Trip Post #2: Galway

…The adventure continues! Still in Dublin, we got breakfast at a place called Roly’s Bistro before catching the train to Galway.

Once there, we checked out the main street with pubs, touristy shops, and buskers.Galway

Thought this guy was nifty:

Galway BuskerHis little marionette was HIM. Exact same clothing, even had the same tattoos. He was “playing” to prerecorded music (see the speaker behind him). The motions were very lifelike (nodding his head, the hand on the neck of the cello, etc.). And the change hat is a tiny handmade cello case!!! Very cute. If you’re interested, he has a facebook page (the little sign in the cello case tells us): “Galway Puppet“. He apparently also makes alter-ego puppets for people.

Since the weather was yucky, we ducked into a cafe called Mocha Bean, and got a yummy treat:

Treat GalwayYUSSS

After walking around a bit more, we had dinner (vegetable soup and a cheese toasty) at Finnegan’s restaurant, the oldest building in Galway.

Finnegans

We were beat (and rain-soaked), so we headed back to the hotel (The Victoria, we wouldn’t recommend it) for bed shortly after dinner.

The next day, we had breakfast at our hotel, and took the windiest, coldest, longest walk along the sea to the Promenade (a little west of the Galway city center).

Inlet Galway

River Galway

Ocean Galway 2

Ocean GalwayIt was pretty and all, but damn was it cold and windy. Did I mention that it was windy? It was windy. And cold. And it rained on us sometimes.

I did get to meet a little dog that was bouncing around near his human’s campsite. He was really sweet, though I couldn’t get a great picture because he wouldn’t hold still!

Dog GalwayAnyway, continuing with our walk, we discovered that some COMPLETELY INSANE PEOPLE were swimming in the sea. THE COLD WINDY SEA. In the photo below, you can see tiny dots in the water, and those are people. Crazy people.

Swimmers GalwayAfter our windy (WINDY! And COLD! And WINDY!) walk, we treated ourselves to the cutest afternoon tea at a place called Cupan Tae.

Cupan Tae Galway(See the bush? It was windy.)

Look how cute!

Cupan Tae 4Everything was cute!

Cupan Tae 2

Cupan Tae 3I don’t think you understand; those are cucumber sandwiches on a tiered china cake stand. And scones with jam and clotted cream! And mini cupcakes! And I guess there was tea or whatever too. Basically, we were in a Jane Austen novel.

We took a little rest in our hotel since we had walked about 10 friggin miles already. I don’t know how many it was, but it was like double because we were walking into the wind.

Then we did some site-seeing around Galway, including visiting seemingly the youngest cathedral in all of Europe (it was built in the 1960s). Holy crap! I was kidding, but I just googled it to verify the date, and the website literally says that it is “the youngest of Europe’s great stone cathedrals.

And we were all “Umm..if we wanted to see a church from the 60s, we would have visited ANY CHURCH IN AMERICA.” So we had dinner.

Monroe's GalwayI kept trying to find a pub in Ireland where I could listen to traditional music, and I kept failing. See the pub above? This is where we had dinner. See that lovely sign advertising “Ballads and Traditional Music…NIGHTLY!”? It’s a LIE. There was a nice EMPTY little stage taunting us, but no musicians in sight.

But the staff were very nice, and I had the best fettuccine alfredo I have ever had and could ever imagine. (In Ireland? I know!)

I also got a plum tart from a nearby bakery. It was called “The Gourmet Tart Company”, so I obviously couldn’t ignore it.

Plum Tart GalwayIn my ongoing quest to find traditional music, we went to “Tunes in the Church” at like the oldest church ever, St. Nicholas’ Church, which was built sometime around 1320. The performance involved three musicians: a concertina player, a flute player, and a bouzouki player (like a guitar), and a sean nos dancer (Old Style Irish Dancing; older than the style I do).

Musicians GalwayIt wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, because I wanted singing, but they were very skilled musicians (though, I can only say that because other people said it, not because I know anything about performing music), and watching the sean nos dancing was really fun.

By the way, they performed on the top of a tomb-thingy. It looks like a stage in the picture, but that is a very large mausoleum type thing that was half above the ground and half under the floor of the church. But our guide was quick to point out that the actual grave itself was far below the church, so no one was technically “dancing on a grave.” Whatever you say, dude, whatever you say.

Next up, Doolin and Ennis!

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