Day 8 – Arriving in Galway

Farewell Dingle

It was still dark as we packed our bags and descended the stairs with our bags. It was a fresh and misty morning; wonderful. We made our way to the bus stop not far from the hostel.

My nerves  started acting up as the time crawled by. The bus should have been here already and my sister was freaking out. The next bus would be much later. Suddenly a small bus pulled up across the street. The wind blew ferociously, making the upside down boat, that served as an interesting bus stop, creaked. The bus driver jumped out and gestured for us to go over to the bus. My sister and I  grabbed our bags and rushed over to  the bus. The original bus couldn’t make it so this bus would take us to Tralee.

The drive to Tralee felt much quicker and we could not see much as it was still very dark. The only sign of life were the occasional car lights that flashed by and the sudden movement of someone in the bus.

15 minute coffee in Tralee

Upon arrival in Tralee, I quickly bought myself a cappuccino and a hot chocolate for my sister as we waited for the next bus. The bus station was rather full but quickly emptied as the buses departed to the various destinations. I was relieved to see the Galway bus pull into the station. We shoved our bags into the storage and took our seats, ready for a long bus ride.

Return to Galway

I was excited to visit Galway again and I was looking forward to show my sister everything. As we arrived, I immediately noticed the Christmas market that had popped up. There were stalls selling interesting foods and items.

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Entering Galway Christmas market

We decided to book in at the hostel and would explore later on. Savoy hostel would be our home for 3 nights. Our room was spacious and clean. I collapsed onto the bed, almost dosing off to sleep as I waited for my turn in the bathroom.

Fresh and clean, we headed for the Christmas market. I love the Christmas season! The decorations were beautiful and the atmosphere was lively and exciting. We weren’t accustomed to the cold Christmas season.

I guided us through the streets to the Latin Quarter. We strolled leisurely along the cobble stone street, overwhelmed by the numerous street performers and the Christmas lights.

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Walk through the Latin Quarter in Galway

We made our way to the Spanish Arch and I searched for the Ard Bia. My sister and I took a seat and I order a pot of tea. Warmed up and comfortable, we sat and enjoyed the interesting decor. Ard Bia remains one of my favorite places for tea in Galway. My eyes wondered from table to table and I could make out a few words of the conversations unfolding. Two elderly women sat and giggled at some witty statement, an overeager American gentleman kept the waitress occupied with tales of his travels in Ireland and my sister and I sat, quietly, and absorbed as much as we could.

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Through the Spanish Arch

With tea in my belly and my soul refreshed, we made our way along the harbor and headed for the shoreline.

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River Corrib and part of the small harbor
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Colorful Galway buildings

We followed the road until we could go no further and then we climbed over a wall and wandered along the beach. The pebbles rattled and shifted as our feet exerted our body weight onto them. We walked on the pebbles until we could walk no further.

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Pebble Shoreline

Mutton Island lay on our left side and the made our way to the road that reached for the Island. We probably walked about halfway and turned back. The wind had picked up again and we were both tired.

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Heading for Mutton Island

The sun cast extraordinary colors through the clouds.

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Beautiful color through the clouds

The topmost part of the ferris wheel that had been constructed for the Christmas market was visible about the buildings. As we entered the Christmas market again I urged my sister to join me on the ferris wheel but she declined. I bought a ticket and climbed into the tiny car. Up and up I went until I could see most of Galway and beyond. The clouds had darkened and the city lights were all clearly visible. I sat in silence and enjoyed the moment; temporarily forgetting all worries in life.

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View from the ferris wheel

After we had finished, we bought some ice cream and made out way back to the hostel.

It was a great first day in Galway and I am happy that we could have experienced the Christmas market.

Things to do

  • There are numerous day trips that depart from Galway, so it would make an easy base to travel from.
  • Walk along river Corrib – I walked the walk when I was in Galway previously and it was worth the walk
  • Blackrock Diving Tower – I am not entirely sure where this is but I have heard of it from a few people but I will definitely check it out the next time.
  • Museums, cathedrals and churches – there are quite a few museums, cathedrals and churches in Galway and in the surrounding area.
  • Enjoy the buskers – there is usually a variety of buskers in the streets and many of them are very talented.
  • Latin Quarter – it’s usually busy here and there are numerous bars, so you can have a drink with friends or have a drink and make new friends.

Things to remember

  • Cash – as always, carry some cash with you as there are some places that only work with cash.
  • Relax – Galway has always had a very relaxed atmosphere

 

Galway remains one of my favorite places to visit in Ireland!

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