After a late night out with the locals and tourmates the night before , it was time to bid Derry farewell. That morning we were headed to our next destination: Galway, Ireland. Contrary to popular belief, Galway was actually made famous by Steve Earle’s song titled “Galway Girl” long before Ed Sheeran came around. After Earle’s song was featured in the film “P.S I Love You” it became a sensation and can often be heard in pubs around Ireland. That being said: For the love of God, do not ask them to play this song. Despite truly enjoying this song, it becomes significantly less enjoyable after hearing it five times in one night. Rest assured, there will always be a tourist who will request it and you will get your fix.
Now before we arrived in Galway, there was one very important stop on the way: The Mountains of Connemara, specifically, “The Twelve Bens.” As the name suggests, it is a mountain range consisting of twelve mountains with a water filled valley in the centre. These mountains captivate your attention and snap you out of the haze that is brought upon by only sleeping for two hours the night before. They demand your full attention. Wrapping my scarf tightly to my neck, I was overcome with a sense of tranquility. With the mountains as our only companions, time stood still and the stresses of every day life dissolved. Life was good. It is moments such as these that I come back to during times of hardship to remind myself that total tranquility is possible and that they will come again.
After being cleansed all of life’s troubles in the mountains and sleeping the rest of the way, we arrived in Galway, Ireland at last. Out of all the cities in Ireland, I have to say that Derry and Galway are two of my favourites. What drew me in most about Galway was it’s Latin Quarter. This section of the city is beautiful with it’s cobblestoned streets, tiny boutiques, pubs, and great restaurants. As you walk down the cobblestone streets, shop signs command your attention with their bright shop faces in bright assortments of yellows, blues, greens, and every colour of the rainbow you could think of. One cannot help but be cheery when walking in Galway. In addition bright coloured shops and cobble stone streets, there is often street entertainment to be found in Galway as individuals sit perform in the middle of these walkways for all those passing by. During the warmer weather, patio seating is opened up so that individuals may enjoy the entertainment going on around them. Whereas, The Connemara Mountains provided me with the tranquility I needed, Galway was waiting in arms reach with all the entertainment and joy I could possibly imagine. Regardless of whatever mood you may have been in prior to entering Galway, you are sure to leave Galway with a smile on your face. For those looking to learn some of Galway’s history, take a moment to visit Galway’s City Museum. Within the museums’s walls you can learn about archaeology, art, natural history, along with Galway’s maritime history. Galway is a place for adults and children alike and is a city that should not be overlooked when planning a trip to Ireland. Stay tuned for my trip to Inis Mor.