Sunday, January 22, 2012

Galway through the eyes of Rachel and Colleen

Galway. The Culture Heart of Ireland.

When we got to Galway, the first thing that we made us fall in love with the town was the fresh air. Especially after staying in Dublin's smokiness. Everything was so much cleaner and more...ancient.

After dropping our bags off at the hostel on Friday we got to explore the town.Of course eating lunch was an important part of our exploration! Colleen was able to go to an adorable local tea shop and had afternoon tea while Rachel experienced the closest restaurant due to what felt like starvation...

Next we all explored the town and did window shopping and/or real shopping. Galway seemed to really focus on more locally made souvenirs ranging from claddagh rings (which were invented in Galway) to woolen sweaters (which we assumed came from local sheep frolicking happily around the Irish countryside). Another moment of excitement came when we found real Irish people as opposed to tourists!

That night we all decided to find local musicians in an authentic Irish pub. After finally finding a pub where the music was going to start before the ghastly hour of 10pm we spent time observing the Irish culture while waiting for the music to start. Part of this was watching a local rugby team win a professional match on T.V. When the music finally began, we enjoyed the live Irish music we had been looking for.

Saturday was a lot of the same old same old...OF EXPLORING AN IRISH TOWN!!! On the weekend there is a local market filled with a lot of yum yums and fresh produce. The girls in the group decided that we were going to feast like kings and bought some of that produce. Red strawberries, fuzzy kiwis, golden bananas, crisp carrots, juicy apples, sweet pears, and rainbow peppers all for 15 euros for this luscious display of fresh and organic locally grown goodness. Not to mention the wonderful array of breads... Including gluten free for Anna! Lets just say that we had the best home cooked dinner since the Manor.

Sunday the girls woke up when it was still dark to go to 8:30am mass at the Galway Cathedral aka "Cathedral of our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas". Sitting inside we felt incredibly tiny because of the high ceilings raised alter. According to the two Catholics with us, we went to the quickest mass of 25 minutes. Afterwards, we had plenty of time before meeting the rest of the group for lunch at 1pm, so we decided to watch the sunrise at the beach! It was one of the most incredible views all trip.

During lunch, we found out that Susan and the boys went to the St. Nicholas, a traditional Anglican church in town. It sounded like they really enjoyed the service. Following lunch there was more exploration and Kelli's continued quest of finding an Irish dress that led to two other girls buying dresses. Three down, three to go...Poor Kelli...

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