Our run of reasonably fine weather has run out! We have had 2 full days in Galway and the weather has not cooperated at all – with it raining probably 90% of the time! Lots of cloud, rain, wind and much cooler temperatures. I guess this is more typical of Irish weather!
I had planned to go to the Aran Islands for a day while we were here in Galway, but we didn’t get there – if the weather is bad, apparently it is not worth the trip. So, our first full day we spent exploring the narrow, paved streets of Galway.
We also walked through Eyre Square, the Latin Quarter, saw Lynch’s Castle (which now houses a bank, but is the grandest 16th century town house in Galway), walked down to the harbour, saw the Spanish Arch (built in 1584 to protect the harbour) and did a bit of shopping!
The 16th century Lynch’s Castle
Last night we sought some dinner in the town and then found a fabulous Irish pub Tigh Neachtain to enjoy a few drinks and to listen to some live music (it came recommended by the receptionist at the hotel we are staying in).
This pub is small, low ceilinged, with lots of timber panelling and a few cosy seating snugs; there are also lots of interesting historic wall decorations; it is full of character!
Inside Tigh Neachtain (before the crowds)
We were lucky to get a seat (having tried a couple of other recommended pubs before this one – and they were all packed), but I am glad we sat where we did (I’ll explain shortly). The pub filled up once the band started playing – it was literally standing room only, and you had to push your way through the crowd.
In the corner there is a small space for the band to play and last night we saw Mike and The Scallywags play – they were a 6 piece band made up of a piano player, guitarist, banjo player, a double bassist, a fiddler and a “drummer” (actually played a Cajon – a drum that you sit on to play). Our table was right next to where the band played. Because I was sitting so close, I got to talk to a couple of the band members too – they were great. The music was fantastic and I had a wonderful time! I tried to attached a movie file of the band playing, but unfortunately I have had no success – sorry.
As I said, this is a fairly small pub, and where we were sitting was right next to the band – so close that the fiddle player could have sat on my lap!
Today we took the opportunity to recover from a big night last night, slept in a bit, had a late breakfast and then, because the rain was coming down still, we stayed in Galway, drove around to Salthill (a seaside resort area) and explored a little more in the car.
The tides out at Galway Bay
The River Corrib flowing out into Galway Bay
Don’t let the above photos fool you – the rain stopped for a wee while and the sun struggled to come out (it wasn’t successful) and I was able to get a couple of decent photos without getting wet!
Unfortunately, I think we probably missed a great deal of things to do and see in Galway (partly because of the weather, and partly because I wasn’t organised enough)! So, not too exciting today, but a rest and recovery day was probably in order. Hopefully tomorrow the weather will improve as we set forth toward Bunratty and Limerick.