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Ireland Day 3 – Exploring Galway

June 6, 2012

We woke up at Slane Rock Hostel bright eyed and bushy-tailed, ate a healthy breakfast and hit the road to Galway at a reasonable time in the morning.  Well, at least that was our plan but it didn’t go precisely like that. It was more like this:

We stayed up way too late at the Slane Rock Hostel because we still weren’t 100% used to the time difference. Jake took a shower late at night and got boiled alive. We finally went to sleep and woke up around noon. It’s a good thing that our only plans in Galway including walking around and shopping. We rolled out of bed and I braved the shower only to discover a very pleasant temperature. Not sure what happened to Jake’s shower, but mine was awesome!  And no, we did not have the ability to change the shower temperature in the first few places we stayed. It was just a button the shower wall that. You pushed the button and water came on for a minute or so. Then you had to push it again.  That was something we definitely weren’t expecting.

Anyway, I showered and we got dressed and headed out the door. There, we promptly discovered that our suitcase had decided to join us on our trip after all. So we hauled the suitcase in, and changed into clean clothes. Jake donned his sweater and Jen changed into real shoes. Then we headed off to Galway.

Look! It’s a Castle!  It’s somewhere between Carran & Galway.

We ran into a problem just outside of Galway: Hunger.  Now, it’s been discussed before that neither Jake nor I are very personable when hunger hits, so we stopped a local shopping center and grabbed a couple slices of pizza. HEAVEN. Then we wandered around the shopping center and found a toy machine (you know, the one with the claw where you try to grab the stuffed animal?) with Care Bears inside. Real Care Bears! Of course, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to relive my childhood, plus I had a pocket full of change since Jake has an unnatural aversion to coin currency.

It took two tries and I won!!

Meet Best Friend Bear who joined us for the remainder of our journey and came back to the US with us.

Even better, Best Friend bear contributed gas money! A 20 Euro bill was attached to her! I then spent the rest of my change trying to get another bear, but no such luck. I wanted to get change for our bills and keep going but Jake pulled me away. I pouted, then came to my senses.  

See?! Money! Attached to the stuffed animals!

We headed into the middle of Galway and parked in a public car park (that’s a parking lot for those of you who don’t speak European) and walked across the river into the heart of the city.  Veni, Vini, Visa. We came, we saw, we shopped.

Me crossing a bridge with Galway Cathedral in the background.

I saw a cute little tourist shop to start off our hunt for small gifts for parents & siblings, so I went inside. Imagine my surprise to discover the little door I went into for the gift shop was actually the entrance for a large shopping center! It had multiple floors of shops and a tower in the middle of it! We never would have known!

Maybe I should change it to I came, I saw, I shopped, Jake took pictures of the back of my head

Jake in a hat.

It’s a river! So of course, I had to get as close as I could to the various river control structures to try and see what they were up to. This may have included going through a gate that was closed and had a sign stating only authorized personnel past that point. Jake was convinced that we were about to be thrown in an Irish prison, but it was unlocked! And it just led to a concrete pathway along the river that was next to a park. In fact, if we’d gone down the street further, we could have crossed the park to get to the walkway without any signs telling us not to. Jake wasn’t much comforted by that.

I think it’s called Friar River. I can’t imagine where I got that idea.

See that walkway over there? That’s the one I wanted to get to.

After a while, we stopped for dinner at a local pub that was in an old medieval building. It still had the stone walls. After that, we hit a few more landmarks and ended up back at our car.

This is Spanish Arch (don’t know why it’s called that) and the back of my head.

Jake in front of the red door at St. Nicholas Chruch

Galway Cathedral

Tex-Mex in Ireland?! Really?! I don’t like it in the US! Mexican food is awesome, Tex-Mex…not so much.  Ignore the back of my head.

We drove back Carran but weren’t ready to call it a day just yet. The day before on our way to Corofin, we’d passed through the village of Kilnaboy. There was some old church ruins there that I wanted to explore, because they supposedly had a few carvings. In our typical style, we spent a while trying to remember exactly where Kilnaboy was in relation to our hostel and where the church was. We drove right by the church, then turned around to read the tourist map. Then decided the church we wanted was around the corner. This one turned out to be an old church that had been turned into a junk yard. We went back to the tourist map and realized the church we were looking for was the one right next to the map. We walked up the stairs, expecting the gate at the top to be locked since it was almost dark, but it wasn’t! We spent some time reveling at how old the structure was (11th century) and looking at all the grave markers. We did find the carvings we were looking for, but didn’t get great pictures of them due to the lack of daylight.

This is the beginning of what I like to call our “Artsy-Fartsy” Ireland pictures. You see, Jake has a Bachelors of Fine Arts which included taking photography. I have taken a couple of photography classes and while neither claim to be photographers, we do like nice, creative pictures.  Disclaimer: Jake doesn’t like the term “Artsy-Fartsy”, he prefers just staight Artsy with no Fartsy, but it’s my blog. So there.

Then we piled in the car and headed back to our hostel determined to get to sleep at a reasonable time and off to our next destination before noon.

One Comment leave one →
  1. jake permalink
    June 6, 2012 11:16 pm


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