June 28: Galway

The day starts slowly as the body is still reacting to the long flight and time zone difference, but the charm of the area quickly sets the day in motion. The fog has moved in off the sea this morning bringing with it a steady drizzle and wind. Visibility is at a minimum creating another mystical atmosphere. After a quiet breakfast overlooking the coastline a brisk walk along the water's edge is in order. Rain jacket on, it is off to explore the area around the hotel's perimeter. There is something about waves crashing against the rocks with the wind blowing the grasses around that draws one to merely stand and stare. The air temperature is mild, so the dampness is not a distraction to the beauty.

This Morning"s View Along The Walk By The Sea

Another Morning's View of the Coastline

Evening View at 10:00p.m.!!

Today's forecast is rain (mist) all day. It is a good day to grab the rain gear and local bus to town for a day of exploring of Galway.

Galway until the recession in 2008 was the fastest growing town in western Ireland. A town of approximately 76,000 it is more international than Irish with one in four people born outside of the country. A university town, as well as the region's industrial and administrative center, it lays close to the Connemara, and Aran Islands, the heart of the Gaelic culture. Within the city confines one can see some of the traces of Galway's medieval past. Unfortunately during the British rule (until 1921) most of the older buildings and walls were removed in the name of progress.

The center of town is the Eyre Square, which contains a small park area called Kennedy Square in honor of President John Kennedy. In the early medieval period this area was a field just outside the city walls. From there it is easy to wander down the pedestrian parade through the old town and out to the river at Wolfe Tone Bridge. Dominating one end is the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, a Church of England opened by American Cardinal Cushing in 1965 and is one of the last great stone churches built in Europe. Not far from there is the Hall of Red Earl, the site of a 13th century Anglo-Norman Ruins unearthed in 1997. Sprinkled through the city are facades that are all that is left of former homes or castles. One such is called Lynch's Window after the famous lynching by a mayor of his son. The son had committed the crime of killing a Spaniard which was punishable by death and when no one in the town would step up to perform the act of lynching of the popular boy, the mayor lynched him himself from his castle's window for the public to see!

A full day of walking and then the town bus #424 back to the hotel for a relaxing evening. Tomorrow the group arrives.

The Main Pedestrian Street -- Major Shopping Area!

One of the Few Remaining Medieval Streets



Cathedral of St. Nicholas

City Wall

Spanish Arches

Interior of Spanish Arches

The Ruins of Hall of Red Earl


River Swans

The Pie Maker

Kennedy's Memorial

Oscar Wilde Enjoying Galway!