this: Gaul-iv. He told us that one region of Ireland has nothing to do with the other regions, and when it comes to speaking Gaelic, Irish people from different regions don’t even necessarily understand each other due to their accents. He was another fun local that gave us some perspective on Ireland, and hey he didn’t make fun of us trying out our Gaelic. I was grateful for these genuine moments with Irish locals.

Although I feel we barely scratched the surface here in Galway, and we didn’t venture out from the small Latin Quarter, it was only due to the busy travel day I had Scheduled. Leaving Galway, we had to drive straight on up to Northern Ireland, to Belfast, a 369 KM drive. We made one last stop before beginning our long journey, as I had been eyeing this Tea House, a proper Tea House called CUPAN TAE, with the most adorable decor and collection of tea pots/tea sets on display. . .and of course a fabulous selection of TEAS, some of which we purchased for the folks back home. I could only drool over the delicate desserts that I’m sure were delicious, but they told us NO to-gos; desserts were for eating in the Tea House only.
Cupan Tae Galway
Cupan Tae, Irish tea House

A lovely visit to the West, Galway you were a treat, albeit a quick one. Now here’s a famous song about Galway to help get you in the mood to visit one day soon. I maintain that not one IRISH city or town we visited disappointed.

And lastly, I am happy to announce that in just 30 days. . . Momma joins me in SPAIN for my Semana Santa Holiday. . . That means 2 weeks in Europe together. WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

MOMMA's ARRIVAL TO SPAIN

Although I’m living and loving life here in ESPAÑA, we will be spending most of the holiday in PORTUGAL!!! #delriosTakePortugal and the sister is coming too! 3 del Río Women now have the travel bug and really I can’t contain my excitement. HURRY HURRY!

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