June 26/27: Traveling to Galway!

Tig maith mor as moill bheag! (Often great good comes from a short delay!)

The luck of the Irish did not start out with this traveler. First flight was delayed leaving the terminal by over two hours due to storms at the next point of landing, the Philadelphia airport, which shortened the layover time down to twenty minutes. Of course the first flight landed at one end of the airport and the next flight left from the other end. Never say flying isn't an exercise! Bolting across the airport at lightening speed is no longer an option once one reaches a certain age. Actually unless one is a sprinter or only sixteen there aren't too many people who can keep up a fast pace for several miles of concourses!! Heavily panting and unable to speak, this traveler made it with one minute to spare before they closed the doors!! Then arriving at the correct seat was a minor challenge. Seems there is a school group on this flight and the kids wanted to sit together whether or not they were assigned that particular seat. The child in 15C didn't want to sit in middle seat and just grabbed the aisle because it was vacant until the last minute. The poor child just couldn't understand why she had to move!!

Once all seated and ready for takeoff the weather turned sour. Lightening flashes dominated the skyline and the new flight was now delayed. But alas only for a few minutes and off on a initial bumpy ride. Once the storms were cleared the service wagons came out and everyone was happy. That is before the steward in an attempt to be funny spilled a partial glass of water down this one's arm. It definitely had a "chilling" effect. But the clothes dry fast!

On with the dinner course -- so far so good -- BUT -- then the stewardess tries to clear three trays at once and that's right -- all three land upside down on this one's lap. Salad dressing goes flying and what is heard is "Oh, oh I am so sorry!!" and am handed a napkin to clean up the mess!! Not pretty in the least -- nor a happy moment -- but it too will pass. A quick trip to the lavatory and a quick scrub down and am back in business with a wet sleeve, shirt and pants!!

Ireland will be so much better!!

And it is!! After a fast move through the Shannon airport immigration WITH luggage (after the close connection in Philadelphia it was questionable whether the bag would arrive on the same flight) -- it was on to the bus to Galway. Passing through small village after small village the "taste of the Irish" was evident thoroughout. Sheep, cows and horses all grazing on rolling hills with the plots corded off with low stone fences. There is a mist in the air today with a wind blowing the low clouds over the landscape -- a true mystical beginning to the trip.

Once in Galway, a cute university town sitting on the west coast of the island, it was off to find an ATM and a phone company to set up the cell phone. Mission accomplished in record speed, so a dive into the Irish culture and visit to An Puchan, a local pub! Some true Irish lamb stew, a pint of Smithwick and some authentic people watching top off the lunchtime entertainment. Then on to the hotel to relax and attempt to get the body onto the right time zone. Connemara Coast Hotel is situated approximately eight miles outside of town on the water's edge. A large complex but beautifully situated with rooms facing the water, it is the home to several other tour groups either just arriving in Ireland or on the way home. The mood of the place is genuinely Irish hospitality!

Early to bed tonight for tomorrow is "Explore Galway Day"!


Afternoon View From Room

View of Coastline in Afternoon

Another Shot From Room of Coastline