Tonight we watched the sunset over Galway.
Galway was our first stop and just a few hours drive from Dublin. To close up the post from yesterday, we did find our luggage in Dublin, had a terrible time figuring out the car rental and drove white-knuckled as Ben took to the other side of the car/road. As we were about ten miles out of Galway, the thickest fog ever rolled in and you couldn’t see anything. Whatever. It’s over. We are here.
Truth is, we were exhausted. A couple hours of sleep since Saturday and we were coasting on the fumes of gas station lattes. We arrived at our hotel a little early and they graciously checked us in so we could power nap.
A couple hours later, we were headed down the craziest winding roads (over the bridge, around the University, back over the bridge, through this alley…) we thought the GPS must be broken. But the truth is I’m glad to have it. No matter the crazy path it takes us on, we arrive where we intended to go eventually.
We headed to a few churches to check out the history:
· St. Nicholas Church (a 700-year old church that once was host to Christopher Columbus)
· Galway Cathedral (The newest Roman Catholic Stone Cathedral, along the River Corrib – very architecturally interesting)
We spent the evening walking to the Latin Quarter and Quay Streets, stopping at Lynch’s Castle to take money out of an ATM (really, it’s a bank now.) The Latin Quarter was buzzing with students in and out of the bookstores, bars and shops, buskers on the sides in front of theaters and art everywhere. And the whole place was light up for Christmas. We crossed the bridge from St. Nicholas to head to Galway Cathedral and along the Corrib we could see the famed Spanish Arches. We walked by the post office, where a giant Irish Wolfhound was tied up waiting for his master. When he stood, he was taller than the little guy!
I think that if we were to do it again, I would have looked for a hotel in the Latin Quarter/Quay Street area as it was fun and vibrant and full of things to look at. The problem is there weren’t any places to park and I thought that the first day of driving in Ireland might be best rewarded with a parking lot. And if we didn’t have to drive back to the hotel, we wouldn’t have spotted the Bohermore Cemetery.
Bohermore Cemetery is a Victorian era opened in the 1800’s. It’s quintessential – stone church, green hill, Celtic crosses as far as the eye can see. It was the perfect opportunity to bust out the fancy camera and take some pictures.
Galway was just the first leg of our Western Ireland tour, the jumping off point for another adventure tomorrow that will hopefully find us landing in Dingle.